I love my generation but at the very same time I’m perplexed. I myself am a part of the millennial tribe. Most millennial characteristics define me. Like many millennials I do have a strange affinity towards dreaming and achieving. I’m highly motivated. I believe deeply in myself and think that I can do anything I put my mind to.
The area however, where I find the conversation becomes concerning is when we say, “put your mind to it” and then leave each other with just that. We're told to “believe” and to “run after”. We aren’t challenged to find the vocabulary to define “what” we're believing in or running after. We get handed these abstract items as tools to become an abstract dream and we're running in circles. Networking, talking, photographing and dressing like “it” but not becoming it. Depression is at an all time high. I wonder how much of it has to do with being more in “our minds” then “on the ground”. Movement, sweat, hard work. These things aren’t just to tire us daily, they provide us with the satisfaction of utilizing our muscles, hands, and feet. I believe there is a specific joy that comes from making our dreams come true thru physical action. It's wonderful to have a winning mindset, but how important is it to desire and articulate a literal outcome?
As a mentor and coach I am given the task of delivering bad news to dreamers often. While I hear the sentiment of not having enough resources or connections, any mentee of mine knows that I don’t believe God would give a dream that one doesn't have the capacity to achieve.
Here are five questions I ask myself and mentee’s when dreaming:
1. “What exactly do I want?”
My first challenge when goal chasing is being goal specific. I need to be able to explain precisely what my dream looks like, from head to toe. I need to know the colors. I need to have such detail about my dream that its very description feels “literal”.
2. “How can my small visions add up to 3D vision?”
I have to decompartmentalize my dreams. In the beginning of a dream I might not know the full outcome. I may only have clues and hints. Maybe it's, "I love children. I really like math. But I don't see myself as a math teacher." or, "I love hairstyles and I love hair salons, but I don't want to do hair." Small insight and visual clues will add up eventually. What small parts of my dream do I see right now? We don't always see fully where we are going, but taking action on the small parts that we do see, will begin to brighten the light on what we can't see just yet.
3. “What do I already have in front of me?”
I challenge myself to recognize seeds. This week on my IGTV, I’m talking about the biblical concepts of seeds, planting and harvest. Seeds are the things around us in our physical space that we can literally pick up and use to create the many compartments of our dreams. If we can start seeing the little actualizations of our dreams all around us, then we can begin to piece things together with a spirit of expectation and a posture of work ignited by faith. Yes, FAITH is what gives us the "stick-to-it-ivness" to put it in the hard work. If you really believe, you'll be diligent in the hard work phase.
4. “Make a list of my tools. Keep going!”
I am a list junkie. When dreaming I take the time out to name the tools around me. I don't just recognize them but I create the accountability to use them by writing them down and checking them off as they become utilized. It my be my kitchen sink. It may be my iphone. It may be my pen and pad. My instagram may be a seed. In this list of tools, I like trying to reach thirty items. It's a challenge but I try not to think about what others have. This is MY list given to me by the Father who created ME and the tools that will make my dreams come alive.
5. “I use my tools!”
My list helps me to commit to using what I've got. This 5th challenge is about being a good steward of what's in front of me. It's important that I plant my tools in the best soil. I nurture them and they will grow. It will take consistent tending to my garden. With patience and trust in my promise, they will grow. I may be a little embarrassed when I take out an old seed from kindergarten. There might be an old guitar in my garage or a sewing machine I forgot about. I pull it out, wipe it clean and proudly plant it in my garden.
It is important that we don’t take small beginnings lightly. We’ve gotta treat our seeds like seedlings, and our seedlings like trees. See your tools at their next level. As you use your tools, you'll begin to see more and more of your dream. Your vision will grow. Your purpose will become clearer. Our Word says, "The purposes of a persons heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. (Proverbs 20:5)". The believing that we talk so much about as millenials isn’t a bad thing. It is so very important to believe in ourselves. That belief though, entails so much work. It requires getting our hands dirty to dig and plant and patience for the insight to see the next steps. Both faith and hard work have to happen at the same time. It isn't easy, but we can do it.
Finding Our "Enough"
In closing, the well meaning catchphrase, “you are enough”, is kind in intention. The truth is, when us millinials are constantly told we don’t need anything more than what we are to be great, we sometimes aren’t pushed to FIND our enough. Finding your enough requires opening up old boxes and seeing what was never un-wrapped. It requires taking out that old camera and consistently uploading on YouTube. It requires re-reading some school books and remembering your expertise.
We'll see our full purpose. Don't worry. Get quiet and attentive. He speaks. Look around and see what's already there. He provides. Have faith and work hard. He is faithful. You'll reap your reward.
Let's take sometime this week to look at our surroundings. What is around us physically that can be used to BEGIN the process? Let's treat those items like gold. Let's be consistent in our gardening efforts. I'm believing that God will meet us on the other end of our God given dreams.
This week I will recognize the tools He’s already given me to begin a great manifestation process. Be so encouraged as you look around and allow your fire to be re-ignited, your dream to be literal and written, your tools to be labeled and your patience and persistence to be recharged! Be so inspired!
All My Love,