Living life with wings spread and heart wide open is one of the most reckless and rewarding pursuits I know of. I have been unusually blessed with a cast of dreamers who have inspired my stumble steps in pursuit of the life that makes my soul soar. This week, I’ve had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with several of them, meeting some new ones, being encouraged and heaping encouragement on some who’s dreams didn’t come out quite right.

When I think of my friends, the dreamers, I’ve learned some lessons I’ll be ever grateful for:

1) Chasing a dream no matter how mundane or out of the ordinary is about doing what makes your heart soar. 

2) If a dream stops making your heart soar, stop, re-evaluate and change direction if necessary. Killing your spirit for the sake of a dream which decreases your feeling of value, worth or lessens your ability to encourage others is no longer a worthwhile pursuit.

3) That said: dreams take hard work, determination and pushing through some all bad, no good, days. It is up to you to find the balance point and know the difference between giving up and having taken enough.
4) Dreams will leave you battered but you only fail if you don’t pick yourself up and keep trying, even if it means trying something else.
5) Some dreams won’t be accomplished, ever. That usually means you are about to realize a bigger dream you didn’t see coming.
6) Take time to breathe. Enjoy the moment you are in and forget, for a while, the dream you are trying to accomplish. Once you have accomplished, you have to start something new, enjoy the view from where you are at, you will not pass by this way again.
7) Fuel other’s dreams, they are worth your time and encouragement. This life is never going to be all about you. In the end, it will be about the people you brought with you, how you made them feel and struggles that brought you together. The real stories are in the relationships not the final result, you may not end up where you were headed but you will end up where you were supposed to be.
8) Be authentic, the biggest risk you will ever face is exposing your weaknesses to others but one day you realize people respect honesty over perfection. You will also realize, if you expose your own weaknesses you can strengthen them and no one can use a vulnerability you know about, against you, without your permission. 
9) This life, your passions and dreams are not yours to throw away. No matter where you go, what failures and success you have or what you do next: you are responsible to use everything you were given to the best of your ability.
10) There is no shame in starting over and no time frame which is too late. You may have to modify your dream or your version of success but until your final breath there is still time to do better than you did yesterday.
11) Don’t wait for your final breath to do what makes you a living, breathing, human beacon of passion. You might not get a tomorrow. Think if you died tomorrow, how would you have spent today. If it’s not what you are doing today, change your life so you would be proud of the last moment you have.
Thanks to the people who inspired me to be more than I was yesterday, encouraged me to make it through today and remind me the dreams I have for tomorrow are possible.
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