The day I got tired of dreaming
Updated: May 19, 2022
“A dream written down with a date becomes a GOAL. A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN. A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true."
— Greg Reid*
Goals and challenges vary, but they all have a beginning. There is always the first step. And a second, and a third. Looking back, it would seem that time simply passed, but if we analyze the journey calmly and carefully, we will be able to verify –and delight ourselves– in the details of the daily work and commitment that we put while walking towards that goal.
The photo of the dumbell set that accompanies this post, is just the simple beginning of what came later. What came after I realized that little is done with dreams, and it is necessary to begin to change reality. When I bought them, back in 2016 (I don't remember the exact month), they were already punished by use, but it was what my budget allowed me at that time. A mat I also bought, served them as a partner through my daily exercise routines.
So, just like that, and little by little, I started to acquire other things necessary for my training, sometimes used, sometimes new, but always welcomed. I never felt the price I paid for these things as an expense, but always, as an investment. An investment in my physical, mental and emotional health. An investment in my quality of life. An investment in my bet to live a life that I’d love to live. An investment, to put it simply, in becoming someone better not only for myself but also for my loved ones.
I had always wanted to have a gym, and it was one of those things that I planned to do “at some point”. As you might suspect, we never arrive at those “points”… Fortunately, a few months before the pandemic engulfed the entire world, the idea of having dreams had begun to bother me. I found it annoying to dream, when in reality what I needed was to plan, to do, to begin. So it was that, close to the end of 2019, I decided that I had had enough. I was fed up with not having the time to attend a gym or the budget to afford it. I had had enough of dreaming about it, wishing for it, imagining it. So I started planning. And I started doing.
The photos I share in this publication represent the extremes of 30 months. It is important to recognize them as such because what separates them is a journey, a walk towards the realization of a dream, even though this word may sound too presumptuous to many.
I started by cleaning, throwing away, discarding, and ordering to have a clean and nice space. Some paint and, as soon as my finances allowed for it, some mats for the floor, provided the former garage with a completely new look. As best as I could –I am no handyman– I managed to build some simple shelves and, without further ado, the former “parking space” had become my gym.
It's amazing the effect that a little bit of cleaning, painting, and ingenuity can have on a room, and even more amazing –and transformative– are the changes those modifications can cause inside you. Regardless of its simplicity, or the long list of things that it lacked, my dream was no longer such, and its realization had directly affected my reality.
Little by little, and through modest investments, that list was shortened until I managed to have a place that does not lack anything essential to meet my necessities. There are several things that I want and need, and I will get them, of that I am sure. The fundamental thing, however, is to turn the dream into a plan because, once we begin to see, literally and materially, how we are advancing, we enter into positive inertia that, if we take care of it, will continue moving us towards our destiny.
It is important to know, nonetheless, that progress is not usually a straight line that always goes up and forward, which is why I beg you not to lose perspective and examine the big picture, focusing on mid-term and long-term goals, and not expecting big changes daily. There will be setbacks, falls and even moments of stagnation – the most dangerous in my opinion – but in the long run our effort and consistency will set a course for growth and success.
What is the dream that you want to stop dreaming?
By sharing this, I am, in no way looking for applause or congratulations, but to show a tangible and real example, experienced firsthand by an ordinary person. There is nothing special here. Just planning, dedication, and consistency.
What is that dream that you are tired of dreaming? What is the reality that you want to start living? Is it also a gym, or your own home office? A better job, healthy fitness, or running your first 5K?
How much longer do you plan to keep dreaming about it? Someone once said that the difference between a dream and a plan is a date. What if you start there? Set a date and make it public – when we share plans with others, it works as healthy pressure, as an element of commitment to not deviate from the path. Do not focus on how long it will take you to achieve what you want. Does it matter? Time will go by, whatever you do. Days, weeks, months, and years will pass, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. The question is, where will you be after all that time has passed?
We can't stop the clock, but we can control the time it dictates.
Never forget your beginnings. Ever.
I still have my old 20-pound dumbbell set, even though I don't use them anymore. They are older, looser, and rustier than the day I bought them, but every time I see them on a corner in the gym, they remind me of where I started and make me look to the present, seeking inspiration to continue. From time to time it is a good thing to contemplate the course traveled. On many occasions, it is even better than thinking about the one that remains to be completed, I would say. Whatever the path and the goal, we will always start walking it with a first step. But be careful… let it be the first, not the only one.
I hope that my humble success story can provide you with some key, examples, or inspiration. In my way and with the tools I had and have, I managed to prove that planning and consistency pay off. There are dark and weak days, but those are the days when my body and mind are strengthened.
What is the dream that you want to stop dreaming?
Open your eyes. The time is yours, and this is your time.
* Greg S. Reid is a world-renowned speaker, filmmaker, and entrepreneur known for his giving spirit and knack for translating complicated situations into simple, digestible concepts.