Last week, the eyes of the world were transfixed by gifts and talents displayed at the Olympics, including yours truly. All Olympic sports are so amazingly exciting to watch. Gabrielle Christina Victoria “Gabby” Douglas won gold medals in both the individual and team all-around competitions and has won the hearts of thousands, perhaps millions of people who watched her perform. Gabby is the first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics. She is now known as America’s sweetheart.
The results of six years of training away from her family have paid-off tremendously.
Gabby’s mother, Natalie Hawkins, is motivating and inspiring. She shows us there are directions we can take away and develop while sprinting on the pathway to realizing our dreams. While on any road to realizing your dream, there are sure to be bumps, bangs and blows along the way. It just goes with the game.
I want to share four of many dream directions we can garner from Ms. Hawkins.
DREAM BEYOND YOUR MEANS. Don’t limit your dream by your time, talent, income, education, or natural resources. God can do much more—exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask, imagine or think. When you downsize your dreams to fit within small means, you do a disservice to your big King! God created you to dream and live big. Dream outside of where you are comfortable. Stretch your imagination and hold those thoughts. Reportedly, Ms. Hawkins sold personal items to finance her daughter’s dream. She allowed Gabby to travel to Iowa to train for six years, not knowing how she would pay for it. Don’t calculate your future according to your paycheck.
BECOME DECISIVE AND LET GO. Prolonged indecisiveness is a vision-killer, and it also drains the joy out of life. You may need to make some decisions about your associations to go to the next level. Don’t allow your past to forfeit your future. Once a dream is birthed in your heart, you must take responsibility for that dream and put forth purposeful effort for it to come to pass. Let go of personal struggles and focus on purposeful pursuits. Ms. Hawkins didn’t allow being abandoned by her former husband or a recent bankruptcy to hold her back from rallying Gabby forward to pursue her dream of being a gymnast. Ms. Hawkins left her troubles behind and kept a positive frame of her daughter’s future. Time is the substance of life; it’s so precious that you cannot afford to waste it on distractions such as superficial relationships, shallow commitments or superfluous activities.
DON’T FEAR THE UNKNOWN. You’ll never rise higher than the actions you take on a daily basis. When you pull back from the unknown, you can miss out on a valuable step to pushing forward your dream. Step out on faith because dream achievement undoubtedly requires doing what you’ve never done. This is how you grow. Action is what brings about progress. Action is what gives you a sense of fulfillment. Action is what moves you from where you are to where you want to be. If Ms. Hawkins had allowed the unknown to halt her decision of releasing Gabby to strangers twelve hundred miles away 6 years ago, those dreams of Gabby performing in the Olympics may have never been realized.
Here’s what Ms. Hawkins had to say on this issue: “Letting go of Gabrielle was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, but it’s now one of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever gotten to experience … there’s no greater joy than for a parent to see their child reach their dream.”
IGNORE THE CRITICS. When you begin making progress towards your dream, your enemies will suddenly come alive. Satan designs critics to rob you of self-esteem and confidence. Stay committed to what God birthed in your heart. Look only to God’s Word and the vision he placed in your heart; then you will know what you can accomplish. Sixteen-year old Gabrielle Douglas made history at this year’s Olympics and the critics couldn’t see past (what they considered) a bad hairstyle. Thankfully, Ms. Hawkins and Gabby have been able to find humor in all the hoopla surrounding Gabby’s hair. The two have laughed about it and made it into a huge joke. Hawkins says Gabby “hasn’t given it another moment’s thought.” (Source: Huffingtonpost.com)
360 Interior Assessment: The manifestation of your dream is not automatic. What disciplines have you mastered for dream fulfillment?
- Diligence? Pursue what is important to you with dogged determination.
- Faith? Practice using your faith on small projects and watch it increase.
- Patience? Put patience to work. Learn to wait on God’s “perfect” timing.
360 Interior Living in Action: Learn something new that moves you in the direction of your dream.
- Make prayer the vital component in your dream fulfillment.
- Immerse in delectable and energizing self-talk.
- Journal the ways God has blessed you over the years as a reminder that if He did it once, He will do it again.
Know that God’s principles and purposes have determined what you’re going to be and do rather than your own fears, distractions, setbacks or others’ opinions. Take these directives from Ms. Hawkins to heart. Set dream focus like flint just as Jesus was set on His all the way to the cross.
© 2012, Dr. Deana Murphy. All rights reserved.