Living Your Dreams

If you didn’t make it through my first post in this series, I don’t blame you. What was supposed to be a 300-word post turned into 2000. Long story short, I have an assignment to publish a blog a week for the next 14 weeks based on the readings in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at BYU-Idaho. Those assignments are being published on my blog.

This week, the most impactful topic of the hours of reading and videos came in a 30-second clip from a lecture from Randy Pausch at Carnegie Melon. 9 months before his death from pancreatic cancer, Pausch gave a lecture on achieving his childhood dreams.

“So what were my childhood dreams? You may not agree with this list, but I was there. Being in zero gravity, playing in the National Football League, authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia – I guess you can tell the nerds early. Being Captain Kirk, anybody here have that childhood dream? Not at CMU, nooooo. I wanted to become one of the guys who won the big stuffed animals in the amusement park, and I wanted to be an Imagineer with Disney. ”

The 30 seconds that were the most impactful to me of this lecture were his discussion about winning the stuffed animals. The most mundane of all his listed childhood dreams captivated me. I too have childhood dreams that seem mundane, but are incredibly important to me.

A few years ago I had received some birthday money that I was wondering how to spend. With my oldest daughter beginning to express interest in creative processes, I went out and spent close to $300 on several large collections of Lego and K’Nex. While $300 doesn’t normally go very far when buying Lego, I found ways to make my dollar stretch, and ended up with 2 large totes full of the toys, without talking to my wife about them. When they all started showing up in the mail, finding a place to store these started to pose a problem.

The following conversations between me and my wife turned up the fairly obvious realization that I wasn’t actually buying these toys for my 6-year old daughter, I was buying them for me. I was unaware of my own childhood dream of owning more Legos than I knew what to do with. Meeting that dream was surprisingly important to me, and I didn’t even recognize it.

Several additional ‘mundane’ childhood dreams have come up in the years since. Things like having an ice maker in the refrigerator door, buying a coffee table, and owning a dog have all been major milestones in our lives. Allowing ourselves to recognize and experience these simple dreams have had a dramatic improvement in the life of my family. Hearing Randy talk about the stuffed animals as one of his dreams was very cathartic this week as I have wrestled with the assignments of setting life long goals and creating a bucket list this week.

What are the little dreams that you have realized, or still hold on to? What could you do bring those dreams into reality?