The day we stop having dreams is the day we stop living. Dreams can motivate us to become better people or to accomplish greater things. Having a vision for the future separates the human species from the rest of the animal kingdom. Dreaming, therefore, is an essential gift a Higher Consciousness gave us as part of our creation.

Just because we have a dream or aspiration does not mean they belong to us  

It is not possible to achieve an outcome if we don’t possess the passion and commitment it takes to achieve it. This is not a bad thing, for when we don’t love the process, we come face-to-face with the realization we never truly wanted it.

There was a time when I lived in Colorado that I wanted to climb every mountain pass summit that exceeded fourteen thousand feet in elevation. They call these the fourteeners and there are 53 of them in the Colorado Rocky Mountains that exceed the aforementioned elevation and have at least 300 feet of topographic prominence. Climbing these peaks is a badge of courage and perseverance unique to Coloradoans. I knew a dozen people who had climbed them and was aware of many clubs organized around this purpose.

Eager to notch these passes on my climbing stick, I ventured out to climb Long’s Peak. At 14,259 feet, Long’s Peak towers over all the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was physically up to the challenge and was going with two friends that had climbed several fourteeners, but inexperience and lack of preparation did not turn out to be my problem.

Soon after we started, rain that turned to snow, followed by a strong wind, confronted me and my friends. We put up with these conditions for the six- and one-half hours it took us to climb to the summit. Once there, we stayed for fifteen minutes and then descended to the base parking lot where our car was waiting. Although I had a sense of accomplishment from climbing the peak, I didn’t enjoy the experience.

This was an eye opener. Although I enjoy hiking, dedicating my time and effort to climb the 53 fourteeners was just not worth the struggle to me. I was in love with the idea of climbing these mountains but discovered I hated the process.

Without passion for the process, goals and dreams are without substance   

Everyone would love to be LeBron James, Lady Gaga or Andrea Bocelli. We see them bask in the fame and glory they have earned, and we envy them, their money and fame. We believe they were born lucky and we lament not having the same doors open for us. But we are not aware of the effort and sacrifice our idols, like these three, made to get to where they are. The mind-numbing hours spent at the gym or at the music studio to hone their craft. They got where they are because they loved their process. Luck and circumstances must have lined up for them along the way, but it was the effort to excel in their craft that put them in the position to walk through the doors that opened.

Momentum is a fickle friend that can desert us when pursuing our dreams and goals. Naturally, we lose momentum the moment we discover we hate the process. The reality of not loving the things we must do on the way to our desires is a sign the dream was never ours to begin with.

Fulfilling our dreams is not connected to having wealth, power or status

A Higher Consciousness gave each one of us several passions for various phases of our lives, our challenge is to find them along the way. The problem is that we count on material values to define their worth and we stop pursuing them the minute they don’t conjure up the material rewards we idealized. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that trying to create our reality based on worldly measures is an illusion. When doing so, I find I cannot create the coveted reward because I will not have the energy to work for it.

You realize you are amid your passions because they fill you with energy, optimism, endurance, vision and imagination. Whenever you are working within your passion, you seldom tire because you love what you are doing.

Many of us will turn away from what makes us happy so we may live a life of comfort and safety. This will only lead us to empty and unfulfilling lives. Discovering and following our passion will bring greater fulfillment than safety and comfort ever could.

As always, wishing you a life filled with joy, love and serenity.

Photo by Brandon Erlinger-Ford on Unsplash