When a dream comes true, there is nothing sweeter than to share the new achievement of your dreams with a community of people who believe in you. Some of the people around you will have been doubters, won over by the gradual progression toward your dreams. Others will be supporters from the beginning.
No matter who is there, it is a wonderful feeling to celebrate with them.
However, you will not see your dreams come true by yourself. For us to accomplish the dreams we set out to chase, we need to have other people with us along the way. It will be these people who cheer you on, give you new ideas, and pick you up when things go wrong.
We do not get to see our dreams come true by ourselves. We are championed by our friends and family. The community you put around you is essential to your achievement.
When we start to think about who we want around us as we chase our dreams we need to think of the following three groups of people:
- Fans: People who will cheer us on along the way.
- Truth-Tellers: People we can trust to tell us the truth about our pursuit, who we are, and how we appear to be doing.
- Mentors: People who will help us along the journey to see our dreams come true based on their experience.
The Fans Who Will Cheer You On
Our fans will be the most important group for us as we chase our dreams. They are the ones who will cheer you on when things are great. Encourage you when things are hard. And show up when it is time to celebrate. These are the close friends and family members who will want to see you succeed.
These are not the doubters. Or the bandwagon hoppers who jump on board partway through the journey. These are the people with who you shared your dream and believe in you and your dream.
In my life, these are the friends and family who catch a vision for why I have a dream. They are the ones who ask how things are going when we are in the middle of our journey. And they ultimately, cannot wait to share in the glory of a dream come true.
When we moved to our new house out on some land, our fans are the ones who come to visit and share in the beauty of our home and environment. They share in the excitement of a dream come true. Even though we moved away from them.
And then, they share how they are inspired. And we get to return the favor and be their fan.
Truth-Tellers: Keeping You Grounded Along the Way
When you are in the thick of chasing your dreams, these are the people who will tell you how things are really going. They are the ones who will give you honest feedback. And they will keep you grounded along the journey so you don’t forget who you are.
These are not the discouragers or the ‘realists,’ who try and keep you from going too far too soon.
Your truth-tellers will give you insight into you. And your path for your dreams. They will tell you if you have overstepped a moral boundary or if you are neglecting the duties of life.
And they will encourage you to take the steps you fear to take. Or you think might be impossible. They will pick you up and help give you options in the direction to go. They are greater than the fan because they know you intimately.
Mentors: People Who Will Contribute to Your Dream
Along the journey of your dreams, you will find mentors who will come and go at different times. They will step into a spot to help you grow and find proven paths to chase your dreams. They will provide connections, knowledge, wisdom, and insight to your endeavors.
These are not self-appointed experts who push their way into your life. They are people you will find who has done something similar. And they will offer to help you, but not force you.
Different people join us on this journey toward our dreams. They come in at just the right time, and when they have helped, they will step back. These are the people we can count on when we don’t know what to do and need someone who has experience in this specific time.
They expect nothing in return, other than being able to see you reach your dreams.
You Need A Community
You need a community that will sharpen you. One which will help you work through the difficult parts of life and your journey. And one which will help polish the rough areas into fine, strong areas of your life.
Our fans, truth-tellers, and mentors can contribute to our lives in a number of settings:
- Small Groups
- Event Settings
While I am a mere 35 years old, I have seen some amazing ways to sharpen people. It is wonderful how this happens. It doesn’t really matter your age, stage of life, or race. What does matter is that two good-hearted people want to learn from each other and are humble enough to do so?
Here are three ways we sharpen each other:
When I was in college, I had a mentor. He would meet with me weekly and answer my questions. Help me with understanding life and school. He encouraged me in my faith and pushed me to become a better man. He would sharpen me in both the ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ methods.
Early on, there was a lot of grinding. Sparks didn’t always fly between us but would fly in my own life as I learned to live differently. And in the end, it was much more of a finishing sharpening happening in my life.
Our years of friendship, mentorship, and sharpening helped shape me into the man I am today. His encouragement, steadfastness, and discerning spirit helped me understand and learn things I never knew before.
And this is mere, one way to be sharpened.
A Group Setting
Sometimes the best sharpening happens within a group. While there is a lot less friction in this style of building into people, when it happens there is a lot more support and accountability. In these settings, we are able to grow due to multiple viewpoints and life experiences. And we grow friendships that will last.
The group I talked about earlier is one of those groups. Each one of us comes to form a different background, age, ethnicity, and stage of life. But we all spoke into each other's lives. Encouragement and building happen in groups like these.
And from my experience, these are the groups that might come and go a little more, but they are rarely forgotten. These are the times we often remember with fondness. And reassures us we are not alone. There is a community available to us.
An Event Settings
These are the conferences and retreats we go to in order to get focused time for sharpening. We learn special skills and information to help us live life better, do work better, and ultimately become better people. These are the events where we might find a one-on-one sharpening relationship or sparks a group.
In these situations, it is mass sharpening by event speakers and breakout groups. They are effective because they are focused on time. They don’t happen every week or every month, but they are available for us to learn and grow quickly at times.
In these situations, we will encounter the dry and wet methods of sharpening in our own lives. And we will always leave better for it.
People Who Don’t Have a Say
There will be plenty of people along your journey to chasing your dreams which will discourage your dreams. They will think they are being helpful but really they are trying to keep you from your best. You need to be on the lookout for these people and be ready to turn them away.
Types of Dream Discouragers
- Doubters: These folks will tell you that it is good to chase your dreams, but you shouldn’t go all-in on chasing them. They will discourage you from waking up early, staying up late, or opting out of less important things. And when they start to see you succeed, they will be right there with you only to say, “it’s been good so far, but…”
- Realists: This person will tell you not to quit your day job, or what your odds of success might be. They will discourage you from dreaming big or trying to see your dreams come true quickly. And when you start to succeed, they will slowly back away, because you have challenged ‘reality.’
- Intruders: These self-appointed experts shove their way into your dream conversation. They will discourage you from listening to yourself or what others say in an effort to get you to do what they think is best. They aren’t invited, but they show up anyway. And when you start to succeed, they will tell you, “I told you so,” even if what they told you was wrong.
Not everyone will believe in your dreams and it is OK. Some people will be wary of you because they gave up on a dream or had their dreams crushed by others. You can invite those folks to watch as you go, or keep them at arms-length.
But you need to be ready for the active discouragers because they will come out of the woodwork when you least expect it.