Return to Current of Life Ezine Index

Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential

Living Your Potential

Protect Your Dream

(#6 in the series: Are You A Dreamer?)

Dreams Need Protecting

I was predisposed to like the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" for two reasons.  First, I had seen the real life Christopher Gardner (the movie’s protagonist) relay his incredible story during a TV interview for "20/20”.  Second, I like Will Smith.  If I was wearing my movie critic hat, I could make a few suggestions as to some additional aspects I wished were included in the movie, but I won’t do that because regardless, the story is a wonderfully inspiring one.  The movie’s message is uplifting and real.

Chris Gardner’s real life story is that he persisted through significant hardship to realize his dream of finding gratifying work and achieving financial freedom.  The obstacles he encountered included a period of time being homeless with his small son whom he was raising as a single father, all while working tirelessly as an intern at a stock brokerage firm in hopes of landing a permanent job and breaking into the financial industry.  He eventually became a top producer, founded his own brokerage firm, and today is a multimillionaire and philanthropist.

A particular scene from the movie illustrates an important point that fits well with our discussion on dreams. Will Smith (i.e., Chris Gardner) has had a discouraging day, beaten down again by the severity of his circumstances.  He begins advising his son not to get too attached to his dream of playing basketball because that kind of athletic talent is just not in the family genes.  Seeing that he had deflated his son’s youthful aspirations, in a great parenting moment he corrects himself and tells his son not to let anyone take his dream away.  “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can't do it. You want something?  Go get it. Period.”

What Does It Mean?

What does it mean to say that your dream needs protecting?  Have you ever shared a dream with someone only to hear a sarcastic, “Yeah right, dream on,” or “That sounds nice but how are you going to do it?”  Dreams are sometimes rebuffed or dismissed by others because they sound…well…dreamy.  

If you are truly entertaining the possibility of making a heartfelt dream a reality, be selective with whom you seek support, counsel, and perspective and be selective with the timing of when you share information with others. 
Dreams need protecting from the limited thinking of some people.  They also need protecting from your own limitations and fears.  Protect your dream by surrounding yourself with supportive people and environments. 

What Dreams Require

Chris Gardner’s story illustrates what dreams require: 

Protection – When he counseled his son to protect his dream, he was also reminding himself of his own dream.
Action – He was decisive, said yes to opportunity, and kept moving in the direction of his dream.
Commitment – He was dedicated, willing to acquire the credentials, and put in the time.
Heart – Dreams may take brains, yet they live in the heart.  If your heart isn’t in it, find a new dream to pursue.

How will you protect your dream?

Read more about Chris Gardner at:

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

© 2007, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

Return to Current of Life Ezine Index