The letter is about 50 years old and is addressed to “‘Pro’ Fisherman.” That was her sending a letter to me though she couldn’t remember my name. It was also an indication of a love that I clearly bore for fishing, and, I’d like to think, a talent that I exhibited for it, too. I thought of that letter differently as last month I watched my youngest son on a nationally televised fishing show. He represented his employer, and out fished the experts. I remember when he had the dream of being a professional fisherman. I believe that I was better able to help him achieve his dream by remembering my own.
Years ago, I first presented my topic, “Helping Them Achieve Their Dreams by Remembering Your Own.” Intended for parents, teachers, coaches, etc., the topic strives to help others remember their dreams, their hopes, the challenges and the joys along the way. There are multiple routes in pursuit of a dream. While my son’s goal a dozen years ago was to be a fisherman, with a little encouragement and guidance he was able to see that he could be associated with what he loved without doing exactly it. His career is well on its way in the recreational marine world, and along the way he has had some amazing fishing trips without the hassles of dealing with the variety of customers that guides get stuck with. In his words, he’s “living the dream.”
I could relate stories of my other two sons and dreams they had, and how they have been able to tap into them in different ways throughout their lives. The first step is having dreams. The worst step is to quash or diminish the dreams of others. My oldest wanted to be a fisherman, writer and teller of tales. All three are firmly woven into the pattern of his life now. My middle son has dreamed of adventures all his life, and he has enjoyed many in his own life, from climbing the Continental Divide to diving to reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. For all three of the boys, there are many dreams yet to be had and to be enjoyed.
My sons have had much more adventurous and exciting lives than I had at their ages. And that’s okay. I had my own kind of journey based on my own dreams. But, by remembering my own, I am better able to encourage theirs and relish the joy of witnessing them in pursuit of their dreams. We can call do that for each other – parents to kids, leaders to team members, teachers to students, friends to friends and people to people.