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Once upon a time there lived a boy with a dream. In those early days, the dream burned brightly. It was all consuming. It was everything the boy could think about, and so he spent every waking moment making plans and setting goals, making sure that the dream would become a reality. Days passed. Weeks. Months. He was seeing results. He was on his way to achieving his goals and becoming the man he wanted to be.
And then Life showed up to smack him around. That bully called Circumstance threw obstacles in the boy’s way. Distraction (capital D) seduced him into taking a break from his schedule. Just a small break to catch his breath. Just a minute or two to see how this all fits together. Just a day or three to make a new plan. Just a week or four to have time to prepare. Just this month and maybe next, and then he’ll be ready to attack that dream once more. He’ll be the man he wants to be next year.
One day, when the boy’s older, when he’s trudging through the hours of a job he never thought he’d be doing, he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and realizes that he’s not a boy anymore. He’s a man. He’s not even a young man. He’s in his late thirties. He’s forty. He’s fifty. He sees himself through the eyes of that boy who had a dream. He wonders whatever happened to those aspirations. He wonders who he could have been if he’d just stuck to the plan. But there’s work to be done. Time marches inexorably. He turns away from the mirror.
But that glimpse haunts him. He doesn’t know it yet, but that little flashback reignited something deep within him. It’s just a spark at first, but sparks begin to smolder. The man starts to get a little antsy. He’s a little restless. Maybe somebody notices. Maybe somebody asks him, “What’s up with you today?” Only, he doesn’t have an answer. Not yet. He knows that if he just keeps his head down and goes about his business, this feeling will go away. He’ll lose himself in the never ending series of moments. He’ll shake it off like he has so many times before.
He turns on the radio to distract himself. He listens to a podcast hoping that someone’s saying something interesting. He downloads a few books by people he’s never heard of, but they made him laugh during the interview. They made him think outside his box for just a moment.
With those books, that moment becomes minutes becomes hours and days. He’s inspired. He’s motivated. He looks into the mirror and maybe he’s not so old after all. Maybe he’s still a boy with a dream. Maybe it’s not too late for some things. If he takes the advice in the books. If he does the shit he said he was going to do and never did. And the fire’s raging now, and he’s bouncing on the balls of his feet, his eyes wide with racing thoughts as a plan begins to congeal into a goal.
Before he knows it, he’s a boy with a dream once more.