A Tribe. A Family. A Dream?

I am blessed. By a group of people who are supporters, confidants, mentors, prayer warriors, cheerleaders, encouragers, think tanks, truth tellers, ideas people, accountability partners, driven, goal-setters, dream-pursuers, and….like family. Also known as a tribe.

Why do people think pursuing a dream has to be an “alone” journey? It doesn’t matter how unique your dream is or how much of an introvert you are, it’s possible to find people to make key connections with. And it’s good for you.

Becoming a tribe member introduced me to others with similar passions. Being part of that tribe has helped me grow as a person and leader, tremendously. It has helped me see the world in broader and deeper terms. It has exposed me to sheer joy. It is one of the things in life that has helped me develop in the direction I was created to go. And I will always treasure those relationships. Even though they may always remain cyber.

So. Whether or not it’s on the internet–through blogs or other forms of social media, or talking face to face–go find people to connect with. A group that’s just as passionate about specific things as you are. You just may find exactly where you were meant to be. And someday find yourself in the middle of your dream.

Who are your people?

Who are your people?

Do you have a group of people like that? On the internet, family, work, school, church?

Goal Setting, Self-Discipline & Dreams

I mentioned in an earlier post that I rediscovered my joy of writing fiction. I am more than ready to jump right in!

There are two things I have heard over and over, when it comes to seriously attempting something:  Make your goals very specific, and write them down. So here I go…

I am attempting to finish and publish a novel. And there are four things I have implemented, or plan to:

  • I contacted my former writing accountability partner. We plan to hold each other accountable for our use of time, and any specific goals. I am so excited! Getting feedback from another writer can be a ton of fun.
  • I purchased Michael Hyatt‘s Get Published. This is information I have always wanted to get my hands on! I have mentioned before that we are doing Dave Ramsey‘s baby steps, so this material was purchased with money made from selling our mower.
  • Once I am done training for my marathon, I will use that time to write. Marathon training has definitely upped my self-discipline ability!
  • I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month promotes quantity–50,000 words to be exact–over quality. But it will enable me to get the gist of my story out. I can go back to tweak and research later.

This is going to take a lot of self-discipline! But I figure, when’s a better time to start? Just this evening I told someone there are too many people who never pursue what they’re really passionate about…not enough time, not enough money, too many other things to do, or they spend too much time in front of the TV. If I have the chance to accomplish my dream, I’m going to go for it!

Of course, I haven’t given myself a specific deadline to have the first draft done… Maybe it should be January 1, 2013, considering I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. What do you think?

How have you used self-discipline to pursue your dreams, or to reach a goal?

What is your Passion?

The last several months I have filled my “spare” time with things I love:  running, learning about leadership, working on nonfiction, spending time with family, friends, and my fur-babies. But something was missing.

I knew it was missing. But just like anything else…the longer I went without, the more I thought I was okay without it. I’m a relatively healthy person:  I exercise regularly, I eat healthier than the average American, I have a wonderful marriage, I’ve managed to get enough sleep. Still, I have repeatedly found myself feeling despondent.

This week my husband told me he knew why I struggled. He said it was because I no longer pursued my passion:  writing fiction. He went on about my imagination, stuff I’ve already written, how I put stories together. He inspired me, just enough, to start working on fiction again. And guess what! I LOVE it! I’ve worked on fiction a few nights this week and I can’t wait to do more!

Lesson learned:  No matter how many things you’re involved in, that you love, you must continue pursuing your passion to be truly happy.

I believe God designed us to have specific passions. And it is through those passions that he can accomplish his greatest work through us!

Writing by Sunset

A few stepping stones in the direction of our dreams

Are things finally stabilizing?

These past seven and a half months have been a whirlwind of uncertainty for us. We had ideas of the dreams we wanted to pursue. We thought we were working toward those dreams…by my husband quitting his job to pursue art and composing, by my working at a business where I had opportunity to learn so much, by living in a low-cost community, by my beginning this blog…

But our dreams seemed on the verge of evaporating when I quit my job at the end of 2011. We felt like we were floating in empty space. Nothing to grab hold of. Fortunately we had family willing to help us back on our feet again, by providing places to live and emotional support.

Things are so different now… Both my husband and I have great jobs! My husband has a job he never in his life thought he would have, but he is loving it. The job has regular hours, enabling my husband to have evenings and weekends free to pursue his passions. Our jobs put us in a better position to attack debt. Living in an apartment frees up our time from most maintenance projects.

The awesome thing:  the situation we were in before, we tried forcing our dreams into reality. Now, even though we struggled with the thought of losing our dreams, we are in a better position than ever! It is amazing how God makes things fall into place so perfectly.

Now, let’s go attack those dreams!

Pursuing Dreams Together

Have you ever thought you were losing your dream, only to find things turned for the better?

Meaningless

I’ve mentioned in multiple posts how much I love to continually learn!

But the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. The more I realize I don’t know, the more things I want to learn. The more things I want to learn, the more I realize it will be impossible for me to learn everything I want to before I die.

Eternal

Morbid? Disappointing? Silly?

It reminds me of Solomon, the wisest person to ever live or ever will live. He is know for describing different things as “a chasing after the wind”. See Ecclesiastes 2 for an example.

The reason it reminds me of Soloman is, when I start realizing I’ll barely scratch the surface on some of the things I’m passionate about, I wonder what the point is in continuing down that road? Why do I want to go down that road in the first place? Because it makes me happy? If our lives are but a mist, it almost seems a waste of time. So…what isn’t a waste of time?

What is the whole purpose of life?

What’s the point in what we do if it doesn’t affect things on an eternal level?

So, what is affected on an eternal level? The greatest calling:  to bring others to Christ, so they too might have eternal life through a relationship with God.

That doesn’t mean we have to go to the opposite side of the world and preach the gospel to people of a different language. (There are wonderful people who do that, and you may do that…) But there are an infinite number of ways to reach others on an eternal level.

Maybe that’s why people have so many different passions…so we can try out all those different infinite ways of reaching others.

How do you use your passion(s) to reach others?

Our Marriage….Rocky?

When I came home for lunch the other day, my husband shared a rumor that is going around about us. Apparently the reason my husband quit his job was because we are getting a divorce. News flash for the both of us! (To read the real “why” visit my first post The Beginning of Our Impossible Dreams) At first I was upset…this person clearly does not know us and has too much time on their hands—they need a hobby. Now, I just laugh. Because it could not be further from the truth!

I have written about people’s reactions to our seemingly “extreme” way of following our dreams, see Initial Reactions….from friends, family, acquaintances…and strangers and touched on people not understanding, in general, why someone would pursue out-of-the-ordinary dreams, see Dedication, Discipline, & A Little Loopy. But I have not yet explained how our decisions have affected our marriage.

My husband was a band instructor and general music teacher, for eight years. He enjoyed teaching, interacting with students, and loved sharing his passion for the arts with others. But a teacher has to stay on top of many other, different things too.

In college, my husband chose music education as his degree because teaching was a “real” job—a person can’t earn money as a freelancing artist. At least that was the impression he had.

Being able to take advantage of the freedom to pursue his original passions, my husband is a happier man. He feels less pressure not having to maintain a high-stress job to provide for his family. He has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue his dreams.

At the same time I am pursuing my dreams.

On the Solid Rock: Jesus Christ

I am at a job where I need to be both logical and creative, where I need to meet deadlines and challenges head-on, and where I am not staring at the wall for half the day. I have found wonderful people to share my writing goals with, who hold me accountable. I am exploring the world of creating amazing things out of the seemingly nonexistent.

We are more where we want to be in life, right now, than we have ever been before. We are both happier now than we have ever been before. And our marriage is better than ever. The reason those things are true, is because we are following the plan that God has for our lives.

If our marriage can be considered “rocky” it would be because it’s built on the Solid Rock—Jesus Christ.