E-pinions

Thank Those Who Helped You Dream Big; Then Pay It Forward

Have you ever had someone encourage you to dream big or had someone say you could be anything you wanted to be?

Maybe you were lucky enough to have a parent or grandparent who convinced you that there are no limits. Or maybe a teacher or coach inspired you to consider opportunities that otherwise might have seemed beyond your grasp. It even may have been a boss or mentor early in your career who helped you see what you were truly capable of.

Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Who gave you the courage to pursue your dreams?

If you were fortunate enough to have people like that in your life, you should take a minute to thank them. This is a great time to let them know how their encouragement affected your life. Let them know their belief in you gave you the confidence to take a path you otherwise may have missed. Let them know that a big reason you are who you are is because of them. In fact, if they are still with us, take a minute right now to give them a call, drop them a note, or send them an e-mail. It doesn’t matter how you say “thank-you”—it just matters that you do.


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Sometimes we get wrapped up in our own success and forget all those who helped us get to where we are today. All too often, we think about the hard work and dedication we have put in and forget about the inspiration and motivation others have provided that helped along the way. The French poet Anatole France once wrote, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Make sure you don’t forget those who helped you dream and believe!

Now, what about you? Have you ever helped others see what they could achieve? Have you encouraged others to dream big?

Make no mistake about it, if someone in your life provided you with the encouragement, inspiration, or support that allowed you to pursue your dream, you were given a precious gift. You should pay it forward by giving others that same favor. I’m certain you’ll find it as rewarding to give that gift as it was to have received it.


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If no one ever provided you with the benefit of his or her encouragement to think big thoughts and dream big dreams, don’t let that stop you from helping others do just that. Be the catalyst for young people in your life. Find others who could benefit from your faith in them. Let them know that the possibilities are boundless if they dare to dream. Imagine what you could inspire them to do!

Think about what we could achieve—what the world would be like—if we all thought in terms of what is possible instead of what is impossible. Imagine what could be accomplished if we stopped coming up with reasons we can’t do something, and spent all our time figuring out how to get it done. What if we could banish from our minds all those negative thoughts that hold us back and only embrace the positive? What would be possible then?

Sometimes in life we need someone to tell us it’s OK to have big dreams. Sometimes, we need someone to encourage us to take that risk—to do what seems impossible. We should seek out people who can do that for us, and if we have them, we should thank them effusively for what they have done because they have given us a wonderful gift. And we should be that catalyst for others because it’s a wonderful thing to help others achieve what they only dare to dream!