A dream is to your spirit, what food is to your body. Have you ever been dreamless? Did you realize your dreams are alive, and can die too? Did you ever think your dreams may not have died, but rather have been stolen?
This morning I heard the story of Joseph again. His story is in Genesis, chapter 37. When the story finished, I started thinking about how is it that our dreams get stolen. Joseph was only 17 when he began to dream. Around this age all of us see ourselves as great, energized and ready to fulfill any dream, do whatever it takes to make it real, and go through any sacrifice in order to get there.
Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera are two good examples of people who realized their dream being really young. But it didn’t happen just because they dreamed. It happened because they were surrounded by people who were multipliers and adders to their dream. Their family and friends helped them go through some stages more easily than most of us do. This didn’t happen to Joseph. His brothers were jealous of him and the first time he told them about his dream, they thought he wanted to reign over them and began to cook up a strategy against him… and his dream.
Thus, Joseph’s brothers become dream stealers. Even though they were his family, his own brothers, they didn’t want to help him fulfill his dreams. They had a strategy to make Joseph fall. They thought this was the only way to stop their little brother from reigning over them. And they stole his dream when they sold him to the Ishmaelites.
Imagine if Britney or Christina would have a dream stealer beside them. Of course they would not have been able to fulfill their dream. Instead of helping them multiply or add to their dream, they would have lessened it, or even divided it. For us, ordinary people who did not fulfill a dream early in our lives, it is most important to realize if people around us are dividers or ‘lesseners’ of our dreams. Yes, of course we need to run away from them as fast as we can, because unlike Joseph, we may not have another opportunity to fulfill that specific dream.
We need to give ourselves the chance to dream, so that we keep our spirit alive. I am positive that dreams come from God. Jesus Christ had a dream which lead him to put up with all his suffering: the resurrection. He knew that He would come back to life after three days, He had a dream that His resurrection would mean the real hope for mankind. He had to do it. He KNEW it was right. So he suffered everything until he got there. So did Joseph. He dreamed and he had to follow his dreams until they came true.
Have you ever done that? Have you followed your dream no matter what? I hope that now that you know there are four kinds of people that can affect your dreams, you will get away from dividers and lesseners, and get closer to multipliers and adders who will help you, like Joseph did throughout his life. Remember how Joseph got closer to the pharaoh: he helped the jail guardians alleviate the prisoners. What do you do to get closer to your multipliers? How do you help other people in order to reach your dream?
But, most importantly, how do you get away from dream stealers? Everyone has a set of her own, stylish, one of a kind, dream stealers. They work beside you, around you and behind you. Remember Joseph’s brothers?, Thank God, not everyone’s family is composed of dream stealers. But you need to remember that the sad fact is that your family could be stealing your dreams. If you don’t do something about it, you will end up being sterile…. of dreams.
In my case, I never thought about dream stealers until today. And today I realized that some people in my family and outside of it, have taken the sad role of dream stealers. I also realized that I put an end to this stealing on time, that is why I was capable of fulfilling my first dream of being a university student, and then a professional woman. I ended the work of my lovely set of dream stealers by getting rid of the emotional connection to them. One day I decided they would not hurt me anymore so I divorced them emotionally. Great decision! Although I didn’t know they were stealing my dreams, I stopped them, and it worked.
Jealousy is one of the reasons why dream stealers exist. They see the way you are, and they wish they could be like you. They hear you speak and they wish they could speak like you. Or they see, as in the case of Joseph’s dad, that you have someone who loves you very much, and they wish they could have someone to love them like that. And they don’t only get jealous, the worse is that they ACT in accordance: they say bad things about you, so that your friends don’t help you; they don’t let you do what you want to do, they oppose to everything you say! They even make time to go to your parties and talk badly about your house, your food or your family, so that people don’t go to your next party! Curious things like these can give you a hint that you are in front of a dream stealer.
It is hard to keep dreaming when you live around dream stealers. It is even harder to fulfill any dream when you don’t only have to work to fulfill it, but you also need to work so that your beautiful set of dream stealers don’t hurt your dream. For this reason, the best way to go around in life, the best way to fulfill your dream, is to find yourself working within people that are multipliers, those who will help you multiply your possibilities to fulfill your dream, or adders, those who will help you add good things to your dreams.
How do you recognize multipliers? Make a list of the people you talk to at least once a day, and classify their attitude in relation to your dream. What do they do to help you? Are they reliable for you? You know you are in front of dividers when they retard your dream. Do you need to hush in front of them? Why? Do you have to give them your time, money or resources when you don’t think they deserve that? How are they making your life easier… or harder? Give them a score, and decide who you should get away from and who you should stay close to, or get closer to.
Even between co workers, you can easily spot the ones who fit as multipliers and adders. Good working teams are made of multipliers and adders, while bad ones have a lot of incidence from a divider or lessening person.
But there is one last detail to fulfilling your dreams: integrity. You need to make a list of the good characteristics you need your multipliers and adders to have. Good traits, as being non violent, truthful, supporting and loving to you, make up for integrity of character. You need good traits to be your integrity measures. Measure well, measure wise, leave violent behavior out of your everyday circumstances, and make your own personalized list of how you want your multipliers and adders to be like.
Remember that you need to make your dreams come true as fast as possible. Start working right away. Take out the burden from your shoulders, the burden from having to live everyday near dividers and lessening people. And never forget to see in yourself the unique creation of God, who has a plan for you that you need to discover and make real. No, I am not a preacher or a priest. I am just a normal person who has a testimony of God in her life. Please follow Him. Character is something we build, if in accordance to great leaders as Jesus, best for all. Dreams are alive, keep them that way.