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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We all start out having big dreams. We want to do great things with our lives.  But somewhere along the way, many of us stop pursuing our dreams.  Why?  It is because achieving our dreams seems impossible.  We can’t figure out how to get from where we are to where we want to be.

Of course, some people have their paths laid out for them by others. If you want to go into the medical profession, and everyone in your family is either a doctor or a nurse, you’ll have a lot of guidance as to how to pursue your dreams.

But what if no one in your family has ever gone to college, and you want to become an engineer? What if you want to become a pianist, and you are the only person in your family with musical talent?  How do you begin to pursue your dreams when there is no clear path to achieving them?

You start your own path, and you leave a trail.

When we don’t know where to begin, the best way to start is with baby steps. That may mean reading about people who have achieved what you want to achieve.   Pay attention to their stories and consider the paths they took.  It may mean saving your pennies to take a class in the field that you want to pursue.  And it definitely means honing your skills.

For instance, I didn’t aspire to be a writer until 10 years ago. I am not one of those authors who knew from birth that they were meant to write.   There are no writers in my family, so pursuing a career as a writer was about as foreign to me as becoming an astronaut.

So, I started small. I began by writing personal essays about my experiences as a wife and a mother.  And I’ve been writing ever since.  At a certain point, I realized that my calling was to write in order to inspire people to discover God’s purpose for their lives.  So, I began writing about topics that I hoped would encourage others.  Then one day, out of the blue, Beliefnet contacted me, and now I write a column for them. God works in mysterious ways.

It is important to get started by taking those baby steps. I’ve found that if you take enough baby steps, your efforts will snowball into something beyond your wildest dreams.  You just need to start. And then you need to make consistent, sustained efforts toward you goal.

Once you’ve achieved your dreams, don’t forget to leave a trail for others to follow. Help boost the next generation along.  Talk to younger people about how you achieved your dreams.  Encourage them.  I love to talk to my daughter and her friends about the importance of pursuing a career that they will love.  Inspiring the next generation is one of the many responsibilities of success.

Today, if you are struggling to figure out how to achieve your dreams, don’t be afraid to make your own trail. Start with baby steps.  Before long you will have blazed a path to success that others will want to follow.

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