Yesterday, my dad came to see me. I could tell something was on his mind because he was fidgeting. Eventually, he sat down and after sharing some thoughts with me about things he has learned from his recent studies, he reminded me of something I used to say when I was a child. He recalled that I would literally walk around saying I was ‘The man with the master plan’. I’m not even sure if I really knew what I was saying, but anyone who remembers me from around age 9 until my early teens (especially my bro and sis who heard this every day lol) will remember hearing that come out of my mouth at some point, I even used to sign Birthday and Christmas cards with my name, followed by the letters that abbreviated my favourite phrase, TMWTMP. It sounds all kinds of crazy now, but I remember genuinely believing that that’s who I was going to be. I was going to be a massive success whatever I decided to do.
Fast forward 20 years, and I’m not the multimillionaire I planned to be, I don’t have the son I planned to have at age 21 having got married at age 20 like I thought I would, I don’t have the red Ferrari F40 from the picture that hung on my wall, I haven’t bought the street I planned to buy so that my parents and siblings could all build our perfect family homes and still live close by to each other.
You get the picture. Dream after dream. Broken.
The reality is this. Sometimes our dreams don’t come true and things don’t always go the way we expect them to, but by calling me out, my dad forced me to face my perceived failures. Like a pathologist standing over the broken and bruised body of someone who’s life was taken by force, the autopsy clearly showed the cause of death was not natural, sure, I hadn’t meant to kill them, but as the life drained from them, I didn’t attempt to save them.
I had let my dreams die.
Speaking to my dad was a very sobering experience. It allowed me to see for the first time, that the reason I haven’t got some of the things I wanted or thought I would have, wasn’t because I couldn’t have them. The broken dreams I mourned for had only died because I allowed them to, and to make matters worse, some of them had been buried alive.
Before leaving, my dad said one more thing that left me feeling like his words were attached to a defibrillator delivering 300 joules of electrical energy directly to my heart. He said,
“Adam you are supposed to be the man with the master plan. What happened? Why have you settled?”
I was almost motionless, but inside I was feeling the full effects of the shock attached to those defibrillator powered words. What had happened? Who am I now if I’m not who I’m supposed to be? Have I really settled?
I’ll ask you the same questions.
Who are you supposed to be? What’s happened to your plans and dreams for the future? Have you settled? Have you really done all that you can? You owe it to yourself to find these answers.
This post may have more references to death than an Alfred Hitchcock horror movie but there is some good news. As long as you are alive, so are your dreams. Sure, you may no longer be able to pursue a career as a premier league footballer if you’re midway through your thirties, but there is still time to do some of the other things you’ve given up on. I called this post ‘Buried Alive’ because I want you to understand that it’s never too late to reactivate your dreams, no matter where you are in life and how far detached you are from the things you’ve loved and lost, your dreams may be buried but they are not all dead.
I dare you to think about the dreams you’ve written off and check for signs of life, even the faintest pulse. There will be some that you can’t bring back with any amount of CPR, like my dream of marrying my mom so I could always have her cooking, or having a son at 21 so we could go out and people would think we were brothers (and I could share his trainers), but there are others like my dream of writing a book and having a tv show that I’d almost totally given up on purely because it no longer felt realistic, or even worse, because of the words, I can’t.
I’m going to revisit my dreams to check for signs of life, and you should do the same. What have you got to lose?
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