As I helped tear down the decorations after a recent bridal shower for a dear friend, I was standing on the lawn near a group of young women in large, elegant hats and flowing summer dresses. I heard one ask another, “So, how did you get into wrestling?”
I glanced over my shoulder, probably not very inconspicuously, to see the person being asked this question. Just as I suspected, it was an elegantly dressed young woman who could have been attending an after-party at the Kentucky Derby.
Her answer: “My dad. Yeah, he was a wrestler.”
I suspected that several attendees at this bridal shower may have been wrestlers or other athletes pursuing Olympic dreams, because the bride-to-be has been working with Olympic hopefuls for several years. They are her friends, and she has invited many of them to our home for parties, dinners and holidays. They are amazing people with big dreams and a work ethic to match.
Two quick lessons from this interaction:
1. Young people: pursue your dreams, even if you don’t fit the mold you see around you. This world is facing big challenges, and we need innovative thinkers who are not boxed in. Whether you are a young woman who wants to win Olympic gold in wrestling, or someone who wants to be a graphic designer but doesn’t have all the traditional “artist” skills in that craft. Maybe you see a problem and think you have a worthy solution that could change the world. Apply your passion and desire, knock on doors, ask for help from those older and more seasoned. Take your enthusiasm and combine it with lessons learned and a solid plan. We’re cheering you on!
2. For those of us who are “older and more seasoned,” let’s take a step back and see opportunities for young people to do things that may not fit the mold. Let’s make sure we aren’t limiting goals and dreams by saying, “that hasn’t been done before.” Let’s imagine with the young people in our lives what it will take for them to succeed in the pursuit they have adopted as a mission.
Let’s be dream fuelers, not dream killers. That’s where you find gold.