By Mary Jaksch
What is your wildest dream? Maybe you want to do something or become something that seems impossible right now? I’ve been spending time reviewing goals and setting new ones in the last few weeks. I could sense that something was missing, but I couldn’t figure out what I had left out.
And then it struck me: I left out my wild, seemingly impossible dream! Why? Because I daren’t tell even myself about it… Ok, yes – I will tell you what my ‘seemingly impossible’ dream is, but I first have to gather some courage…gulp.
What is your wildest dream?
The one that seems too big. The one that you don’t even confide to your best friend. I think we all have a secret dream. But that dream seems so far away that we can’t imagine how it could ever happen. And we fear that if we talk about the dream, we will be ridiculed and someone will rip our precious dream apart. Because of this fear, we never activate the dream Activate? Well, a dream stays just that: a dream. But when we turn a dream into a goal, we activate it. It then becomes like a heat-seeking missile – it’s impossible to miss.
Activating a dream means making it public.
When we start to own the dream and share it with others, we start the journey of realizing it. There are two steps to realizing the wildest dream:
Step #1 Speak about your wildest dream to others
Step #2 Take one small step towards your dream
Here’s what triggered my wild dream: A couple of years ago I visited Morocco. One day we visited the Cascade D’Ouzoud, a spectacular series of falls. After we had explored the falls, my brother George said:
“Why don’t we go for a little stroll and explore the ancient olive groves above the falls?”
For a moment I was fooled. I forgot that a ‘little stroll’ in my brother’s language means something like the ‘pleasant ten-day bike ride’ that took him from Germany to Portugal – over the Alps and Pyrenees! Three hours later we saw a steep hill in front of us. The sun was beating down on us and we had no water. George was still enthusiastic:
“Oh, look at that nice hill! Let’s go up and take a look at the view around us!”
There was a collective groan from the three others of our group. When we finally arrived at the top of the hill, we found a family living in a little walled compound. They offered us their hospitality and we sat on the earthen floor in their main room, gratefully sipping sweet mint tea. The parents introduced their five children to us. The oldest two were a fourteen year old girl called Aneesa and her younger brother, Thamar. They both looked alert and interested.
I asked the boy, “How do you get water up here?” ” I bring it up with the donkey each day.” “What about school?” “Oh yes, Aneesa and I go to school.”
I turned to Aneesa:
“What do you want to do when you finish school?” “I want to become a police woman!” “And you, Thamar?” “I want to be a teacher!”
The mother shook her head.
“It’s not going to happen,” she said sadly. “Because there’s no high school they can go to here.” “But, what about Aneesa,” I said, “can’t she go to a high school that’s further away?” “Yes, she could. We could send her to relatives in Marrakesh. But we would have to give them some money and we only have just enough to live on.”
This conversation stayed with me. It seems such a waste that intelligent young people like Aneesa and Thamare are denied education! Especially as Morocco, like many other African countries, is heading towards a grim future because of global warming. What they need now and in the future is enlightened leaders. That experience triggered my wildest dream.
I want to become a philanthropist!
Ulitmately, I want to start a charity that helps gifted children from poor families to get an education. The way I envisage it, this charity would follow individual children through their education, rather like Kiva gives micro-loans to named individuals.
Phew…I’ve said it publicly!
I’ve now taken step #1 of realizing my wildest dream.
Now for step #2: taking one, small step towards one’s wildest dream.
In my mind I always put up conditions, liker5f
“Maybe one day, if I make some money on the Net, I’ll become a philanthropist.” Because I set seemingly impossible conditions, I didn’t need to take responsibility for actually making the dream happen.
What conditions do you set for your wildest dream?
Setting seemingly impossible conditions is an interesting move, don’t you think? It means that even if we never attain our dream, we can’t blame ourselves. We can always say, “Oh well, the conditions weren’t right.”
To achieve anything worthwhile, we need to take responsibility for our actions.
So, let me tell you how I took responsibility for my dream. I thought, “What’s the smallest step I could take towards my wildest dream?” And I came up with something very simple. I joined Kiva a non-profit website that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world.
And then I lent $25 to Ndaga Beye Mbaye, a woman who sells jewellery and ready-to-wear clothing for children in Senegal, so that she can buy more stock and continue to feed her family. (You can read my post about this here)
Afterwards, I felt uplifted and full of hope.
What is your wildest dream?
Maybe you would like to say it out loud in the comments. If that’s too difficult, you could perhaps say something about how you feel about having a wildest dream. I’d appreciate your comment so that I don’t feel quite so out on a limb!
Photo by abmiller99