It’s very early, early even for me. I wanted to sleep long but my dreams wouldn’t permit me, as they seem to like to do. I dream so vividly, so physically too, and I find myself in the middle of some very tiring story lines. My brothers and friends have told me about my penchant for talking and moving around in my sleep. I remember one time giving an impassioned plea to a huge crowd then waking up standing on my bed then – it was another dream.
For most people, dreams fall into mainly two categories: hopes and fears. When a dream is a beautiful one, a sweet one, we call it a dream. When it’s a scary or painful one we call it a nightmare.
This last one was a nightmare. I’ll talk about it in my next post. It was so clear I’ll never forget its details but I want to plant it, as notes in my notebook, mostly sown in my heart, cultivated with prayer, study, and meditation, and harvested with action.
You see, more than a hope or a fear, a dream is a seed. And like all seeds, one can take it, plant it, nourish it, cultivate it, and harvest its fruits. Even the scary ones can teach us lessons and remind us to make changes, setup defenses, and pray.
I don’t want to weird you out with my already weird sleeping habits but I do want to lay a foundation for the next post I’ve been working on. It’s on an idea that is incredibly important to me and truly one I am passionate about.
I’m passionate about helping others, in my own limited capacity, become the best version of themselves.
And I’ve found that you can’t be your best version without passion.
I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re passionate yet most people don’t even know what the word really means. It means suffering. To be passionate about something, to be passionate about someone, means to desire that something or someone so much you are willing to suffer for it, for her, for him.
Yet I find many people today never come close to their full potential, their dreams stay on wish lists, conversations, and Pinterest boards, because despite their claims to being passionate, they’re really not willing to suffer, and suffer greatly, for that which they say they love.
When my own comfort or ease or peace takes precedence over the achieving that which I say I love, I reveal that I would rather lose that goal instead of sacrificing my comfort, my ease, nor my peace.
No one grows this way. No one succeeds this way. No one finds fulfillment this way.
We read quotes like “Do what you love” or “Pursue things you’re passionate about”, and these make sense, but we turn them into excuses for being lazy. “Oh I haven’t found that thing I’m passionate about” or “I don’t want to do that. I only do things I’m passionate for”.
That’s idiotic. You take a crap not because you’re passionate about taking a crap – BUT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO. And if you’re passionate about being alive, you have to take a crap or you’ll die.
You see, it’s not “do what you love”. It’s do that, anything and everything, to bring you closer, to cultivate, to protect what you love – even if it’s painful, even if it’s hard, even if you’re the only one, even if you’re suffering. Included here are many many many things you don’t really want to do, that you probably even hate doing, simply because you keep it in your heart and mind that as you do the necessary things to move closer to your dreams you will someday find yourself living them out.
Every dream come true has many enemies. Two of them are these: the one who says, you can’t do it and the one who says you can do it without wisdom, without discipline, without persevering through suffering.
Surround yourself with passionate people, not negative gossips and naysayers, and not mediocre cheerleaders. Surround yourself with people who will suffer for what they love, because they will love you, and so suffer for you if needed.
That is friend.
My Impossible Standards
People always tell me that my posts make sense but that not many people are wired like me. They say, “You can’t expect everyone to be like you and strive for your standards of excellence.”
And I completely agree.
But not without a qualification, and it is this:
I don’t expect people to be wired like me, but neither do I expect nor think it right that people stay wired like the normal herd of this world who want to be unique, who want to be special, yet in their thoughts and actions are just mimicking what what everyone else is doing and embracing.
Don’t live up to my standards. These are mine and will never fulfill you. But, don’t live by world’s standards either, because those won’t fulfill you, and frankly, they’re stupid, pretentious, fickle, and empty.
Because most people are motivated by the same selfish thing: What’s in it for me? Most people think this way, decide this way, and act this way, and that’s why much of this world is broken. How can their be true love in a place where its members are almost exclusively thinking of their own benefit?
There can be none.
Yet we choose to look for our hopes of significance and love in selfish places, among selfish people.
Instead, be you, who you truly are, and let me tell you what that means, because being superficial, and foolish, and a failure, and insecure, and fearful is not you.
Don’t you see that when one is superficial one becomes foolish? And when one is foolish one becomes a failure, and when one is a failure one becomes insecure, and ultimately fearful? So if you want to track down the causes of your fear a lot of it has to do with your superficiality.
Do you know what superficial means?
It means to stay on surface levels in other words not deep, shallow.
I say it a lot on my blog: don’t be shallow. Go deeper into how you live your life, what you admire, what you spend your time on, what you spend your money on, the “whys” behind your actions.
So it’s not about David’s standards, it’s about defining your values, and defining your standards, and living by them.
It is not the presence of a higher standard that threatens us. We actually like larger-than-life people. What we dislike is when that standard gets in our face like a mirror and we see the truth of how far we are. We don’t like it because it makes us confront the reality of ourselves.
And my advice is, confront it.
If you’re unhealthy or fat, go get healthy, confront it. You can have your dream body. Plant that dream, suffer for it (meaning diet and exercise), cultivate, and so achieve it.
If you’re poor or always lack money, confront it. You can have financial freedom. Plant that dream, suffer for it (meaning save, budget, stop shopping), cultivate it (learn, invest), and so achieve it.
If your career has hit a dead end, confront it. You can develop your dream job. Plant that dream, suffer for it (meaning work ridiculously hard even on things you don’t like), cultivate it, and so achieve it.
If your relationships don’t work (this one’s for me in the area of my dates), confront it. You can have beautiful relationships. Plant that dream, suffer for it (meaning lay your life down in love), cultivate it, and so achieve it.
You want to learn a new language? Want to travel? Want to be president of something? Want to stop being so needy? Want to be more generous? Want to be more spiritual? Whatever it is you dream, confront it, plant it, suffer for it, cultivate it, and so, someday, achieve it.
You can be amazing. You will be amazing. But you have to take your dreams, plant them, suffer for them, and cultivate them…
…only of course you really want them.
You don’t have to suffer for anything. It’s a free world. But don’t delude yourself that you can ever achieve the fruit of passion without passion itself.