It’s that we have not been shown HOW to do anything at all.
Get up without a snooze, make your bed, meditate, prepare yourself for the world, go for a quick run, cook so you can eat a warm healthy breakfast, and enjoy the peaceful commute to work. . . .
Sounds so inviting . . . yet so far from the modern-day norm.
Here is the real, raw snapshot:
Let me snooze 8 times, each time looking at my clock to calculate what I can eliminate so I can get 5 more minutes of sleep . . . because I was Facebooking a little too late.
Now it is a toss-up between getting dressed, meditating, planning my day, cooking a healthy meal, exercising, or getting to work before my boss so that I don’t look too entitled for a raise.
This is the modern-day norm, seen as a bit cool, a bit chaotic, a bit hip . . .
And yet people are dying a spiritual death.
Ask the deeper questions, and what you are going to uncover is that the frenzy is actually masking a greater wound.
A wound that is so often concealed, unnoticed, and . . .
not very cool.
Often, we are crying and don’t know why.
We can’t even figure out exactly what is causing the ache . . . we blame the boss, the work, the girl/boyfriend, the housing . . .
We blame, not because we want to, but because that is all we have been programmed to do.
Turn on the TV, and you’ll see that we have indeed been programmed to look everywhere else . . . except within.
What is the wound? . . .
We have forgotten to live — live humanly . . . and not just survive to avoid insanity.
We have forgotten the heart of every dream, and that is the human person . . . us.
No wonder we can’t go boldly into our dreams . . . no wonder we start out so fearless, dreaming of endless possibilities . . . only to wind up feeling stuck, broken, and eventually resentful.
We end up believing that our dreams were not meant to be ours after all.
Yet THAT is a bold lie.
There will never be another you in this planet — that is a fact — so your dreams are actually part of your unique contribution to this world.
Without your dreams being fulfilled, this world will fall short of your voice — a voice that only you can speak.
You don’t only have a message — you ARE your message.
Your contribution can only be contributed by yourself. The thought that each of us has an insignificant voice is the biggest robbery of humanity.
We might not start out doubting the power of our voice — but so many of us are just knocked down by life because we were never taught to live. Nobody is SHOWING US HOW.
We have been so ill equipped to LIVE and meet our most basic human needs. It doesn’t matter how dramatically the world has shifted; the most basic human needs have remained the same: rest, calm, nutrition, water, conversation, etc.
These skills have not changed. What has changed is our ability to adapt the needed SKILLS to continue to meet our most basic needs in life, despite the huge shifts in the pace and demands of our daily lives.
For example: We still need conversation. It doesn’t matter how hyper-connected we are digitally; we need physical and real conversation.
So what is the skill that must be learned here?
We need to learn how to have meaningful conversations briefly — same skill, just adjusted based on a fast-paced world.
Otherwise, we can have a 2-hour conversation and still be left thirsty for meaning.
Because we are so devoid of the most basic skills to live and to thrive, so many of us have convinced ourselves that we are just not good enough. We have slowly allowed ourselves to believe this lie because of our lack of competency in these basic skills. The stories we are making up are slowly robbing us of our ability to contribute who we are for the world.
What does competency have to do with basic life skills??? EVERYTHING.
To keep it simple:
Competency is knowing what to do and how to do it well.
How do you get good at something? . . .
By repetition of the small, mundane, seemingly insignificant task that allows for competency . . . which leads to confidence . . . which leads to mastery.
So, what does getting up in the morning and making your bed have to do with fulfilling your dreams? Everything.
How many layers of skills does it take to choose to get up as soon as the alarm goes off? I see at least 5 skills packed into that moment when we’re staring at our alarm clocks.
One: the skill of planning when you have to get up.
Two: the skill of discipline to follow a command you have given yourself.
Three: the skill of commitment to a plan that tells yourself you are competent at honoring your word.
Four: the skill of saying NO to whatever might stop you from honoring that commitment. (Goodbye, 1 a.m. Facebooking . . . )
Five: the skill of picturing the outcome you want (in this case, your peaceful morning, your run, your shower, your nutritious breakfast) . . . and (okay, I see 6 skills) . . .
Six: the skill of saying YES to that vision, walking forward into it.
These are all the same skills you need to go fearlessly into your dreams.
As a culture, we have made the basic human life skills so insignificant that we often lack them. Yet these are the same skills we need to CHARGE towards our dreams.
Basic life skills are considered optional today . . . pretty boring, even . . .
Skills such as cooking, making your bed, and getting up to your alarm have been seen as so irrelevant that we now have a culture devoid of some of these most basic skill sets necessary to survive and thrive . . . therefore, we have a generation of people who are ill equipped to live.
The great commission we hear today is: “Go bold, follow your dreams, be fearless . . . live the life you imagined.”
You can google “follow your dreams” and, in about 3 seconds (depending on how fast your internet is), you can get about 1,000 different options on how to follow your dreams.
You get this 5 minutes of inspiration that makes you feel like you can conquer the world.
Yet, after those 5 minutes . . . you are all of a sudden faced with the reality of HOW?
How do you follow your dreams when you don’t know how to plan to carve out time to meditate in the morning?
How do you follow your dreams when you don’t know how to give yourself a command and say “no” to your phone, “no” to pointless parties, or “no” to hours of snapchatting?
How do you follow your dreams when you can’t stay awake long enough to imagine your dreams, because you’re falling asleep on your desk from your to-go breakfast cereal bar that is caked with sugar . . . hence, making you too tired to stay up to dream?
What am I saying here?
Today we are falling into a trap, unaware of it until . . . we resolve that we are not good enough to dream big.
The cry is, “I want to . . . but I don’t know how to.”
The greatest crisis of our current and future generation is that we are devoid of the most basic life skills that, once upon a time, were assumed as a norm.
100 years ago, people slept at night.
They ate home-cooked meals, they had in-depth conversations on their porches, they actually ate together.
They paused. They played. They created space to thrive.
They did not have the opportunities that we have today, yet they were rich, in every way possible. Life was simple and beautiful. They lived the abundance we now all crave for, in comparison to today’s abundance without fulfillment, because they were fully alive in their moments.
They knew how to live.
The most exciting part about this crisis is that we can fix it — it is not complex . . . as a matter of fact, it is quite simple.
But then again, simple does not mean easy.
It will require a cultural shift of focus, and that is learning to LIVE AGAIN. Back to basics on how to be human in a world that is saturated with inhumane lifestyle . . . literally.
The crisis can be resolved with one idea — and that is: skill set.
We need to have a global conversation on the skill crisis that we face today so we can begin the foundation work of human SKILL BUILDING.
When we can reteach basic skills that lead to competencies . . . then we can provide the vehicle for authentic self-confidence.
In other words, we equip our youth to go boldly into their dreams through timeless competencies that can only be mastered through life skills.
If that is the gift that we can give our future generation, then we have freed them from the chains of insignificance and set them on a path that will lead them to their life’s work.
So what does “going confidently into our dreams” look like?
It really looks a lot like building competencies to live our dreams.
When you can get beyond just imagining a dream and start pursuing it, step by step . . . then it can become yours in all its glory.
We don’t have a dream crisis, we have a skill crisis.
“Impossible” dreams can be made possible through skills — it is that simple.
Each time I look at my impossible dreams, I just ask myself: what skill do I need to learn to make my dreams possible?
You can absolutely live your impossible dream . . . if you are willing to pay the SKILL price of what will make it possible.
Put another way: Competence leads to confidence. Confidence leads to mastery. Self-mastery is the gateway to all dreams we hold in the quiet of our hearts . . . dreams that will not only fill up our own ache to live, but dreams that will contribute to filling the ache of humanity, because your dreams have everything to do with your contribution to this world.
Originally published at medium.com