"When you have a dream for the future, keep walking in that direction" ...when I was a boy, that was the advice I would be given by some of the "old timers" in our area. I have never forgotten those words.

You know, those so called "old timers" were wise indeed. For you see, the source of that advice came from their conviction based upon experience. For they knew, when life throws challenges your way, one should hold on to their dreams and not be deterred. The bottom line is, with the shoes you wear, keep on walking towards your deepest aspirations.

It seems that almost every human being wants to find fulfillment and self-actualization, to wit: that what a person can be... that person must be. For you see, by holding onto that which is possible, one's aspirations can one day become reality. It is the energy of hope and the passion of conviction, that will keep one moving forward toward one's dreams---unless, pessimism slows you down, diverts you, or stop you altogether.

Hope is a word that denotes possibility. When we concentrate our thoughts in the direction of our aspirations, we receive more thoughts, including action-inspiration. The Wright bothers didn't take action to build an airplane before thinking about it. Then, they acted on those ideas. They did not know what would be the outcome of their actions, but they had a vision of the possibility, and took steps to make the vision become a reality.

"Run towards the roar," the old timers would say. We were reminded "when faced with danger in life's circumstance, run towards the roaring, go where you fear to go, for only there will you find some safety." The story is told: the older lions would go off and settle in the grass directly across from where the strong lions await. As a herd of defenseless horses enters the area between the hunting pack and the older lions, the old ones roar mightily. With the bluster of the thunderous roaring, the defenseless herd of horses were in panic mode. Blinded by fear, they turned and fled from the source of roaring danger. They rushed frantically in the opposite direction, where the strongest of the hungry lions waited in the tall grasses.

Difficult challenges can be the "roar" which awakens a person's deepest resources. In times of difficulty, a person either steps forward into the challenge, OR steps back out of fear, never realizing the fullness of the potential of "what might have been." Everyone feels some fear when panic is in the air. Yet, fear can also be a guide that clarifies the depth of the issues and the factors in play. With this knowledge, one can often neutralize that which is feared. Advice that I have given to my students has been, don't get caught in the blind fears that gripped the herd. That can paralyze one, thus becoming increasingly riddled with uncertainty and blind reaction. But rather, move forward with creative analysis of that which is the root cause of the fear, and act in the light of knowing, rather than in the darkness of the unknown. And then, move forward with enlightenment and aspiration.

And speaking of aspiration, some years ago, there was a young farm girl with a great love for music. From the earliest days of her youth, she demonstrated a striking talent for music. From the very earliest days of her memory, she dreamed of playing the piano. However, there was no piano in their home. Nearly every piece of furniture in the home, at one time or another, served as a "make believe" piano. Finally, the family secured a second hand piano and piano lessons were arranged. A dream was beginning to be fulfilled. Even though the piano teacher lived some miles away, the little girl managed to get herself to her weekly piano lesson. It was readily apparent to the teacher, that her piano student was indeed gifted. The young student could hear a melody once, and almost photographically reproduce instantly the melody with full accompaniment. A rare talent indeed! True, finding "enough time for practice" with school work and family farm chores to do was a challenge. But , the dream persisted. Her achievements were acclaimed, and state-wide recognitions were awarded. And now, many years later, this pianist... who had a dream as a child... attained recognition as a talented pianist and accomplished organist. She has accompanied numerous College choral groups. She has directed and accompanied church choirs, served as organist for hundreds of weddings, funerals, and for other special occasions. Today, she is a well recognized piano teacher and accomplished church organist. You see, my wife ELAINE, is now in her sixty-fourth consecutive year as church organist and choir director. Truly, with faith and hard work, a dream has been truly realized.

You know, industrialists, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators in every human endeavor have utilized the power of mind, thought, and positive expectancy to see their ideas become reality. People with hope and determination press on. Individuals with confidence in their vision, see the emergence of their dream as a reality, in ways which seem almost miraculous. These are the folks who have painstakingly, patiently, and prudently, moved forward step by step. And, with each step, they have come closer toward achieving their long sought dream. And that is what passion is all about.

Ah yes, it is with passion and resilience, one moves forward with zeal and determination toward the fulfillment of one's dream. You know, the "old timers" knew what they were talking about when they said "When you have a aspirations for the future, with the shoes you have on, keep walking toward your dream." And that is how I see it, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE.