I got the following email from my friend Deb on Wednesday:
I came across some old emails between us when we were first planning our trip out East tonight – back when it was more of a dream than a plan. Sometimes I forget that something goes from being a dream to a plan simply by deciding to do it. Our trip reminds me of that.
A couple of summers ago Deb and I took a month long camping trip to the east coast of Canada. It was a few months after I left Chatham and I really needed the time away from everything. I think about this trip everyday now because it was one of the best months of my life and, frankly, I really enjoyed taking a month off of life to see a part of the world I had never seen before.
I had been thinking about going for a long time before I actually decided to go, which is the way I am about most things I do that change my life. There was something about the spring of 2006 that made me turn this dream into a reality and Deb captured it nicely in her message – “something goes from being a dream to a plan simply by deciding to do it.”
While it may seem obvious to everyone, I’m not entirely certain that it is. There have been many things that I haven’t done because “I couldn’t”, “I didn’t have the time”, “I didn’t have the abilities”… but when I think about them in the terms Deb lays out, I think the actual reason why I didn’t do them is because I didn’t decide to do them.
Looking back on the last few years of my life, a number of things pop out at me that were once dreams but which became a reality ONLY when I decided to make them a reality. I had thought about doing sales for years before I started working at GoodLife, I thought about going camping by myself for a long time before I actually did it (strangely enough I went the weekend before I started working at GoodLife). I thought about being a cycling instructor for years before I made the decision to do it last year.
Almost everything I am now is a result of my decision to finally make a dream a reality. With all of it there was a moment when I said to myself “I am going to do it”. After I decided to do it I immediately became very bad doer, but that was better than being a really good dreamer.