Encouraging Kids to Dream
About four years ago, I read this amazing book called Goals by Brian Tracy. The book is all about how the simple act of writing down your goals and reviewing them everyday can change your life. A part of the book talks about visualizing your dreams can turn them into reality. Now, I’m sure quite a few of you are rolling your eyes and thinking about how you are going to scream if you hear this “happy thoughts” crap one more time. And a big part of that is because you have lived life and had some experiences that say otherwise. To truly submit to this idea of self -fulfilling prophecy, you would have to completely change your thinking. And let’s face it, the older you get, the less likely that is. But still, anything is possible.
After I read the book, I believed it was possible. But I wasn’t thinking about myself and my dreams as much as I was thinking about my daughter Journey. I thought about how her little mind is like clay and can still be molded to believe anything. I thought about how most of us start out like that and somehow along the way insecurity, fear, doubt and conformity turn the clay into concrete. Most importantly, I thought about how different I might be today if I had grown up believing that I was good enough, pretty enough, and smart enough when feelings of self-doubt would arise.
I immediately went out and bought Journey a scrapbook and together we created her Dream Book. She was three at the time, and always asking for everything she would see. At the time, she was fixated on all things pink and set her sights on a pink house, a pink kitchen, a pink car and two puppies. She even named them—Kero and Fluffy the Puppy! We cut out pictures that she chose and pasted them into the book. I told her if she kept believing and working hard, she would get everything in the pictures and more. At one point, she got the kitchen and the car, but still no house. One day she says to me, “I have to work harder, I still need to get my pink house.” Since then, she has created pages with things she likes to do, places she wants to go and what she wants to be when she grows up. If you ask her what she wants to be, she will names a few careers but always ends with “I want to be the girl who changes the world.” And I know she truly believes it.