How Is Your Dream Changing?
Living the Dream
A few weeks ago while looking for a movie to rent and in the mood for something uplifting, my husband and I opted for Keep on Keepin' On, a documentary about trumpeter and jazz legend, Clark Terry. With a career that spanned over 70 years, Clark Terry is one of the most recorded musicians in the history of jazz.
There is more than one inspiring storyline in this film: that he retained his fascination and fluency with jazz music throughout his elder years; the tender relationship with his wife who is shown caring for him; and the friendship with a young pianist who is blind that developed just as Clark was losing his vision due to advanced diabetes.
One of Clark’s reflections struck me as quite significant: "Many of my dreams have come true, but I've learned that dreams change. To help young musicians make their dreams come true became my supreme joy and my greatest aspiration."1
In speaking those words he emphasized: I've learned that dreams change. What he described was his very strong desire to teach and mentor. This became as prominent and even greater than his original dream to become a musician.
As is often the case, the seed of that dream can be traced to a defining moment - a decision Clark made earlier in life. After disappointing experiences with musicians who were unwilling to share their knowledge, Clark said: "So I decided, when I was still a kid, that if I ever got the chance, I'd bend over backwards to help kids who want to play."2
Revisiting the Vision
A wise and intuitive friend once told me, "Ginny, you have your vision and that's great. Just remember to put a dotted line around it." He was advising me to leave space for inspiration to come in and edit the vision as life progressed.
I have since learned that expecting our initial ideas to morph, and even inviting them to change, is what helps unlock the dreaming mechanism in our minds. The purpose of a vision isn't to nail down your future with exact precision – it's to imagine what might be possible and to let that guide you as you move forward.
Last week I was talking to Leah3, a long time client who recently contacted me to flesh out plans for the next stage of her business. In preparation for our coaching work, Leah revisited her Vision 2015, a two-page document she wrote in 2005. Leah was gratified to realize that several elements of her vision were part of her life now (she is doing creative work, is married and has a child); some things are in progress (building her business), and a few items had dropped off as no longer relevant.
Letting it Move You
That what-if-I-change-my-mind question can hinder your imagination and keep you in place, attached to the known quantity of the status quo. And that's where trust has to come in. Trust that you will make good decisions and that all will evolve in the right way and at the right time.
As I've said before, the purpose of a dream is to move you. Move you on the inside: You feel it. Move you on the outside: Your legs are moving, you're taking action.
- How is your dream changing? Your dream for yourself, your work, your life?
- What is no longer relevant? What elements still light you up?
"Imitate, assimilate, and innovate."
See you in the current,
1Clark Terry made this statement in the film Keep on Keepin’ On and the same quote appears in the following article: Megan Scanlon, “Keep On Keepin’ On: A Musical Journey Through A Magical Friendship,” (November 20, 2014).
2Howard Reich, “It wasn't just trumpet playing that made Clark Terry great,” (February 24, 2015).
3Name changed for privacy.
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