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The importance of dreams and hopes

Joy Wright photo Joy Wright · 16 Mar, 2021

Joy talks to us about the role of dreams and aspirations in our lives and how they help us hold onto hope during difficult times.

Hi, I'm Joy. And today I just wanted to chat with you a bit about dreams because this week I heard a quote from Richard Branson about dreams. It wasn't him that was speaking, but somebody was telling me about something that he said and it really inspired me.

So this is what he said. "Don't be self-conscious about dreaming or about people think that you're being too idealistic and not serious enough. Don't allow yourself talk to be judgmental. Look at the world with wide eyed enthusiasm and believe that you are more powerful than the problems that confront you. Dream big."

So I thought that was just really cool. And it kind of got me thinking off the back of a conversation that I was having with a friend also this week, just about my own journey and the impact of dreams, or kind of like the role of dreams or having kind of like aspirations or like a vision for something bigger. The role that that's had in my life.

Because when I was a teenager, I really struggled. I spent quite a few years kind of thinking that I probably wouldn't become an adult because I thought that I would maybe likely end my life actually before I got there. I struggled a lot with self-harm and feeling very down and very anxious. And yeah, I didn't know what was gonna happen. But interestingly, one of the things that I remember looking back on on that time was that I still had a sense of having a bit of a dream for my life that basically went like this.

'Look, God', 'cause I used to chat to God quite a lot, still do, 'Look, God, if I'm gonna have a future, I want it to count. If I'm gonna get through this horrible time and become an adult and go on and have a life, I really want you to do something meaningful with it. I want you to do something amazing with it. And I would really love the opportunity to be able to come alongside other young people that are struggling like me and help them, just understand them, be there for them. I really want the stuff that I've been through to make a difference to somebody else, I want it to count. I want it to be put to good use and do something with it'.

And that was my dream. And for a long time, it seemed like literally just a pipe dream because everything felt too hard. I didn't expect to ever actually get there.

But just listen to these words again. "Don't be self-conscious about dreaming or about people thinking you're too idealistic and not serious enough". This is the bit. "Don't allow yourself talk to be judgmental. Look at the world with wide eyed enthusiasm and belief that you are more powerful than the problems that confront you. Dream big".

So today, I run an organisation that helps young people that are in crisis with self harm and feeling suicidal. And sometimes I just look back and I just think, "Oh my goodness, how did that happen?" Through a lot of hard work, actually, but mostly, most importantly, the dream that I held and I held onto during those times when life was really really hard, that dream is becoming a reality.

And sometimes I think that when we go through really hard stuff, we think that it disqualifies us from being able to do something meaningful with our lives. Sometimes we feel so discouraged and so down on ourselves and so sometimes even ashamed of the thoughts that we've had or the things that we've been through. And I used to feel like that too.

And what I have realised is that going through really hard stuff does not disqualify you from doing something with your life that means something to you, that matters and it's gonna make a difference with other people. In fact, those very hard, horrible circumstances can sometimes be the seed of your dream.

So don't be ashamed of the struggles. Don't feel like you can't acknowledge them because actually, sometimes those are the things that your passion comes from, that your drive comes from, that you think, ‘You know what? I wanna make a difference for somebody else that's in this kind of situation’.

So that's my encouragement for you today. I hope you're doing okay. And if you're in a difficult place, just remember this does not disqualify you from life. This does not disqualify you from following your dreams. In fact, this really could be the seed bed of your dreams, of your future, of your purpose, and of your passion.

Take care.

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