It is really a sad day when other people start to dictate to you how big or how small you should dream.
A few years ago no one would believe me if I told them that I was going to get myself into shape or even take up running, not to mention the crazy idea to take on the world’s toughest ultra-marathon, the ultimate human race, Comrades. You can imagine the reaction I got from my friends and family. I must say, the support was next to nothing, amazing, unselfish. In general people never understood what I was doing, well, what I was trying to do, but they still supported me.
Well, this was my decision, my dream. I followed my dream, I trained, prepared myself. I did my first Comrades last year and this year, with all odds against me, I pitched up at the star line of Comrades again, this time for my back to back medal. On 30 May my dream became a reality, after a tough day on the road, I managed to drag myself over that finish line in Pietermaritzburg at 11:55:40, yes, I secured my back to back medal with a mere 4 minutes and 20 seconds to spare before the 12 hour cut-off.
This brings me to the matter at hand today; when you don’t have that support and people just don’t support you.
Before this year’s Comrades a few people I personally know decided to give up the dream and decided to pull out of Comrades 2015. For some of them this was just going to be just another Comrades and for some this was a little more special, it was meant to be their only shot at securing their back to back medal. People decide to pull out of race for various reasons, and some are really legit – this is not about those.
A specific runner, someone I know very well, pulled out, not because she did not want to do Comrades, but because she had to let go of this dream because of someone else’s selfishness and as a result of that, non-support. What a sad reality.
It was Theodore Roosevelt who said, “I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!”
In this process, the strong and fighting character I got to know on the road in some way died a slow and selfish death and we now miss her fighting spirit and support especially on those long, trying and defining races. As we continue on this journey that we are on, we will continue to follow our own dreams and give it our very best shot to make it become our reality.
When we follow our own dreams, I think it is only human that we expect support and encouragement from the people we consider close to us; instead some of us only experience rejection and criticism.
We have to learn not to care so much about what others think.
Remember that your passion is the priority. Try to avoid that “What if…” moments. A lot of people go through the motions in life, not doing what they love or dream about. They end up constantly looking back with regret at the things they dreamt about but did not do.
Whether people support you or not, I beg you, please try to avoid that moment when you look back with regret at those dreams you never followed. Your dreams are the most important things in your life. Follow your heart and do what is right for you and avoid a life lived to please and live up to other’s expectations. This is your life and ultimately your responsibility.
Remember, life is short and we have but one life to live, but if we do it right and to the fullest I guess once is enough.
Living the life others want you to live makes you nothing but a puppet on a string. This is plain wrong. It is important to live your life both to live out your dreams but also to bring you to the place where you can reach and fulfil your own full potential. Again, life is short, make the most of it.
It is also important to know that people often don’t support us just because they do not want us to fulfil our dreams but merely because they just don’t understand us and they do not see what drives us. This often make them seem dissenting, bit it is not the case.
I personally try not to take it to heart when people discourage me. I realize that they are uninformed and often it is best just to ignore them.
Another fact is that people often do not support us or do not allow us to live our dreams because they have their own insecurities and difficulty to focus on and live out their own dreams. This is sad but true. Often this is a major obstacle couples have to overcome, where the one dreams big and the other not at all. Unfortunately the reality here is that this could be as a result of plain ignorance or even stone cold jealousy.
I have used this quote a zillion times before, even in the video I did with Discovery on Medical Miracles. It was Madiba who said, “It always seems impossible until its done.”, so remember, anything is possible. I am living proof of this.
We cannot predict the future, no one can, but do not get caught up on the doom and gloom of what others believe is possible or not. Dream big and do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true. Don’t let objections from others become your truth and limit you from creating what you want in life. Fact is, anything is possible if you believe in yourself and work hard.
You have to believe that you can realize your dreams without those who do not want to support you. I’ve said this before and feel the need to repeat myself – yes, it is natural to want support and encouragement from those close to us, but it is possible to do what you want to do without it also. It is fact that many successful and inspiring people took the road less travelled. The potential to realize your dreams is locked up inside of you and you have to believe that, believe it and then don’t give up. Pursue your own dreams, live your own life and become the best version of who you were meant to be.
Let me share this last thought. We all have to learn that we cannot please everyone. It is virtually impossible. So, keep your focus on what you want to do and why.
In an ideal world, I think we all would love to be constantly surrounded by positive people who will support us in everything we do, but this is not going to happen. Reality dictates that there will always be those who will want to drag us down with them to their graveyard of unaccomplished and unfulfilled dreams and where negativity reigns.
Friends, dream big and optimize your talents. Our lives are filled with timeless opportunities, we need to seize every opportunity and make it great. Do not allow others to snatch your dreams from you. That’s all folks. now go and chase your dream; make it happen.
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