Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Living the Dream

My son has a dream... And it involves ice cream
I think we've all had a moment in our life where one of our friends asked us how we were doing and we uttered these magical words:

"Just living the dream..."

Not sure where exactly the idea of "living the dream" originated, but I suspect it has to do with practicing the concept of the American Dream to which we are all supposed to aspire...

In the spectrum of dream concepts, there is one that stands above the rest and this past Monday we celebrated the man who delivered it:

Martin Luther King, Jr.

In August of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the keynote speaker at the March on Washington. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of more than 250,000 supporters, Dr. King spoke of the racial inequalities in the Union and his dream of a United States where all men and women are truly created equal and we are no longer "judged by the color of our skin, but the content of our character."

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a student of Gandhi's non-violent approach to protest and used it to engage the nation in addressing civil rights. Whatever it took to advance equality, he was willing to address it through non-violent means. This inspired men and women of all colors and ages to do the same and resulted in major advancements in the civil rights movement.

The great part about effective dreams is that they pull you forward in such a way that you can reconcile your current actions directly to their completion. While Dr. King's dreams were grand in nature, he could ask himself if his every action was working towards realizing them.

That was the great part about Dr. King...

Not only did he lead with his vision, he led with the integrity of a consistent character.

Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I am way more reflective about life. And this past Monday I thought a lot about what my dream was and if I could deliver it in a speech in front of a quarter million people...

And would it inspire?

Over the course of my treatment and into remission I worked hard on understanding my values, goals, and beliefs. I realized that in my pre-cancer days my actions were not fully in line with my own dreams, but more towards a composite of dreams made up from societal expectations for my age, gender, employment status, etc.

Not very inspiring...

I've since taken a hard look at what I would like to give to this life and found my own dream that has the potential to help others. Lift Living is a part of that dream and has already connected with people in ways I never could have imagined.

It is in the process of inspire-ing...

While we may live in a society that is closer than ever to all men and women being created equal, our dreams should always remain unique. While they may overlap in content, dreams are tools to pull us forward (as individuals) towards maximum fulfilment in our lives.

When you find your dream and start living it in everything you do it will be apparent to everyone you encounter. Just as it was to those 250,000 people in Washington DC who crossed paths with Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963...

Not that's Living the Dream...

Link to Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech:

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