In the spirit of celebrating life in color, and my promise to (hopefully) encourage and motivate you to embrace the ROYGBIVs around you, this is the first post of a series I will be calling Motivational Monday. Every Monday, I’ll post a different quote (if you haven’t noticed by now, I LOVE quotes), and then I’ll discuss it. I’ll use it to bring our lives back into perspective, and to start the week off on a positive note, because as we all know, sometimes that’s just what Mondays need. From now on, say adios to the Moping Mondays, the Melancholy Mondays, and the Make-me-coffee-all-day Mondays (although some coffee is always welcome). Instead, let’s welcome Motivational Mondays—let’s launch each week with a tidbit of empowering inspiration.
This being the first Motivational Monday, I figured I would start with my very own favorite personal quote. In truth, this has become my motto, and these words are words that I intend to live by my entire life. Of course, who else can I thank them for than the ever-inspiring and intelligent Eleanor Roosevelt?
This effervescent and insightful lady said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Let that sink in a little. Read it again. Write it down. Use osmosis to transfer it into your brain. Okay, good. Now that you’ve sufficiently absorbed the wisdom of the former First Lady, let’s start thinking: about Dreams, Dreamers, and Where They Go.
From a very young age, we’re constantly asked what our “dream” is. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is thrown at us by teachers, parents, and adults alike. And more than likely, being children, the answers are vague, creative, and unrealistic to the interviewer. When I was young, I wrote that I wanted to be a veterinarian in my elementary school yearbook. My best friend wanted to be a doctor. The boys in my class all seemed to want to be professional sports players, and then there was the occasional Disney Princess or comic book character. Now, do I still want to be a vet? No. Disney Princesses aren’t real. The chances of being a Pro in the NFL are slim to none.
But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the 4th grader says they want to be. It doesn’t matter that only one person in the entire country at any given time is the President of the United States. It doesn’t matter that, freshman year in high school, you want to be a lawyer, but sophomore year it’s doctor, junior it’s a dentist, and senior it’s an actress. Because the most important part of dreams, Eleanor Roosevelt tells us, is not what they are, but rather what they stand for.
The key word in this quote is “believe.” You can “dream” to be Mr. Potato Head or Little Miss Muppet, but those are just the surface-level, dictionary definitions of your dream. Those are the “results or achievements towards which ends are directed (dictionary.com).” But belief? Belief is a conscious choice. Belief is the origin of action. It is in belief where a dreamer makes a dream.
This is why it’s okay to want to be Elsa from Frozen when you grow up. Because in affirming that dream, you are giving yourself a goal—an image of where you want to go. You have become a Dreamer, and you now start to take action. You start to bring a mere thought from conception to fruition. In essence, you motivate yourself, and set yourself up for success.
As Ms. Roosevelt so wonderfully states, dreams are beautiful. And I agree wholeheartedly. When Dreamers dream, they are trusting themselves and empowering themselves to make choices that will help them reach their tangible goal. They might not, ultimately, ever get to that exact initial goal. Their aspirations will shift with time, an ever-changing flow. But as long as their belief stays strong, so will the beauty of what they’re dreaming for.
In this, we create our futures. Our futures become made up of one dream, in whatever form it takes. The dream is always changing. The belief, once kindled, is the motivator for decision making and action, the substance of journeying towards the dream. The future simply follows in the Dreamer’s footsteps. It is putty in the hands of its creator, harnessed by one’s confidence. It is the natural occurrence when a person sees the beauty all around them.
Eleanor Roosevelt empowers us not simply to dream, but to believe in our dream. To trust ourselves and to recognize beauty where it exists. She tells us that our futures will follow. And I believe her.
I use these words to remind myself that life is ever-changing and unpredictable. We are inevitably going to encounter roadblocks and face challenges, but they are not the means to an end. Often, with each new challenge, my dreams will shift to whatever they must be to overcome that hump. But I remind myself to maintain self-belief, and the rest will fall into place.
Especially as I face major transitions soon—turning 18, going to college, going to graduate school, finding a job—I will keep in mind the musings of Eleanor Roosevelt. The future is scary because it is unknown, but I will choose to focus rather not on the ultimate result but on the path to get there; I will focus on believing that my dreams, and all they are associated with, are beautiful. Then, no matter what the result, I know I will have lived life as it should be lived: in the moment. My future will be mine.
And your future will be yours.
Motivate yourself: find a Dream (it doesn’t matter what it is), become a Dreamer, believe in your own potential, and own your future. It WILL be colorful.
With that, I conclude our first Motivational Monday. Seize your week! Eleanor and I are rooting for you 🙂 . Over and out.