“Yeah, they punched me in the face and kicked me. I’ve been put in the hospital a few times,” he said, peering into the space in front of him. “It doesn’t matter. They know what I stand for
and I ‘m gonna keep talking about it.”
No emotion, just a strong, determined look and eyes that flickered with a flame from somewhere deep inside; you know, that place where true conviction, searing passion and our biggest dreams reside. To say the least, I was impressed, moved and fascinated. A quick shudder went up my spine causing me to tremor. The seventeen-year-old caught my involuntary spasm, stopped speaking, shifted upward and smiled almost apologetically.
This week there are celebrations around the world to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy of peaceful change and his dream of a world in which fear, hate and discrimination are completely displaced and replaced, by love, peace and justice. Dr. King had a dream that he was willing to be beaten, jailed and ultimately, to die for.
MLK celebrations are also taking place here in Berlin, Germany, where I live. I was thrilled and honored to be invited to participate in one of those events entitled, “We Have a Dream – Values in the Transatlantic Dialogue”, where I had the opportunity to facilitate discussions, among other things, on the causes and responses to racism and discrimination with a group of 15 to 19 year olds from different regions of the country.
One of the students I had the privilege to work with was the seventeen-year-old young German, whom we will call Daniel1, who lives in one of the regions known for its right-wing affinity and who has been the target of multiple violent beatings.
Daniel has been attacked repeatedly simply because of his conviction to the dream that he shares with Dr. Martin Luther King. Daniel is committed to creating a world of peace, freedom and justice for all people regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation, and he refuses to let anyone or anything get in his way. He is utterly committed to his dream, his big goal based on his core values and Daniel’s words, his actions; really everything about him is aligned to making it happen. This kid is on fire!
Being in Daniel’s presence reminded me of that moment when a client tells me about that ultimate dream or the people and things that are most important in their life, for a moment they too are on fire. “Yes! Yes, more than anything, that is what I want. I would die for (insert: my dream, my family, my …. )!”
When we begin to look at how their goals and actions support and align with the dream, the fire dims to glowing embers, doused by fear. The bigger, the bolder our dreams are, the more daunting it can seem to us. The more we value something, the greater is the fear of taking the wrong action, so we take no action at all. But a dream kept in a locked closet, or sealed away inside us, is nothing more than future regret in its seedling stage.
Fortunately, most of us have dreams that do not require us to give our lives, they simply require our commitment and willingness to take action – even if we have to take some hard knocks and like Daniel, the occasional a**-whippin’ to make it happen.
Do you have a dream worth living for?
If you are ready to stop hiding behind “too much to do”, “too much stress” and “not enough…” and make that happen, call me now
at +49 176 556 19 112 or e-mail me at the address below for a free consultation.
And honestly, if you believe something is worth dying for, it surely deserves your best effort at living for!
1 The name has been changed for privacy protection.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I am Denise Banks-Grasedyck, a certified professional coach, specializing in personal and professional development. I am an entrepreneur, wife mother, burn-out prevention advocate and I am also known as Your Ideal Life Expert. I work with people around the world, especially overcommitted professionals living on the edge of burnout. I help them regain control of their lives, avoid burnout or recover from it, so they can manage a successful career and an active family and still have time and energy for themselves and the things which they are passionate about.
HOW WE MAKE IT HAPPEN: I help my clients create a clear picture of what their ideal life looks like and develop a mindset, a roadmap and an action plan to get them from where they are now to where they want to be, in as little as 12 weeks. The amazing result is that my clients feel healthier and less stressed, their job performance is top, they have more time to spend with family and friends and they love living a life that is the ideal life for them.
The best feedback (and the most heart-warming compliment) I have ever received from a client?
“This is how I imagined my life, but I never really thought I would be this happy. …I could not have done this without you. You saved my life. ”