When Dreams Are Not Big Enough


When dreams are not big enough, they don’t happen. You can stretch to a goal, but you will never shrink to one and be happy.

If you had asked me in my 20’s if I wanted to be a songwriter, I would have said, “Yeah, sure. I write a little.” That voice was my subconscious saying songwriting wasn’t a real thing. A lack of belief in myself and my dreams kept me from saying, “I am a songwriter.”

If you had asked me in my 30’s, I would have said, “When I have time, I write.” It takes determination to accomplish the impossible and compete with the world’s best writers. No commitment and no power in the statement, means it didn’t happen then.

If you had asked me in my 40’s, I would have said, “I used to really want that. I let so much time go by and I don’t think I am good enough to be commercial.” Well, that was just a lie. The truth is, I can be writing when I am 107 if I choose to do that. It’s an easy lie to believe, but it is still a lie.

So, here I am in my 50’s (we won’t go into how far into that decade we are) and the calendar stares me down daily, asking if I think I am going to live forever or if now is perhaps the time to actually do something. Calendars can be very sarcastic when they are right. Precious moments of life are torn off a corner at a time from my paper planner as I move onto the next day. It’s clear what those pages held for that day will never come back to me again. There is no time like right now to decide and take action.

The goal for today and all the days to come is to throw all the meaningless clutter into the trash. They will lie next to those dear little page corners that represented one day of my life that is now over and done. Today matters, as it always had, but now I know that only so much fits on the page and the hour and the minute. I also know (what I didn’t know then) is that it is enough time – no more or less than anyone else’s day.

The problem for me has always been about belief. My journals are filled with pale, sickly little dreams that are begging with their ink’s blood to be recognized and respected. They are no longer terminal because I changed directions and found a way to believe in them. Though they are still on life support, they keep me well and moving forward into whatever lies ahead without fear and worry. Their blood is my blood and without each other we will all perish.

When you believe in something, it has to be bigger than what you think you can do. I know that to my soul now. Initially, it took courage to say “I am a songwriter.” I am happy I finally did that, but it wasn’t enough. There was a hollow sound from my soul that said, “So what?” Being a songwriter means writing for you, your friends and family. They usually love what you do because they care about you. As wonderful and sweet as that is, it does not show you where you are as a songwriter. I didn’t know why that mattered, until I went to Nashville.

When the words fell on my journal page on the flight home flatly stating, “I am a Nashville songwriter.” Tears welled up from my soul to let me know I had finally found a powerful reason to believe in something that seems so far out of reach. It’s there on the page now in my soul’s inky blood and there is no turning away. It will be within me to my last breath. I can give up and quit – which I will be tempted to do at times, but it will still be there.

There is one more thing to say – this is not about fame or even fortune. A soul doesn’t care about material things. It’s expression, pure and simple. Everyone has the need to express themselves with words, paintings, photography, songs and so on. It’s a basic human need. Expression is enthusiasm and the base meaning of that word is ‘God within’, which is why it feels so good and so right. Your soul will never let you down. It can’t because it is the same thing as picking up the phone and calling God.

In summary, test your dreams against this checklist and make sure they are big enough:

• Belief
• Commitment
• Truth
• Decide & Take Action (right now)
• Today Matters
• Bigger than you think you can do (should scare you more than a little)
• Meaningful enough to be remain with you
• Enthusiasm

So, I believe I am a Nashville songwriter and I have begun the steps to make it happen. What do you want so badly that you can put to the test?

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