F& R

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

THERE ARE times when par­ents want to live the dreams they missed out on through their chil­dren. Un­for­tu­nately, when they have a ca­reer stuck in their heads and a path they want their chil­dren to take, it can be a bat­tle for that child to break through and pur­sue the dream that is con­trary to that of their par­ents. Like Joseph in the Bi­ble, shar­ing your dreams can turn out to be a night­mare, and for some, it dies a slow death. Out­side of the parental re­la­tion­ship, dreams can be sti­fled even when they are shared with friends or even your own church fam­ily. Fu­elled with a pas­sion to ac­com­plish some­thing worth­while – to you, that is – and ex­cit­edly shar­ing and ex­pect­ing en­cour­age­ment, one could find him­self or her­self re­ceiv­ing neg­a­tiv­ity or sheer dis­cour­age­ment. If the per­son is not strong, bit­ter­ness and doubt be­gin to creep in, and be­fore you know it, that pas­sion and dream is a dis­tant mem­ory on the hori­zon. Fam­ily and Re­li­gion reached out to Pas­tor Joan Gumbs of How Ya Livin’ Now De­liv­er­ance Out­reach Min­istry, who stressed that the key to liv­ing one’s dream is to re­main com­mit­ted. “Most peo­ple fail to reach their dreams, not for lack of abil­ity, but be­cause of a lack of com­mit­ment. By com­mit­ting to your dream, you’re telling your­self no mat­ter what, you will not give up. You be­lieve you can achieve it, and no mat­ter what, or how long it takes, you are com­mit­ted to see­ing it through,” she said.

For her, dis­trac­tions such as dis­cour­age­ment, op­po­si­tion, whether from fam­ily or friends should not de­ter the per­son chas­ing his dreams or from be­ing mo­ti­vated.

“You should vi­su­alise your dream. If you are not good at vi­su­al­is­ing, then find tan­gi­ble rep­re­sen­ta­tions of your dreams and place them where you can see them ev­ery day. Con­stantly look­ing at your dreams will keep you mo­ti­vated,” she said.


Re­gard­ing fam­ily mem­bers who try to force their own goals on their chil­dren, ig­nor­ing their chil­dren’s dreams, Gumbs said it is even more im­por­tant for them to be per­sis­tent.

“When they are not do­ing that, it means you need to keep your dreams to your­self as it re­lates to your fam­ily. Many fam­ily mem­bers are dream killers. And you can’t re­ally blame them be­cause it’s not their dream. How­ever, some­times you have to reach with­out the sup­port of others,” she said.

In do­ing this, Gumbs said it will be very im­por­tant to shut out the noise from neg­a­tive peo­ple as in­ter­nal fears and self­doubts could get a ‘feed­ing tree’.

“Don’t con­tin­u­ously sec­ond-guess your­self. It’s OK to oc­ca­sion­ally have doubts, es­pe­cially if the dream is re­ally big. But keep a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude. At the same time, your goals should be at­tain­able,” she shared.

Gumbs also shared some must-dos in ac­com­plish­ing dreams: cul­ti­vat­ing good habits that will help in achiev­ing goals; itemis­ing your goals; strate­gis­ing how to ac­com­plish them; and, most im­por­tant, set­ting achiev­able goals.

While en­cour­ag­ing dream chasers to be stead­fast in their pur­suits, Gumbs said there are some things they should never lose sight of and those are their health, fam­ily, and friends.

“That is, the ones who are sup­port­ive. Don’t have too many goals to reach at once. Many per­sons have died with­out real­is­ing their dreams be­cause they had too many, which be­came drain­ing, and even­tu­ally unattain­able,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Gumbs, get­ting to ‘the moun­tain­top’ will not be an easy task as it will mean per­sonal sac­ri­fices.

“Be pre­pared to lose sleep, your com­fort, your fam­ily, your friends, your time, and just about any­thing or any­one that will dis­tract you from pur­su­ing your dreams. You may have fam­ily mem­bers who re­sent you giv­ing up time with them to pur­sue your dreams. You may have friends who re­sent you for not go­ing to the party with them be­cause you have to stay home and study. What­ever goals you set for your­self are worth fight­ing for. So don’t let any­thing or any­one stand in the way of achiev­ing your goals,” she said.

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