This past weekend, I was at a retreat for a community service organization I am a member of and one of my fellow members was talking about the time he, a former lineman, ran a blocked punt back for a touchdown. The newspaper headline read “LINEMAN FULFILLS LINEMAN’S DREAM”, accompanied by a photograph of him crossing into the end zone.
Great headline except for one thing: that wasn’t his dream. He said that, as a lineman, his dream wasn’t to score a touchdown. It was to “knock someone through the fence.” See, a lineman’s job is to shine but in a different way. The team could score until the scoreboard was broken but if a lineman spends the entire game missing blocks, he had a terrible game. His job is to do all that is within his power to help the team win. That’s how he wins the game. And he knows that.
The problem with many of us is that we let too many people define our dreams for us. Everyone doesn’t want (or need) to be the star of the show. Getting rich may not be on your bucket list. I personally no longer want to be the president of the United States (the bar has fallen so far since 45 started that I’m not sure it can be called an accomplishment anymore). There are many roles to be played in life and everyone has been given different talents so they can play the role they were afforded. A lineman isn’t going to regularly score the game winning touchdown just like a quarterback isn’t regularly going to put his body on the line to make the game winning block. Do the two happen sometimes? Sure. But when they do, they’re anomalies.
Define your own dreams. No other person in this world can do that for you.
Make professional development a priority.