Dreams take a lot of effort, time, and energy. There is a constant tension between where we are and where we want to be. If you aren’t careful, your wife and children can end up on the backburner. This is what happened to me. I chased my dream with everything in me and my family felt like I didn’t care about them. I was chasing my dreams to give them a better life, but in the process I was destroying the very thing I valued. Too often, we forget our family on the way to our dreams.
Chasing dreams with no regard for the family unit is no way to live but that is how many of us do it. I have found that when I stick to four principles, I can be the man my family needs while I pursue the dreams of my heart.
Boundaries. Boundaries are difficult but necessary.Without them, everything can get messy. Having time set apart to pursue your dreams is important but so is the time that you are spending with your wife and kids. Be clear about what activity you are doing so that you can give your family the most precious thing your presence. If you can’t do this, they will learn to hate your dream, and this is the last thing you want. Learning to shut off your dream for periods of time will give you the ability to be present with your loved ones.
Communication. There must be an opportunity for your spouse to speak into the dream. To be able to tell you when they need more of you is crucial to the dream chasing journey. To have input and a voice without being defensive is a hard thing to do but you must. Your family needs to be heard, specifically your wife. Do not make the mistake that I have made and make it a you versus them battle. Fight the good fight together through proper communication.
Intentionality. Every second of the day we must pursue with intention. Pursue only dream chasing activities that get results so less time is spent on the dream. Doing activities with the ones we love that fill their cup. It is not enough to spend time our family, but we must pursue them. Making your family feel loved and cherished will help your family to become co-dreamer. Pursuing the dream chasing journey as a family will make the process so much more fulfilling.
Forgiveness. Throughout the process, you will need to forgive each other. The journey is long and mistakes will be made along the way. The only way a family can stay healthy is if they practice forgiveness regularly. The other person that needs forgiveness is you. Often it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. Forgive, learn, and grow. Failing forward is only possible when we forgive and learn. A culture of forgiveness will help you on the way to your dreams.
Be the kind of dream chaser your family is proud of by fostering these four principles. If you have done it wrong like I did it will take time, energy, and focus on correcting the course. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and quicker to act. Words are cheap, but action will turn you into the dream chasing hero your family desires.
Are you chasing your dreams properly?
Photo: Flickr/ Fabiana Zonca