The wind is dancing with the trees on the hilltop as I look from my office window. My mind drifts back to another pasture field and ancient maples along an old fence line. There, high on the strongest branches that could hold a little boy, I built my treehouse. It wasn’t much more than a perch in the sky and space enough for me to lie down. I would pretend I was out on the ocean in a raft, merging with a vastness beyond my imagination. I lay there on the swaying boughs, as confident as a bird, with no fear of falling, only the hope that I could be soaring among the clouds, and stretched the mental limits of what I thought might be possible when I grew older.
The possibilities were like vast space with no known boundaries. My little mind envisioned all the wonderful things I would do with my life: all the great adventures, all the people I would meet, and all the places I’d travel to. Never once did I think any of that would be impossible to accomplish. Such is the courage and confidence of youth!
That was a lifetime ago, I remind myself as I look out the window to the windblown trees on the hilltop pasture. How quickly the years pass, and sadly, too often that spark dies.
As adults, we settle into lives that are often not what we expected or wanted. We may work for people we don’t like, at jobs we find meaningless, in locations and conditions that are less than desirable, and in many ways we may feel financially and emotionally trapped. What’s the answer? What happened to that young child that saw the world with eyes of wonder? Where did he or she disappear to?
That child is still inside of you.
All you need to do is stop conforming to how everyone else thinks you should live. Dare to dream the dreams of childhood once again! Dare to test your own boundaries and crash through the doors into a new world of experience. Just do the things you’ve always wanted to do—it’s never too late!
How is it that people often don’t give themselves permission to follow their dreams until faced with a fatal disease or major life crisis? Do we really require such drastic measures before we break free and do the things we want to do? Don’t be misled; it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. It’s about the courage to actually make decisions in the face of the unknown, to act, to move through and face our fears.
Life begins outside the comfort zone, even if this only means getting your butt off the couch and into the gym. Life is constant movement, energy, action, and transformation. You and I are going to change whether we like it or not. However, we do have the choice of which way we shall change. That power to decide, to act, to accomplish, is the very power to live! If you feel you’ve made a mistake, you can always change your mind. The time is going to pass anyway; just don’t let your dreams die within you!
The sweetest fruit on the tree of
life is out on the limb.
Don’t postpone your happiness or project it to “someday I’ll…” It’s true, you may not succeed— but you certainly won’t know that if you never give it a try. Our happiness is in this very moment. We experience it the second we make a decision to do something, especially something that has been hanging out in our imagination for a long time. It can be something very simple or something very daring. Just do the thing and experience the rush, the power that you never knew you had until you made the decision to act.
That little child who had the courage to dream big looks out at his creation and wonders, “What’s next? What’s the next great adventure?” I have mine already in mind, and I am enjoying the excitement of just contemplating it. I must say, my wife Katrina is totally excited about planning for our new adventure!
This is the fountain of youth! You will never grow old if you fill each day with the dreams of youth. I’m going out to walk upon the hilltop and gaze off into infinity, knowing full well that nothing is impossible for the one who dares to dream courageously. Why don’t you walk with me also? The sweetest fruit is out on the limb.
Reflections from Turtle Lake,