Sunday, May 13, 2007


OK, you have a dream, you know where you are now, and you know where you will be and what you will have when your dream comes true. You have begun your journey. Yes, I said journey. None of us go anywhere without putting one step in front of another or pushing the toggle switch forward on our power chairs. It is sometimes hard to know what lies before you, but one thing is for certain—you will never know until you move forward.

Think your dream. Feel your dream. Picture your dream. That’s the easy part. Now comes the harder part. Commit to your dream. It would be wonderful if all we had to do was twitch our nose and whatever we needed or wanted would simply appear. But unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. It tries to teach us that anything worth having is worth working for. That is how we learn to appreciate what we have. We all want to be successful and in order to be successful we need to commit to the journey. Success is not an event—it is an ongoing process only achieved by the willingness to keep going forward. However, before you move forward, you need a path to follow. Even Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz had to decide on a path. She knew where she wanted to be and she wanted to be sure she took the best path in order to get to Oz and then back home. What did Dorothy do? She found a consultant. True, the Scarecrow’s was a bit confusing, but she didn’t have much choice since she left her GPS and cell phone at home (ha, ha).

Get yourself a large pad of paper or a roll of butcher paper, color felt pens, crayons, poster paints, or whatever supplies you like to use when you want to express yourself. Write, draw, paint your dream. If you are a writer, describe your dream. If you are an artistic person, draw or paint your dream. Give your dream vision—give it life! When you are done, put it on the bathroom mirror, over your computer, on the refrigerator, or anywhere you will see it daily. Now write down what you feel you must do to make your dream a reality. Do you need school? Training? People? Money? What will it take to get you from here to that vision in front of you? When you have your list, draw a simple side view of stairs. Decide what needs to be done first and put it next to the bottom stair. What should be done next goes next to the second stair and so on and so forth. It is best to remember that each step may take a series of smaller steps. Education, for example, would take research on where to get the needed education, applying for admission, registration, financing, and attending classes. A step may take a month, a year, or several years to complete, but once completed, you will actually be one step closer to your dream. With each step, you are rising up to your own expectations and closer to the reality of your dream.

Linda Thompson, MSRC, has 30 years professional experience serving people with disabilities as instructor and advocate. As a keynote speaker, she addresses audiences of parents, professionals, care providers, students, congregations, and business administrators/employers on the importance of recognizing the individual and abilities rather than the “labels” of disabilities. “People with disabilities are people first. Our disabilities are second.”

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