Did You Weed Your Dream Today?

misc_mulching_300When I hear about gutsy people who have accomplished amazing things, I’m seized by a desire to Do Something! NOW! to turn my own daydreams into reality. All I need is grit, determination and courage. So I grit my teeth and burn my bridges, determined to lock myself into an ambitious new course before my courage fails me.

The sense of urgency passes quickly. Within hours I’m wondering, “What was I thinking? I can’t go rushing off to change the world. I have responsibilities. I have limitations.”

This waxing and waning of ambitions has stymied me for years.  How can my dreams seem so momentous one day and so ridiculous the next?

One afternoon, while weeding the garden, I realized it wasn’t my dreams that were ridiculous. The ridiculous part was believing that a successful project can be hatched full-blown, without laying the groundwork. Creating a lasting achievement takes time, and requires careful preparation.

Trying to catapult a dream to sudden success is like showing up in September to harvest vegetables from a garden that’s been neglected all summer. Gardens require tilling, planting, watering and weeding. So do dreams.

Taking a dream seriously means taking small steps every day whether the dream feels real or not. It’s easy to pull an all-nighter if you’re riding high on a surge of emotion. Not so easy to sacrifice a few minutes every day, all year round. Discipline versus adrenaline.

What does your dream need from you today? Have you made that one phone call you’ve been putting off? Have you skipped your trip to Starbucks so you can put that money into your dream fund?

If your dream is languishing like an overgrown weed patch, don’t go berserk with the hoe and the weed whacker. Weeds are temporary. Picture the garden you want to have next year and the year after. Make a plan to make it happen, then follow the plan every day.


  1. Andrew Lee says:

    I would argue that you need to do both! Daily discipline is needed over a long time to achieve anything meaningful, but you’re going to need moments of inspiration and passion in there during the critical periods.

    For example, if you’re writing a book, much of the work can be done a bit at a time (editing, for instance), but a creative plot twist cannot be thought of incrementally. It needs that one moment of inspiration to bring it to life.