Now before I accidentally hit a nerve with anyone who has an intense case of paranoia, let me explain. I do not mean actual physical killers…exactly. No, I am referring to a special group of people we all have in our lives. Bob Marley referred to them as ’emotional vampires’ Teddy Roosevelt called them ‘spectators’. They may be vindictive and easy to spot. They may also be well-meaning and come in the disguise of someone who cares. I call them ‘dream killers’. We are exposed to them sometimes right out of the womb. Sometimes they are our parents. Now that is not to say you should not listen to your parents, especially when you are young. Be aware, however, that even they come with prejudices and emotional baggage of their own. It is easy when we hear some mean-spirited person come to us and tell us how they hope we do not succeed. In fact, these quite often can be our greatest motivators. You hear it time and time again with sports heroes. Everyone told them they were too slow, or too small and they keep that chip on their shoulder to drive them. Quite often this results in someone accomplishing goals even they never dreamed they could accomplish.
Then there are the others. Well-meaning friends, family members, co-workers or just people we meet who try to steer us from our dreams. Let me give you a personal example. Several customers at the post office I work at are eagerly looking forward to my book being released. When a certain person was asking me how it was progressing the fellow behind him informed me “You should not quit your day job”. He informed me about how risky writing a book can be and how much ‘safer’ a job could be. This man, no doubt trying to be helpful, was transferring his fears to me. Later that afternoon a customer had heard from someone in the small town I work in about my literary endeavors and asked me “You really don’t expect to make a living at that? Most authors never make it you know”. All these people were trying to keep me from experiencing failure and heart-break. If we listen to them and ‘do as we should’ slowly our dreams die. We follow the safe path all the others do. Did you know that 95% of Americans over the age of 65 are either dead or dead broke? They are completely reliant on someone else, be it social security or a part-time job or relative just to survive. Now money is only one measuring stick for one’s success, but the same holds true for people who tell you “those self-improvement books never really work” or “you shouldn’t try anything to risky” Remember they have their own fears and life lessons. Take what they say with a grain of salt. They do not know what you are made of, or what faith lies inside of you. Be aware of those who kill your dreams and your spirit. Believe in yourself!