Overcoming Obstacles to Living Your Dream

Dreamcatch

Without dreams, a lot of things would never happen.  My inspiration has come through dreamers.  One of these dreamers I know is sharing his dream. (Check out Randy Elrod’s dream here).  It is a dangerous thing to dream, and even more to share it.  People might actually hold you accountable to living it!  The dream might actually become reality.  And, sure, people will laugh and scoff.  They are done dreaming.  I hope I am not.  I came across a journal entry of mine from several years ago.  It really challenged me to keep dreaming.

What I have been learning is that there are obstacles to my dream.  "So what?" you may say.  Well, I desire to get through them.  As a creative person I often have dealt with being in environments that made it hard to dream and internally I still deal with my own barriers to dreaming.  Here is what I wrote years ago:

A culture of achievement surrounds everything we do here.  On one hand we proclaim a philosophy of ministry based on relationships, but there is a limit to these relationships.  People who are in an achievement mode have little time for distractions—even the type of relationships that will challenge them and grow them in  away that potentially will bring more results at a later time.  To challenge the process is seen as an irritation, not an opportunity.

Accountability without relationships is ineffective at life-changing results.  To be moralistic without context always pales compared to the incarnational revelation of the mess of life.  It may be good and necessary at times, but indeed bears only behavior modification and not the kind of heart change that real life-on-life connection and effort can bring.

Creative people are always crushed because of their innate idealism.   They look for  vision and concrete altruistic goals from their leaders.   They can actually tolerate more than most imagine since they focus on grand ideals—when these ideals are correct, all the more.  The question “why” can never be emphasized enough.  The desire to lead and live out of principles and convictions often is discounted.  You see, the practical does not matter if it leads to the wrong thing or the less-then-best thing.  Only the best will do, or nothing will do…

In summary, relationships are crucial to making a dream happen.  You have to share your dream. You have to have the safety to do that with people who know you and who are cheering you on while being gut-level honest with you.  Here are these thoughts digested a bit.

THE DREAM OBSTACLES

  • Getting things done rather than building relationships or valuing people can kill a dream.
  • You need healthy and safe relationships to be able to get and give the feedback that will launch a dream.
  • Real and helpful accountability takes a committed relationship in order to provide guard rails so your dream or you won’t derail.
  • Real life-change comes from the inside out, just like dreams.  Forcing yourself to live up to external pressure or ignoring internal fears will stall your dream.
  • Passion and conviction are the fuel that fires up a dream and makes it contagious.  Don’t lose your deepest ideals in the process.
  • The practical thing is not always the best thing.  Settling for something less than your dream is not an option!  Play to win.  Don’t play "not to lose."

Well, there are some of the things about dreaming that I am working through all the time, it seems.  What do you think about these obstacles to dreaming?  Any ones you want to add? I will share a more about my dream soon.

 

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

28 comments

  1. Half of your obstacles here use the word “relationships”. I couldn’t agree more. Nothing can kill a dream–no matter how big or how small–than a significant unsupportive or unhealthy relationship. A supportive and healthy relationship, on the other hand, can fuel the soul for what it needs to overcome the other obstacles you mentioned. I’m living proof of that. A bad marital relationship postponed my dream of graduate school by about 10 years. It was only after that relationship ended, and allowed some necessary healing to take place, that I was able to pursue that dream.
    Great post, Rich. I look forward to reading more.

  2. Half of your obstacles here use the word “relationships”. I couldn’t agree more. Nothing can kill a dream–no matter how big or how small–than a significant unsupportive or unhealthy relationship. A supportive and healthy relationship, on the other hand, can fuel the soul for what it needs to overcome the other obstacles you mentioned. I’m living proof of that. A bad marital relationship postponed my dream of graduate school by about 10 years. It was only after that relationship ended, and allowed some necessary healing to take place, that I was able to pursue that dream.
    Great post, Rich. I look forward to reading more.

  3. Half of your obstacles here use the word “relationships”. I couldn’t agree more. Nothing can kill a dream–no matter how big or how small–than a significant unsupportive or unhealthy relationship. A supportive and healthy relationship, on the other hand, can fuel the soul for what it needs to overcome the other obstacles you mentioned. I’m living proof of that. A bad marital relationship postponed my dream of graduate school by about 10 years. It was only after that relationship ended, and allowed some necessary healing to take place, that I was able to pursue that dream.
    Great post, Rich. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Half of your obstacles here use the word “relationships”. I couldn’t agree more. Nothing can kill a dream–no matter how big or how small–than a significant unsupportive or unhealthy relationship. A supportive and healthy relationship, on the other hand, can fuel the soul for what it needs to overcome the other obstacles you mentioned. I’m living proof of that. A bad marital relationship postponed my dream of graduate school by about 10 years. It was only after that relationship ended, and allowed some necessary healing to take place, that I was able to pursue that dream.
    Great post, Rich. I look forward to reading more.

  5. I wouldn’t take away from what you said, but I would add another obstacle: Apathy.

    I heard a teaching once about vision producing passion, passion being honed and disciplined, and discipline allowing us to succesfully navigate the risks necessary to make dreams a reality.

    (Vision-Passion-Discipline-Risk)

    So many westerners derail on the discipline/risk side of the equation. We dream passionately, but expect others to realize these dreams.

    Apathy which is caused by an overabundance of comfort. I would say that most westerners uncritically see our lifestyle of lavish comfort as somehow our due, a sign of God’s blessing and favor upon his chosen people. It is this that leads to apathy.

    We have traded our birthright for a bowl of soup…

  6. I wouldn’t take away from what you said, but I would add another obstacle: Apathy.

    I heard a teaching once about vision producing passion, passion being honed and disciplined, and discipline allowing us to succesfully navigate the risks necessary to make dreams a reality.

    (Vision-Passion-Discipline-Risk)

    So many westerners derail on the discipline/risk side of the equation. We dream passionately, but expect others to realize these dreams.

    Apathy which is caused by an overabundance of comfort. I would say that most westerners uncritically see our lifestyle of lavish comfort as somehow our due, a sign of God’s blessing and favor upon his chosen people. It is this that leads to apathy.

    We have traded our birthright for a bowl of soup…

  7. I wouldn’t take away from what you said, but I would add another obstacle: Apathy.

    I heard a teaching once about vision producing passion, passion being honed and disciplined, and discipline allowing us to succesfully navigate the risks necessary to make dreams a reality.

    (Vision-Passion-Discipline-Risk)

    So many westerners derail on the discipline/risk side of the equation. We dream passionately, but expect others to realize these dreams.

    Apathy which is caused by an overabundance of comfort. I would say that most westerners uncritically see our lifestyle of lavish comfort as somehow our due, a sign of God’s blessing and favor upon his chosen people. It is this that leads to apathy.

    We have traded our birthright for a bowl of soup…

  8. I wouldn’t take away from what you said, but I would add another obstacle: Apathy.

    I heard a teaching once about vision producing passion, passion being honed and disciplined, and discipline allowing us to succesfully navigate the risks necessary to make dreams a reality.

    (Vision-Passion-Discipline-Risk)

    So many westerners derail on the discipline/risk side of the equation. We dream passionately, but expect others to realize these dreams.

    Apathy which is caused by an overabundance of comfort. I would say that most westerners uncritically see our lifestyle of lavish comfort as somehow our due, a sign of God’s blessing and favor upon his chosen people. It is this that leads to apathy.

    We have traded our birthright for a bowl of soup…

  9. Heartbroken. I have had to come back to this post to comment a few times because it was a little too deep for me the first time. My husband and I are in the picking up the pieces from our broken dream stage and it sucks. Not that God has shattered our dream, but like you said, the relationship part of it is crucial! We are smack in the middle of it, and since I can’t even see clearly because I know I am still so hurt and holding bitterness. That dream of serving in missions is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like. For 3 years, it has looked a certain way, “France” and now it looks like our resignation to our sending agency. I know that in the “Dream Giver” Bruce Wilkinson talks about holding our God given dreams with open hands in surrender, not with clutched fists, but this is so difficult- not knowing what our next steps will be. I think the most difficult part for me is losing relationships to those pastors and pastors wives who were on the board of directors when we came to them with our concerns…It has been over a month now, and still, no contact about any of it. These are the very ones who we have looked to for direction and leadership. Now all I see is lack of integrity and deceit. It is so sad and like I said, my heart is broken, not only for us…and the “what now’s” because I know that this is just a season…but for the body of believers and the impact that it is having on them…and really on the people who have yet to believe. I guess because I am a dreamer, it breaks my heart even more…due to my idealistic nature.

  10. Heartbroken. I have had to come back to this post to comment a few times because it was a little too deep for me the first time. My husband and I are in the picking up the pieces from our broken dream stage and it sucks. Not that God has shattered our dream, but like you said, the relationship part of it is crucial! We are smack in the middle of it, and since I can’t even see clearly because I know I am still so hurt and holding bitterness. That dream of serving in missions is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like. For 3 years, it has looked a certain way, “France” and now it looks like our resignation to our sending agency. I know that in the “Dream Giver” Bruce Wilkinson talks about holding our God given dreams with open hands in surrender, not with clutched fists, but this is so difficult- not knowing what our next steps will be. I think the most difficult part for me is losing relationships to those pastors and pastors wives who were on the board of directors when we came to them with our concerns…It has been over a month now, and still, no contact about any of it. These are the very ones who we have looked to for direction and leadership. Now all I see is lack of integrity and deceit. It is so sad and like I said, my heart is broken, not only for us…and the “what now’s” because I know that this is just a season…but for the body of believers and the impact that it is having on them…and really on the people who have yet to believe. I guess because I am a dreamer, it breaks my heart even more…due to my idealistic nature.

  11. Heartbroken. I have had to come back to this post to comment a few times because it was a little too deep for me the first time. My husband and I are in the picking up the pieces from our broken dream stage and it sucks. Not that God has shattered our dream, but like you said, the relationship part of it is crucial! We are smack in the middle of it, and since I can’t even see clearly because I know I am still so hurt and holding bitterness. That dream of serving in missions is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like. For 3 years, it has looked a certain way, “France” and now it looks like our resignation to our sending agency. I know that in the “Dream Giver” Bruce Wilkinson talks about holding our God given dreams with open hands in surrender, not with clutched fists, but this is so difficult- not knowing what our next steps will be. I think the most difficult part for me is losing relationships to those pastors and pastors wives who were on the board of directors when we came to them with our concerns…It has been over a month now, and still, no contact about any of it. These are the very ones who we have looked to for direction and leadership. Now all I see is lack of integrity and deceit. It is so sad and like I said, my heart is broken, not only for us…and the “what now’s” because I know that this is just a season…but for the body of believers and the impact that it is having on them…and really on the people who have yet to believe. I guess because I am a dreamer, it breaks my heart even more…due to my idealistic nature.

  12. Heartbroken. I have had to come back to this post to comment a few times because it was a little too deep for me the first time. My husband and I are in the picking up the pieces from our broken dream stage and it sucks. Not that God has shattered our dream, but like you said, the relationship part of it is crucial! We are smack in the middle of it, and since I can’t even see clearly because I know I am still so hurt and holding bitterness. That dream of serving in missions is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like. For 3 years, it has looked a certain way, “France” and now it looks like our resignation to our sending agency. I know that in the “Dream Giver” Bruce Wilkinson talks about holding our God given dreams with open hands in surrender, not with clutched fists, but this is so difficult- not knowing what our next steps will be. I think the most difficult part for me is losing relationships to those pastors and pastors wives who were on the board of directors when we came to them with our concerns…It has been over a month now, and still, no contact about any of it. These are the very ones who we have looked to for direction and leadership. Now all I see is lack of integrity and deceit. It is so sad and like I said, my heart is broken, not only for us…and the “what now’s” because I know that this is just a season…but for the body of believers and the impact that it is having on them…and really on the people who have yet to believe. I guess because I am a dreamer, it breaks my heart even more…due to my idealistic nature.

  13. Thanks guys for dialoging about this. To dream hurts. But, I would rather risk dreaming than be static in this life.
    Rick, you are right. Relationships. We need them. Unfortunately, I share Kristi’s experience. Kristi, I feel your pain. Steve is right, too! Apathy will sap a dream and not having the desire to risk and invest for your dream certainly will keep it from happening.

    Thanks guys. HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS!

  14. Thanks guys for dialoging about this. To dream hurts. But, I would rather risk dreaming than be static in this life.
    Rick, you are right. Relationships. We need them. Unfortunately, I share Kristi’s experience. Kristi, I feel your pain. Steve is right, too! Apathy will sap a dream and not having the desire to risk and invest for your dream certainly will keep it from happening.

    Thanks guys. HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS!

  15. Thanks guys for dialoging about this. To dream hurts. But, I would rather risk dreaming than be static in this life.
    Rick, you are right. Relationships. We need them. Unfortunately, I share Kristi’s experience. Kristi, I feel your pain. Steve is right, too! Apathy will sap a dream and not having the desire to risk and invest for your dream certainly will keep it from happening.

    Thanks guys. HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS!

  16. Thanks guys for dialoging about this. To dream hurts. But, I would rather risk dreaming than be static in this life.
    Rick, you are right. Relationships. We need them. Unfortunately, I share Kristi’s experience. Kristi, I feel your pain. Steve is right, too! Apathy will sap a dream and not having the desire to risk and invest for your dream certainly will keep it from happening.

    Thanks guys. HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS!

  17. I dunno, Rich. In 43 years of living, the cause of dashed dreams never had anything to do with relationships for me. Circumstances seem to be a greater cause than not having the right support. Sure, if someone dies that really hurts things, but other than that, I can’t say that a even single dashed dream of mine had any relational component that fell through and caused the dream to die.

  18. I dunno, Rich. In 43 years of living, the cause of dashed dreams never had anything to do with relationships for me. Circumstances seem to be a greater cause than not having the right support. Sure, if someone dies that really hurts things, but other than that, I can’t say that a even single dashed dream of mine had any relational component that fell through and caused the dream to die.

  19. I dunno, Rich. In 43 years of living, the cause of dashed dreams never had anything to do with relationships for me. Circumstances seem to be a greater cause than not having the right support. Sure, if someone dies that really hurts things, but other than that, I can’t say that a even single dashed dream of mine had any relational component that fell through and caused the dream to die.

  20. I dunno, Rich. In 43 years of living, the cause of dashed dreams never had anything to do with relationships for me. Circumstances seem to be a greater cause than not having the right support. Sure, if someone dies that really hurts things, but other than that, I can’t say that a even single dashed dream of mine had any relational component that fell through and caused the dream to die.

  21. Good points…I would not say that relationships dash dreams as much as not nurturing or having the right ones will stall or become obstacles. If our dreams are not birthed, shared or experienced in the context of community, then they never come to life.
    Of course the dreams I am talking about are the kind that you will be laughed outloud at by people who know you and those who know of you might even oppose you. I will explain further what I mean by “dream” in a new post.

    Remember Preston Tucker?

  22. Good points…I would not say that relationships dash dreams as much as not nurturing or having the right ones will stall or become obstacles. If our dreams are not birthed, shared or experienced in the context of community, then they never come to life.
    Of course the dreams I am talking about are the kind that you will be laughed outloud at by people who know you and those who know of you might even oppose you. I will explain further what I mean by “dream” in a new post.

    Remember Preston Tucker?

  23. Good points…I would not say that relationships dash dreams as much as not nurturing or having the right ones will stall or become obstacles. If our dreams are not birthed, shared or experienced in the context of community, then they never come to life.
    Of course the dreams I am talking about are the kind that you will be laughed outloud at by people who know you and those who know of you might even oppose you. I will explain further what I mean by “dream” in a new post.

    Remember Preston Tucker?

  24. Good points…I would not say that relationships dash dreams as much as not nurturing or having the right ones will stall or become obstacles. If our dreams are not birthed, shared or experienced in the context of community, then they never come to life.
    Of course the dreams I am talking about are the kind that you will be laughed outloud at by people who know you and those who know of you might even oppose you. I will explain further what I mean by “dream” in a new post.

    Remember Preston Tucker?

  25. No, I don’t know who that is….And I know what you are talking about, when people laugh at your dreams…but for us, when we talked about missions, most people cried. I think it was because of how it infringed on thier lives. But then as the idea progressed, they began to support us. (I am talking our direct family).

  26. No, I don’t know who that is….And I know what you are talking about, when people laugh at your dreams…but for us, when we talked about missions, most people cried. I think it was because of how it infringed on thier lives. But then as the idea progressed, they began to support us. (I am talking our direct family).

  27. No, I don’t know who that is….And I know what you are talking about, when people laugh at your dreams…but for us, when we talked about missions, most people cried. I think it was because of how it infringed on thier lives. But then as the idea progressed, they began to support us. (I am talking our direct family).

  28. No, I don’t know who that is….And I know what you are talking about, when people laugh at your dreams…but for us, when we talked about missions, most people cried. I think it was because of how it infringed on thier lives. But then as the idea progressed, they began to support us. (I am talking our direct family).

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