[by Sandy McIntosh] Is your job bugging you? Are you unfulfilled and frustrated with your career? Do you want to turn it all around? Here’s a start; Don’t be a lazy dreamer.
I have been guilty of lazy dreaming, and I know there is always a price to pay. Probably you are guilty with me. When I was younger I looked into education that would give me a vocation, a career for the long term. At a big university I visited a professor to talk about possibilities, and during the conversation he looked at me and said “Would you like to join our doctoral program?” I heard him and felt a stab of fear, so I quickly said no.
Now, looking back, I should have ignored the fear and asked questions. A doctorate might have been a good thing. Sometimes I think about that road not taken and I wonder. I had a dream for something better, but it was feeble and lazy, and it couldn’t connect with real opportunities. The professor gave me a challenge, and my dream didn’t measure up.
A dream is not a plan or an action; it may be just a vague sensation that is hard to define. It is a hope, an aspiration for something better.
I like projects. Here’s a model for a development project: dream it – start it – plan it – build it – correct it – finish it – operate it. Anything new needs a pattern like this. We know we can’t operate something that wasn’t built, and corrected, and finished. And to build we must plan; ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail.’
We know every part of our work must be done with energy, and we know laziness at any stage will kill a project. We should also know that a lazy dream will fail. It can’t plan, start or build.
Remember Martin Luther King’s famous speech “I have a dream.”? Civil rights movements around the world started with that speech. Dreams are powerful things.
One of the great project managers in the Bible is Nehemiah. In his time, the nation of Israel was close to extinction, but Nehemiah had a dream; the rebirth of his nation. Nehemiah was so convicted he “sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4). That intense, consuming dream produced powerful action, leading to complete success against fierce resistance. It’s a good story.
Do you know Scottish history? John Knox prayed “God give me Scotland or I die!” and the Church of Scotland grew from his powerful dream.
And you; are you frustrated? Your annoyance may be a dream, a project trying to be born. You carry the seeds of something; a career, a better job, a business, an invention, a church, a family, a school, an orphanage. Investigate; talk to someone who knows, read about it; decide if that dream should live. If you can’t find a reason to stop, fan that dream into a burning desire. When opportunity comes, you can be a Nehemiah, with an unsinkable vision.
God promised dreams as a blessing “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
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