Are you steering toward yesterday’s dreams?

some people make it happenYou’ve been steering your ship toward your dream for ages. It’s hard work, but you’re determined to make it happen. The dream is too important to abandon; you’ve dedicated years of your life to making it come true.

I applaud you for your dedication! It is hard work to make a dream come true. It takes single-minded determination and perseverance. It takes effort and hard work and plenty of guts.

Now I’m going to ask you to take a big step back and take a good look at your dream. Is it still what you want to do? Is the dream still important enough to you to dedicate your life to?

Are you still steering your ship toward your land of fulfillment? Or have your priorities changed?

a new chapter of my life begins..nowIt’s easy to get sucked in and lose sight of TODAY. Your dream was so important once upon a time that you can’t imagine it isn’t that important now. Years ago, when you started steering your ship in that direction, it was exactly what you wanted. Your dream was tailor made and perfect.

But you’ve changed. Perhaps your situation has changed. Your needs and wants have shifted. Is that dream still worth working for?

I can think of a few friends who are in exactly this situation. At one point in time, they made their dream happen. It was wonderful and exciting and everything they ever wanted. Now, the dream has become stale, but they haven’t quite accepted that yet. At least that’s my perception.

Life always offers you a second chance. It's called tomorrowI look back upon my life and see how my wants have changed throughout the years. When I was in my twenties, all I wanted was to travel. The travel bug consumed me to the point where I could taste it. As I taught in my classroom, all I thought about was the adventures to be had gallivanting around the world.

My thirties were all about professional development. I was passionate about teaching and learning. I wanted to understand what was happening inside my students’ brains and to figure out how to be the best teacher I could be.

By the time my forties came around I was ready to head back out into the world again, but this time I wanted a physical challenge. I wasn’t interested in traveling by train, plane, and bus. I wanted to see the world slowly from the vantage point of a bicycle seat.

Now, in my fifties, that passion has calmed and I’m ready to move on to other things. Now I’m excited about my artwork and writing, but the idea of travel doesn’t appeal much at all.

It was hard to accept that I didn’t want to travel anymore. I had worked so hard to make our bike journeys happen and never thought the day would come when I didn’t want to head back out on the bike. I felt like a traitor to myself; like I was betraying my very essence and turning my back on who I was.

I know now that had I continued steering that ship toward bike touring I would have been moving off course. My dreams and desires have changed, and I needed to have the courage and guts to take hold of my ship and steer it toward what makes me fulfilled now. The hardest part of that whole process was admitting to myself that I no longer wanted to travel.

I ask you now: are you steering your ship toward today’s goal? Or yesterday’s? They may very well be one and the same, but ask yourself honestly and don’t be afraid of the answer.

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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7 Responses to Are you steering toward yesterday’s dreams?

  1. Colleen Lanin April 30, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Love this question. Sometimes we become so focussed on our goals, that we don’t take time to reevaluate and adjust. (Stumbled & tweeted too!)

    • Nancy April 30, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      @Colleen Lanin, For sure. We get so single-mindedly determined to make this happen, that sometimes we lose track of what we really want. It’s good to have goals and it’s great to chase after them, but we also need to be willing to admit when the dream has changed.

  2. Nancy April 30, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    @Jenny Jones, I think we totally need to be committed to our dreams, but we need to have the wisdom to know when the dream has changed – that’s the hard part!

  3. Heather Caliri April 30, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    I think this is part of the process of being focused on _who I am_, rather than _what I’m doing_. I’m so much more than any one of my passions. When the passions change, it doesn’t make me disappear.

    • Nancy April 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      @Heather Caliri, That’s very, very true. It’s hard to sort that out because so much of our identity is wrapped up in what we’re doing.

  4. Jeremy Branham May 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    As we grow older, I think we are always changing and evolving. We never stay the same. Our values and morals may stay the same but what we want, the direction we are going, and our needs may change. As long as we look ahead and not behind, the key is to move forward. However, only we can know which direction to move.

    • Nancy May 6, 2012 at 1:13 am #

      @Jeremy Branham, That’s so very true. We have to listen to our inner voice and allow it to guide us – nobody else can possibly take us where we need to go.

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