Do you remember when it mattered? When your dreams burned within and it was painful to not accomplish them right then.
Do you remember when your entire life was potential? When you thought you could go anywhere and do anything and you wanted to go everywhere and do everything.
Do you remember when you had ideas? Ideas for businesses you wanted to start or ideas to save the world or ideas of the kind of life you were going to live.
Do you remember when creativity was at the center of your dreams? The books you were going to write, the songs you were going to play, the art you were going to make.
Do you remember when the world was fascinating? So many things to do, people to meet, and places to explore.
Do you remember when you couldn’t wait to get started on your life? When the wonder of who you were going to be and what you were going to do had you anxious and impatient to get going.
Do you remember when you were going to be bold? When the thought of living a life of resignation and quiet desperation was what scared you the most?
Do you remember when you were going to be great? When your career was going to shine and you would be revered for your incredible talent.
Do you remember when work was fun? When you couldn’t wait to get up because every day was exciting and different and you were learning at a ferocious pace.
Do you remember the day all that went away? Do you remember waking up one day and wondering where it had gone? Or had you forgotten all about it?
Do you remember when thriving became surviving? When standing out became hanging on? When hopes and dreams became reality TV? When the life you were going to live became the life that never quite happened?
Bigger question: what are you going to do about it? Your life looks different now, of course. Security, stability, and comfort pushed aside passion, desire, and excitement. You have constraints and responsibilities and obligations you never had back then.
You also have resources you never had. A sense of who you really are, not just who you thought you wanted to be. Wisdom, judgment, and patience to know what needs to be done and see it through. People you can count on as much as they count on you. The foundation and options a steady income provides. A sense of mortality pushing you to get things done today rather than waiting for “someday when.” The toughness that comes from getting through the downturns of life. The awareness you won’t be the next superstar or change the entire world and that’s ok – you just need to be the best you and make a difference where you are.
I don’t know what your dreams were or where they went, but I know it doesn’t matter. Yesterday’s dreams are for yesterday. Today’s dreams are what matters.