It's just delayed, not denied
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself inadvertently writing about dreams and goals. This being the last Sunday of the 2nd quarter of the year, I thought I should continue on the same subject so that we can all be mentally prepared to face the second half of the year. I don’t know about you but I can tell you I do need some motivation right now and hopefully, this article will do exactly that.
In my last two articles, I wrote about having your dreams clearly defined and following through with them until you achieve them. But that is just the first step. You see, most of us have these expectations that once you single out that specific dream you want to focus on for now, then you do everything right every hour of the day to achieve it, then you will achieve it within a short time. This is further from the truth.
Many of those who have succeeded before us will tell you that achieving your goals/dreams takes more than a properly written and executed plan to realize those dreams. There will be delays along the way, delays you never expected. There will be complications along the way, complications you probably hadn’t envisioned while putting your goals on paper. There will be obstacles along the way, obstacles that will definitely slow you down and probably elongate the time frame you had given to yourself to achieve your dream by another couple of years. This causes frustrations and it is at this point that many people give up. That is why it is necessary to have a dream that is strong enough to keep you grounded and determined to achieve it no matter what obstacles or delays you experience along the way. And that is the next step; pushing hard and not giving up until you realize your dream.
My favorite book has this clearly outlined in Ecclesiastes 5: 3 which says, “For a dream comes with much business and painful effort….” What does this mean? It simply means that to achieve your dream, you have to get busy, you have to get your hands dirty, you will sweat buckets, cry many tears and even blood sometimes, but if you keep focusing on your dream, eventually it will become realized. Nothing comes easy my friends. You have to push and prod and push some more until all the obstacles on your path give way to your dream. I guess this is what Thomas Jefferson meant when he said, “I find that the harder I work the more luck I seem to have”. Do you think it is a coincidence that he seems to get lucky when he is working hard? I don’t think so. I think it is his “busy-ness” that attracts the luck.
So you have been doing everything you can to make your dream come true, you have been crying yourself to bed every night till your tear glands have dried up, you’ve been sweating so much till its not sweat but blood that is pouring out of your sweat glands but still, your dream seems to be just that, a dream. You keep second-guessing yourself and wondering whether you are really doing the right thing. At some point you’ve even thought of giving up.
Why? Because instead of getting breakthroughs you seem to be getting more heartbreaks every single day of pursuing your dream. People who had PROMISED to help you no matter what have suddenly renegaded on their words. Infact, they are even unreachable on their phones and if they are, they won’t pick up your calls or return your messages or emails, though you know 100% they received them. Worse still, resources that were supposed to come through suddenly seem to have forgotten where you live. Opportunities that were rife just last night are suddenly non-existent this morning. It is like all your enemies and frenemies have ganged up against you to make sure your dream just remains in your head. It is very disappointing and can easily cause you to give up. I know this because this has been my experience this last week. Every single thing I’ve mentioned up here happened to me this last week and yes, I have to admit I thought of giving up too. I'm human too, remember?
Then someone, someone who didn’t know what I was going through, sent me this short story I’m about to share with you. It suddenly inspired me and got me thinking positively again. I hope it does the same for you as you read it…. Here goes:
An elephant and a dog became pregnant at the same time. Three months down the line the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies.
The pattern continued. On the eighteenth month the dog approached the elephant questioning, "Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date, I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. What’s going on?".
The elephant replied, "There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration, what I carry draws attention. So what I'm carrying is mighty and great”.
Wow! That right there was another BOOYAH! moment for me.
Ladies and Gentlemen, each one of us has a different destiny. Every one of us has a different purpose and dream. Each one of us has a different path to follow and we cannot compare ourselves to others because we do not know what their destinies are. We cannot all bear the same fruits. To use the story I just shared above, we all can’t give birth to puppies! I love dogs but hey, that would be too many puppies for my comfort. Some of us have to give birth to elephants and as we have seen, the gestation period for elephants is six times longer than that of dogs.
Has your dream been taking long to be realized? Are you doing everything right but still it seems like it is taking longer than you expected for it to be seen? Don’t give up. Don't be envious of other people’s testimonies. Don't lose faith when you see others receive answers to their prayers while the devil preaches to you that God has forgotten you. In fact, don’t give him audience or a place in your head! If you haven't received your own blessings, don't despair. Your elephant is on the way and when the world sees it, it will be a sight to behold.
I don’t know what your dream is and I don’t know how long you have been chasing it. But just like the elephant said to the dog, I want to encourage you to say to yourself "My time is coming, and when my dream hits the surface of the earth, people shall yield to it in admiration."
Keep your dreams alive and enjoy the rest of the month, as we look forward to the 2nd half of the year.
PS: Article originally published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 26th June, 2016, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".