…by Prill BoyleHave you ever sabotaged a dream?

Most of us at some point have dismissed an inspired idea without taking
a single step towards its fulfillment. We might glance back from time
to time, but we convince ourselves that our dream is neither realistic
nor achievable.

Don\’t be so sure.

Let me give you an example. Like many young mothers in the mid-1970\’s,
Carol made her own baby food from natural ingredients. She puréed
batches of fresh fruits and vegetables and froze them in ice cube trays
to thaw at some later point. One day a light bulb went off in her head.
She said to herself, why don\’t I mass market these cubes? The prospect
invigorated her, but she had no capital and knew nothing about running
a business. So along with the banana peels and avocado pits, she
quickly discarded the thought. That said, for the past thirty years
she\’s often speculated about what would have happened had she acted on
her inspiration.

Last week Carol went into a major grocery store to pick up some ice cream. There in the freezer were frozen baby food cubes!

Thankfully, Carol has no regrets. “If I had become a wildly successful
entrepreneur at age 30,” she says, “I might never have gone back to
school and become a teacher. I enjoy my work. Still, in hindsight, I
have to say that my frozen baby food idea was worth exploring, not only
because it satisfied a need the marketplace hadn\’t addressed, but
because I\’m organized, have a good head for figures, and love natural
foods.” She concedes that the concept was strong enough to attract
investors and that she would have liked being an entrepreneur.

So this January, as you\’re looking towards the months ahead and making
those resolutions, take stock of your dreams. If you think you\’d be
happier in ten years if you\’d fulfilled one of them, then you care
enough about the idea to explore it further. Examine all the angles.
You might just discover, as Carol has, that your biggest impediments
are not a lack of money, time, or skill, but self-doubt and fear. (I\’ll
be addressing both of these stumbling blocks in future columns.)

Having interviewed hundreds of women who found passion and purpose in
midlife, all I can tell you is that others have surmounted obstacles at
least as daunting as the ones Carol faced. And from these so-called
late bloomers, I\’ve learned that a dream is not something to be taken
for granted. Dreams are magical, wondrous gifts—personally selected
and, more often than not, ideally suited for their recipients.

Carol peeked inside hers and then put it back in Santa\’s sack,
whereupon he gave it to someone else. No big deal. We don\’t need to
pursue every desire. Carol might never become a successful
entrepreneur—although, as she said, she\’d be a good one—but she is a
wonderful high school teacher. In other words, there are neither enough
hours in the day nor years in a life to follow every whim. But before
dismissing a dream out of hand, why not honor the gift (and the gift
giver) by opening it up and trying it on for size? It might turn out to
be exactly what you\’ve always wanted.