A few weeks ago, while driving through the streets of Miami on a hot Sunday morning, I encountered a homeless man who inspired this post and brought me to this important realization: Each of us have a limited amount of time and energy to do all that we hope to do during our lifetime. And at the same time, we all have all of the resources around us needed to pursue our goals–even if we have varying degrees of access to those resources.
As I was driving that Sunday morning, at a stoplight next to a highway in N.E. Miami, I stopped to give a homeless gentleman money. He looked like he might be in his 70’s. One of his legs was clearly disfigured. He walked with a cane. His hair was full of white and gray, and as I put my car window down, I saw his eyes also looked like he might be mostly blind. I stopped to be a blessing–to provide him with some hope. I smiled at him and said, “God bless you” as I handed him a few dollars. He looked at me, smiled, said, “God bless you, too. Thank you!” and then followed that by telling me in a non-flirtatious and completely genuine way, “You have a beautiful smile!” I was completely in shock, not just because of such a wonderful compliment, but because I thought to myself, I was almost completely sure this gentleman couldn’t see very well at all, and yet, with some of the vision he had left, he chose to strain his eyes, see my smile, and pour into me through affirming me.
As I pulled off, this led me into a string of thoughts. How often are we as individuals aware of the gifts we have and willing to give them to others despite our own struggles? How often are we aware that, for most of us, as we get older, our physical capacity may decrease, and our time here is also limited, thus we have to make the most out of each day?
The time is now to give all that we have to go for our dreams, because for some of us, health, aging, and life can decrease the energy we have to do all we’re meant to do.
My mother has glaucoma–a disease that can eventually cause blindness. She’s had numerous surgeries because of it. It was found at a later stage in her only because they discovered what is called junior glaucoma in me while I was on a high school field trip. I’m completely aware that my vision may decrease in later years and that I may eventually be blind. Diabetes also runs in my family, so I’m also cautious about eating right because of that. I have low blood pressure and low blood iron, so daily, I push to maintain my energy to be all that I can be and to be purpose-driven. If you know me and have felt my energy, you’d never know these things, because I’ve tried my best to live my life beyond limits and to help others do the same. I believe that’s true leadership, and I’m always pushing to try to be a leader who pushes past these obstacles for myself and those around me. We should all strive for this sense of self and community empowerment despite our own obstacles.
Within the past year, I’ve also become married to my phenomenal husband and recently became pregnant (YAY!), but all of this means having additional (and beautiful, honorable) responsibilities. My friends can attest to the fact that before this time in my life, I would do work from morning to night, working on various ventures–I used to call it my “Dream-Chasing” time. I definitely still dream-chase, but within a more finite block of time. Soon, there will be a beautiful child here for me to love on, and drive to this and that activity, and spend time talking to and inspiring (and being inspired by). Many of you know this delicate balance of time management as our responsibilities grow and as we revere the past where we had hardly any responsibilities. With all of my new responsibilities, I believe that this is the optimal time for me to go full force in the pursuit of my dreams, just as it was last year and the year before that, and as it most likely is for you also, in whatever capacity you can pursue those dreams of yours. Determine how much time you have to move towards your goals, and make it happen ,whether little-by-little or through huge, actionable steps.
The time is now, because we are given an opportunity to live our lives to the fullest–an opportunity that not everyone has.
By this time in my life, I have met all types of people–individuals who have grown up in communities marked by danger, education challenges, and disparity, and those who may have intense mental health issues as a result of a tragic past. These circumstances have made it harder for them to pursue opportunities, though many have still pursued their dreams through perseverance and consistency, even in the worst situations. Still, they have so many obstacles to push past. There are also those I have known in life–both young and old–who have passed away for various reasons. We have an opportunity in having the gift of life to use our gifts, to maximize our potential, to live fearlessly, to take huge risks (that may not always be calculated), and to leave a powerful legacy in the world. Take this opportunity, and do great things!
The time is now, because the longer you delay, the longer it might take to get to your destination.
Our time on this earth is finite, and we all have a destiny that we are living out and fulfilling daily, even if you are not yet fully conscious of how you can impact your life and environment daily. For some of you, you have a dream–whether it be a business, personal growth, spiritual development, financial goals, or some other worthy cause–that you have kept in your subconscious mind. You have maybe even been thinking about it for a few years, and you might be getting to the point where you think it’s too late to start the implementation process. Well, it’s not too late. The time is now! Start now. Just like the gentleman who poured into my life a few weeks ago at that stoplight, pour into your own life and the lives of others through giving your dream a chance. You, your family, your community, or maybe even the world deserves to see the gift you’re meant to share….So don’t delay. Dream. Share. Do. The time is now.
Your empowerment specialist, Daphne Lynn Valcin
Helping mission-driven leaders lay a strong foundation
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be interested in learning more about how to lay a strong foundation for your dreams through coaching, or if this blog post impacted you in any way! I’d love to hear from you.
Photo credit: BK (Flickr)