Fulfill Your Dreams!

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Ann Coulter



Jada Pinkett-Smith



Wicked Wisdom



Phillip Thomas Duck



Alisha Yvonne



Laura Schlessinger



Dr. Frederick K.C. Price



James Patterson



Eric Jerome Dickey



Jackie Collins



L.A. Banks



Brandon Massey



Kendra Norman-Bellamy


Most people have dreams of becoming more than they are. For a variety of reasons, they never realize their dream. A major reason for unfulfilled dreams is that people donít realize they are endowed with God-given talents unique to them. But God-given talent is only the beginning. Anyone who has ever achieved anything worthwhile will tell you that it took years, and in some cases, decades to realize their dream.

The road to achievement is an arduous one. Itís a road that requires unrelenting drive and determination. Itís a road that requires incredible focus and imagination. Every human being is born with drive, determination, focus, and imagination. Some have a greater concentration of these traits in a given area, but all humans have them. Unfortunately, too many people place too much emphasis on credentials. College degrees are important, but they are not the be all and end all of achievement. If you find your niche, you wonít need a degree to fulfill your dreams.

For example, Rene Russo came from a broken home and an unhappy childhood, developed scoliosis, and never graduated from high school. Yet she went on to become one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood. International superstar, Tom Cruise, dropped out of school, overcame severe dyslexia, and went on to capture box office gold. Two more examples would be NBA All Stars, Kobe Bryant, who speaks several languages, and Kevin Garnett. Both of these young men passed on college and were rewarded with million dollar contracts and endorsement deals. Yes, all of the people mentioned are incredibly talented. So talented, in fact, that one would think the rewards and accolades bestowed on them werenít earned. But if it were truly that easy, everybody would do it, right?

How many people go to Hollywood thinking theyíre going to be the next movie star, only to be turned away at every audition? Some actors toil in obscurity for years, barely surviving, before someone recognizes their talent. In a similar vein, more and more high school basketball players enter the NBA Draft, only to find that they canít compete at that level. What separates these achievers from other people is their drive, their determination, their focus, and their Will to achieve. Yes, itís that simple. They exercised their Will.

The Will, your most powerful Ally!

Every human being has the Will to live. Ironically, the desire to live and the desire to achieve come from the same source within you. When confronted with certain death, the Will to live asserts itself automatically. Your adrenaline flows, making you stronger than you could ever be without it. When threatened, a human being will do whatever it takes to survive. Why? Because you believe that if you donít, you will die. To prove this, one need only consider Erica Pratt, the seven-year-old girl who was kidnapped in July 2002, and through her Will to live, freed herself by gnawing through duct tape and breaking through a panel to escape.

Conversely, in most cases, to achieve a dream, there is no immediate threat to your life. You will live whether you achieve anything or not. Sadly, thatís why so many people never even start the arduous journey to self-fulfillment. Too many Americans stake their chances of enjoying the ďgood lifeĒ on games of chance (i.e., the Lotto and casinos), hoping to secure the fortune that the talents lying dormant in their souls promise. Far too often I hear young people, when asked about higher forms of math, science, or just about anything difficult, say, ďItís too hard.Ē Similarly, adults make the same excuses. They say, ďIím too old nowĒ or ďItís going to take too long.Ē Ultimately, what young people and adults are saying is this: ďI donít believe I can do itĒ or ďIím afraid Iíll fail.Ē

Many people work up enough courage to try. They decide to go to college or a trade school, only to quit two or three weeks, and in some cases, two or three days, after they begin. Why? Fear and unbelief! They wanted to achieve. They wanted to get that degree and make something of themselves, but deep down they didnít believe in themselves when they began. Something within held them back. Someone they knew and trusted told them they couldnít do it. They failed because they listened to both internal and external negativity. Otherwise, they would have completed what they started.

Yes, there are extenuating circumstances in any endeavor. And there will always be roadblocks to success. But achievement is gained by the sweat of your brow. Achievers overcome extenuating circumstances. Achievers may be deterred but never defeated, knowing that the road to accomplishment is long, hard, and bumpy. Achievers know that only the determined will climb the mountain of success and reach its summit.

What is Achievement?

Achievement, simply put, is accomplishing whatever goals youíve set for yourself, not necessarily earning a lot of money. Achievement is doing what you want to do within the bounds of the law. It is the pursuit of dreams. It is liberty from the chains of fear and unbelief. It is recognition of what makes you unique and what you have to offer others. It is the realization, the substance, and the tangibility of a dream fulfilled. However, it is important to know that accomplishing your goals is done through the fire of your Will.

Without a strong desire/Will, you will not believe. Therefore, you will not achieve. Yes, you will want to achieve, but thereís much more to achievement than simply wanting to. Achievement requires drive and, in many cases, single-mindedness. Once youíve truly made up your mind, once you have a vision of where youíre going and how youíre going to get there, you must speak and act as if it is already done. In spite of what you see, in spite of what you hear, you must continue to speak then act on your vision. Why? Because we believe what we hear. And we act on what we believe. Fear and unbelief are the main ingredients of failure. They reveal the internal struggle that causes so many to quit before they see the fruit of their labor and experience the joy of accomplishment.

Be an Overcomer!

The internal chains of fear and unbelief, along with the naysayers, have a decided advantage and must be overcome. Something within us all wants to be lazy. We want the easy life. We want it to be handed to us on a silver platter. For example, we want to lose weight, but we wonít do whatís necessary to lose it. Itís easier to eat another piece of cheesecake than it is to say, ďNo, I will not have another piece.Ē Likewise, itís easier to quit than it is to stay the course. Itís easier to make an excuse than it is to be disciplined. Itís easier to watch television than it is to learn calculus. Itís easier to give into the whims of a child than to be a good parent. Itís easier to lie than it is to tell the truth. All of these are an act of our Will.

We must learn to be true overcomers. And when we become true overcomers, we will join an elite group of achievers who have toiled and struggled to achieve the dignity that all who know them must acknowledge. There have been numerous famous people who have struggled with greater learning disorders than the internal fear and unbelief of the average person.

Albert Einstein, for example, had difficulty with his schoolwork, especially math, and could not express himself in writing. People thought he was stupid until they realized he could achieve through visualization. Yet he developed the theory of relativity in his spare time. Thomas Edison couldnít read until he was twelve, yet he is responsible for the electricity we enjoy. George Washington couldnít spell and had poor grammar, yet he went on to become a general and Americaís first president. Actor Tom Cruise overcame severe dyslexia and went on to become the biggest box office draw of our time.

The list of famous overcomers includes Galileo, Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, John F. Kennedy, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Woodrow Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Steve McQueen, George C. Scott, Magic Johnson, Carl Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Robin Williams, Louis Pasteur, Cher, Nelson Rockefeller, Beethoven, John Lennon, Charles Schwab, Bruce Jenner, Henry Winkler (the Fonz), Greg Louganis, and many others. Take the time to find out who these people were and what they accomplished.

When I started taking courses at Owens in the summer of 1994, an administrator told me that no African Americans had graduated with honors during his tenure at the school. The administrator wasnít attempting to discourage me as some did while I was there. This particular administrator was a black man who wanted me to do my very best, and I did graduate with honors. When I started school, however, I had no plan to become an honors student. I just wanted to get through the two-year school so I could go on and get a master's and a doctorate in psychology. That was my dream at the time.

My plans changed almost two years later, during the spring semester, when I took a literature course. At the same time, I was also taking a fiction-writing course that required the students to write poetry, plays, and short stories. It was there that I started to believe in my writing talent. It was there that the foundation was laid for a career in the publishing business. The naysayers told me I couldnít do it. They discouraged me in a ďniceĒ way. The truth is I didnít know if I had any talent in that arena. But when people tried to tell me what I couldnít do, it lit a fire inside me that has yet to be extinguished.

For years, I had been told that I could do this and I couldnít do that. By the time I started at Owens, I had overcome the internal and external negativity. And so, when I was told I couldnít, I immediately rejected what people said. I had been liberated from the chains of fear and unbelief. I became more determined, more focused, and more disciplined. As a result, I have written not one book, but four books. I donít say this to be arrogant or to blow my own horn. I say this because I had to fight the same demons that many people fight. I had to overcome many things, just as you must overcome many things. Even if I donít sell one book, I have achieved because my dream was not to sell books but to publish them. Of course, I want my books to be a commercial success. Of course, I want financial freedom. Who doesnít? But whether I do or donít is immaterial. I have achieved my dream, and so can you.

Remember that achievers believe and continue on the long road to accomplishment. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Know that you are unique and have something to offer the world. There is no one on the whole planet like you. No one has your fingerprints. No one has your DNA. Realize that you have unlimited potential. Understand that it takes a made up mind. It takes vision. For example, if your dream is to get a college degree, you have to see yourself walking across the stage during commencement exercises in your cap and gown before you even begin. Achievement/Success is a decision. It is an act of your Will. Understand that no force of nature can break your Will. The Will can only be surrendered. You have to give in to the internal fear and unbelief to fail. It is up to you. No one else.

ďYou are not judged on the height you have risen but from the depth which you have climbed.Ē -- Frederick Douglass

All comments about this article should be sent to:
KeithLeeJohnson1@aol.com


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