Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

The Dreams of our Youth

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You used to dream big.

It came naturally. You didn’t have to plan. You didn’t have to get excited about it. It just happened.

When you were a kid, you imagined a world without limits. Nothing could stand in your way.

If someone asked you what you were going to be some day, you actually said whatever it was that you wanted to be.

You didn’t give a practical answer. You didn’t check the classifieds to see what was available. You didn’t explain how your qualifications limit you.

You were going to be remarkable.

An astronaut. A superhero. A doctor. A fireman. A nurse. Mother Theresa. Santa Claus. The blind man on stage with U2.

You didn’t just state your dream, you declared it. Your eyes lit up with life every time some asked you and had the chance to answer.

You were filled with hope and expectation.

Nothing could stop you. And you dreamed big.

And you didn’t just want to be those things, but actually believed that you could. And you believed that one day you would.

photo by Kristian Karkovski (Creative Commons)

Then something awful happened.

This awfulness wasn’t immediately obvious.  In fact you hardly noticed when it happened.

It was subtle, and it took time. But bit by bit, it overcame you, and now it defines who you are.

All without you really noticing.

You gave up on your dreams.

You became content. You stopped hoping for more.

Even worse, you stopped believing in something better.

You gave in to the world around you. You settled for what you are today.

The problem is not that it is bad to be what you are right now. It works. It keeps everything in order. It pays the bills.

It keeps you safe.

At some point in our lives we made an agreement. One of safety. One of ease.

It felt good.

Once you tasted this giving in, this compromising, you decided to let it be your story.

Why struggle? Why fight? Why be disappointed by unmet dreams?

There are no more obstacles in front of you because you dropped out. No more difficulty. No more struggle. No more pain.

Instead of pursuing your dreams, you decided to settle for something else.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We can start dreaming again.

I do not want to be content with the way things are right now.

I want to live a life that matters.

I want the hungry to be fed. I want the naked to be clothed. I want the thirsty to have water.

I want to stop living my life through movies because reality is way too boring.

We can do this. We just have to face our fears. We have to be intentional.

We have to choose to live a better story. We must imagine so much more than what is.

If we don’t, then how will anything ever change?

I can’t promise that your dream will come true. But I can promise one thing.

For the first time in a while, you will feel fully alive.

The world needs you to do this. We need people who forsake comfort so that they can change the world through big dreams.

What do you dream about doing with your life? Have you settled? Share in the comments.


About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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15 Replies

  1. Jeremy, I woke up after almost thirty years of work (great work), but now I dream of making my profession wake up to being better at serving our public.  Oh yeah, keep it up, your fast becoming my favorite read.. Thanks. 

  2. Glad to hear it, Robert. Waking up and your reading the blog.

  3. Settling was a slow process for me, and not really even intentional. It wasn’t so much that I gave up on my dreams. I just gave up on dreaming. I didn’t even know what my dreams were. I wasn’t inventing new ones. But now I believe God has given me some dreams to follow, and by his grace I press on!

  4. It does seem to happen without us noticing much. we like to call it maturity. Real maturity means pursuing those God given dreams, and those are the best ones.

  5. “…you will feel fully alive”. How true – it may not feel good…at all. But you are then living a good story with purpose. Well timed post. It’s always a struggle for me between dreaming big versus seeking comfort and security. The expectations of family and peers can make dreaming big harder too.  BTW, wonderful blog (found you via Michael Hyatt). Thank you.

  6. We are always pursuing comfort and don’t do well with just a little bit of pain. Whether it continues to be pain or turns into joy largely depends on how you choose to view it.

  7. Patrick

    This to me is not as much of accepting less as an easy way out but instead allowing others to set your limits, to define your right from wrong, and most importantly strip away your inicents of life itself.  After all why should worry about thinking outside the box when our everyday existence is based on the outside of a sphere.

  8. I agree. I struggle with being concerned about how others perceive and my dreams are limited. It’s time to move on.

  9. I dream about creating things that change the way people look at life and each other.

  10. A worthwhile dream. Keep going.

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