Young kids are the best about dreams. Unlike grownups, they see the possibilities first and get excited about what could be. We see the difficulties first and we focus on how hard it will be to accomplish the dream.
“I’m gonna be a basketball star.”
“But you’ll have to practice for hours every day.”
“I’m gonna be an astronaut and go to the moon.”
“But no one’s been to the moon in over forty years.”
If you have a student who tells you about their dreams—don’t shoot them down with the difficulties. Let them dream. In fact, encourage them to dream and get excited about it. Grab a piece of paper and have them sign it. Tell them, “When you go to the moon and you’re crazy famous, I’m gonna sell this on eBay and make a stack of cash.”
You’ll see a smile that’s impossible to forget. Trust me. I’ve seen it and I still have the autographs to prove it—a soon to be chief of police, world class golfer, and Olympic gold medalist to name just a few. If you want to add a little pizzazz, keep a specially colored file folder in your office. When the kids ask you what it is, tell them it’s your evidence folder.
“So I can prove to the world that I knew you first.”
If the dream never comes true—so be it. That’s not the point. The point is that you’re on their side and they know it. So don’t focus on the difficulties, focus on the possibilities, focus on the person.