In February 2013, I had just come back from a trip to the US, where I spent 3 weeks working on myself. It was a stimulating time. I began to realize that I can do anything I set out to do. Whatever that may be. I can do it – if I just have heart and will power.
After I came back, I began to evaluate my life. Am I doing what I really want to be doing? I had several conversations with important people in my life. One of those was my brother.
He sent me this Life Development Plan - a 45 page PDF document that was aimed at helping you understand yourself, your dreams and goals. I thought I might as well try.
I gave myself some quite space. Locked my door. Opened the curtains, and the window. Took a breath of fresh air. And set out to figure out my life.
The Life Development Plan first asks me to identify 5 situations that made me feel Happy / Proud / Fulfilled. I had just come back from the US with many positive situations/experiences. I filled these out quickly with recent memories I just had.
From these situations, I was to derive my 5 core values. I’d write value I felt I had, then pressed backspace, and wrote a new value. And continued typing, deleting…How was I supposed to come up with only 5 core values?
Then, at the bottom of the page this quote caught my eye. I thought, this must have some interesting information. It read:
“Have you heard the talk of the old Cherokee, teaching his grandson about good and evil?
He told him that everybody has two wolves fighting inside of them. One wolf is good, loving, humble, benevolent and honest. The other is greedy, envious, selfish and arrogant. The little boy looked at the old man intently and asked, “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather replied, “The one you feed – that one will surely win.”
Our values determine which wolf we feed.
I realized that these values are not those that I embody right now. But those that I want to embody. The values I want to see in myself. Values that I can strive to live by.
This new way of thinking carried into the next section of the Life Dev Plan. In this section, I was to write down my dreams. Not just any dreams, all of my dreams – at least 100 dreams.
Do you have 100 dreams? I sure didn’t. But, I began to think about everything I possibly wanted to do in my life -- from climbing Mt. Everest, to becoming a professional Actor, to becoming an Astronaut and flying into outer space.
I began typing enthusiastically, not worrying about being realistic – whether I’d be able to achieve them or not didn’t matter.
All that mattered was me and my dreams. I could accomplish all of these.
The next section, was Make the Right Choices. There was a quote in this section as well: “The hunter who chases two rabbits catches none.”
Now that I had come up with 100 dreams, I had to identify which were most important. Oh boy, I began to C-list the dreams that comparatively were not as important. It was tough, but I realized I can always come back to revisit these ones.
I categorized the dreams into Life Areas like Career, Education, Relationships, Finance, Health, Passionate Pursuits, Public Service, Spirituality. Each of these categories had 3 dreams in it.
From these total of 15 dreams now, I chose 5 that I wanted to work on right now. The ones that are most important and dear to me.
I wish to share two of those dreams with you today.
Like many of you here, I had a dream to complete the Competent Communication program in Toastmasters. I am achieving this dream today.
The second dream is to ensure each person in this world is food secure – this means there are no starving people in this world. I dreamt big and worded it in very emotional, powerful language. This is the dream –
It is August 1, 2038 and I have just given a speech to the General Assembly at the United Nations…
"We have successfully eradicated food in-security. Everyone in the world will wake up tomorrow morning and eat at least 2100 calories during their day. We must continue on this path to ensure production, storage and supply of food is continually improved - it is something that we have to work on everyday, as everyday there are 370,000 new mouths to feed.”
After I made this dream, I began to work on a specific action plan to achieve it.
I came up with a Global Food Movement concept to educate, connect and empower all segments of the food supply chain.
I connected with academics in the field. And I researched feverishly to learn about the industry.
However, as I learned more about the industry, I began to think - there are so many people in the world, doing such amazing things. How can I bring about change? Who am I to try and solve this problem?
The more I researched, the less I felt I knew about the topic. It was like people were piling books and books of information and I could hardly get through the first chapter in book 1.
So I put it aside. For a month, it was at the back of mind. Everyday I’d want to work on it, but never made the time too.
Today, I leave for India in a few hours to speak about the Global Food Movement at a Food Security Conference. I have realized – that it doesn’t matter what happens. If I fail or I succeed, if I can solve this problem or not – that’s not what matters.
What matters is, I tried. I tried with all my passion and commitment.
As I felt in February, you must always remember you can do anything. Especially, after research bogs you down, or politics or people. Always remember, that catching any dream starts with believing in yourself.
You can do it – it just takes heart and will power.
This was a speech I wrote in July 2013. Hope it helps to remind you that YOU can do anything, it just takes heart and will power. If you want to the Life Development Plan PDF I can send it to you. Just drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.