I love Walt Disney’s saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Many years ago, at a pivotal moment in my life, I caught a glimpse of boundless skies, of the infinite opportunities the world has to offer. In my heart I knew the opening of the world before me stood independent of circumstances or locations, an invitation to release limitations and rules and let my wings spread and fly.
Yesterday I listened as the kids watched the end of the The Tooth Fairy. The movie’s main character, Derek Thompson, is a hockey player who believes dreams are the reason people end up disappointed. When a young fan tells him he wants to play in the NHL when he grows up, Derek tells him to face the truth. There will always be better, faster, younger players than him. Better give up now than be disappointed later.
But is the fact that there will always be someone better, younger and faster a reason to give up? Take me as an example. Next month I will be 40, and I have not yet published a book. Now take Christopher Paolini who published his first novel at nineteen and quickly became a NYTimes best-selling author. Does comparing me to Paolini say anything at all? I hope not!
Comparison seems an ineffectual way to live, whether I’m comparing my performance to others or to my own expectation of me. And I wonder, why the need to compare? Is there no other way to reach my goals? “If you can dream it, you can do it,” Walt Disney said. Perhaps instead of measuring, comparing, judging and criticizing, a better way to accomplish the same goals is by dreaming, doing and believing.
The Tooth Fairy ends with Derek realizing, “You want to fly? You have to believe!” I believe that if I believed I could fly, then I could fly. Every once in a while (and I don’t mean this is in a “we have to put her away in a mental institution before she tries it” kind of way) I feel very close to flying. The air begins to give me that lift, that tilt to the wings, which I just know can release the hold of gravity. And after all, what is gravity but a figment of our scientific imagination?
With my novel, with all my dreams, I know this is true. There is a fine balance, a moment when the dreaming, doing, and believing come together and magic happens. Words fall into place on the page. The man of my dreams comes into my life. I get to send my novel to an agent. And someday one of my novels will be on the shelf of your local bookstore or on your virtual kindle shelf. I plan on continuing to dream better, faster and younger dreams. And with a dash of believing and doing, next time I feel that tilt, that lift to my wings, I hope to let go of gravity, and….
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