In part 2 of this blog on Putting Your Dream To The Test, I want to parallel Steps 6-10 in relation to the birth of our second child, Major Alexander, which was a dream come true for me and my wife.
Looking back in retrospect, steps 6-10 of Putting Your Dream To The Test were applicable to our situation.
6. The People Question – Have I Included The People I Need To Realize My Dream
- John Maxwell in his book states: “It’s not enough to have a dream, you must have a dream team.” I would bet my last dollar in stating that no-one who has ever accomplished a dream of any significance alone, they needed a team to do it.
- If you haven’t formed your dream team, you need to. These are the necessary people who have the expertise, the inspiration, or they are able to point you in the direction of people who have the expertise.
- Most importantly, they are the people who are going to be honest with you!
- Paralleling this to our pregnancy, after my wife had a miscarriage during our first year of marriage we started forming the dream team that would help us accomplish our dream of having another child. I had a co-worker who just came back from maternity leave and in talking to her she pointed us to her doctor, one of the foremost OB/GYN’s in the world. He was the first leg of the dream team and my co-worker was part of the dream team as well. She was always encouraging and inspiring my wife and I to not give up. The other members of the dream team at the time were our family and friends, they knew how much we wanted another child and provided words of encouragement on a routine basis.
7. The Cost Question – Am I Willing To Pay The Price For My Dream
- “If you want to achieve a dream, you have to be willing to do more than just imagine the outcome. You have to be willing to pay a price to take the journey forward. That’s why dream believers are in abundance. Dream buyers are rare.” John Maxwell
- Parallel in our journey to become pregnant: After our 1st visit with our “dream team” doctor, he made it very apparent one obstacle had to be removed before my wife could get pregnant and that was the removal of several fibroids which meant surgery was inevitable. Please note: because this was our dream, surgery was not optional, it was inevitable. My wife, Krystal, is a soldier of the highest ranks and has my ultimate respect because this leg of the journey cost her physical and emotion pain that I could only imagine…but the price of our dream outweighed the impending pain.
- Once the surgery was complete and my wife had recuperated, she started taking medications that would make it easier for conception to take place. However, the medications were causing her severe sickness. She was actually willing to remain sick but I stopped her from taking the medications and told our doctor that we had to try other alternatives.
- We tried another medication and it caused the same level of sickness which we then stopped having Krystal take.
- It was at this point, I told the doctor that we weren’t going to rely on medications but completely trust in Christ and use an ovulation calendar. This now year 6-years after the 1st miscarriage and 4-years after the fibroid surgery and still no pregnancy. BUT WE DIDN’T GIVE UP!
8. The Tenacity Question – Am I Moving Closer To My Dream
- John Maxwell has 7 key points regarding Tenacity, I want to touch on one of them: “To Move Closer To Your Dream, Improve Your Vocabulary.” John in his early career did something in a symbolic act of defiance that showed just how tenacious he was about success: he was facing some difficult leadership issues, felt like throwing in the towel and considered quitting. He looked up the word “quit” in the dictionary and after reading it, realized he wanted success too much. He literally cut the word “quit” out of his dictionary. It didn’t change the situation but it definitely strengthened his resolve.
- Parallel in our journey to become pregnant: We were now 8-years into the journey, still hadn’t given up but we were now looking at our dream through a different lense: should we look at adoption or spend the money on invitro-fertilization or artificial insemination…either option was costly with no guarantee of a child at the end.
- We didn’t get discouraged at this point. What we decided to do was take a leap of faith and show God that if he didn’t see fit for us to get pregnant that there were too many kids in this world who needed a loving home and we wanted to be one of those loving homes.
- The story takes a little twist here though: we didn’t go the traditional adoption route – my wife laid on my heart to take in a 19-year old homeless young man whom she had met while teaching music at a charter school. He came from a broken home, had been physically, emotionally and verbally abused but had a heart of gold and tremendous potential. Initially I looked at her as if she was crazy, but the Lord settled me on the fact that this was something we should do.
- We resolved in our heart and mind that if we couldn’t conceive a child, our focus on adding another life to our family would come through a non-traditional method. Believe me, close friends and on-lookers said we were crazy but we knew this was the right thing to do in completing our dream.
- We invested in this young man as if he was part of the family, he was our son and we treated him as such. We helped him get enrolled in college and assisted him as much as we could in becoming a productive member of society…and so we thought the dream was complete…
9. The Fulfillment Question – Does Working Toward My Dream Bring Satisfaction
- As you pursue your dream, if frustration is the majority of what you feel, it lessens the chances of you accomplishing your dream. Your dream must bring you satisfaction along the journey. I didn’t say it would be “easy” but at certain points along the journey, satisfaction should be felt.
- If your dream doesn’t bring you satisfaction, then you should revisit Step 1, the Ownership Question…re-examine your motives.
- Parallel in our journey to become pregnant: Having our 17-year old daughter and a 19-year old “adopted” son was satisfactory for us.
- …we believe that it wasn’t until we truly examined our motive of wanting to have a child that God blessed my wife to conceive. It was only after our adopted son was brought into our house and we gave everything we had as parents to both of them as our kids that Krystal became pregnant.
- However, we had to revisit Step 7 – The Cost Question. Her pregnancy was a difficult one that caused her significant pain in terms of blood clots that almost caused a pulmonary embolism because they weren’t caught early on in the pregnancy and then the latter part of her pregnancy she was on bed-rest. But in her mind, it was all worth it when she would see Major’s little hearbeat or feel his little kick inside her stomach.
10. The Significance Question – Does My Dream Benefit Others
- Ultimately, your dream should benefit others. John Maxwell describes the significance question in 3 levels:
- I want to do something significant for myself: This is not at all a selfish statement. However, it does indicate that before you can offer the world anything, you must invest in yourself as the foundation to build from.
- I want to do something significant for others: When asking yourself the significance question and your dream doesn’t benefit others, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to throw away your dream…it means you should EXPAND it to include others.
- I want to do something significant with others: “People who want to achieve a significant dream with others must be able to help other people embrace that same dream. And when they do, what a wonderful gift it is for all of them. If you and I can share a dream with others, it expands both their possibilities and our own.” John Maxwell
- Parallel in our journey to become pregnant: In accomplishing our dream of conceiving a child, we realized that along the journey we expanded our dream to include and impact a 19-year old young man. In that process, we realized that he taught us just as much as we taught him about the value of life.
Question: While on your journey to achieving a dream when did you realize that your dream was going to impact so many more people than originally anticipated? Please leave a comment below.
If you are interested in purchasing John Maxwell’s book: Put Your Dream To The Test, you can order via the following link on my website: http://tinyurl.com/ce6j8vd