Dreams are important. Not the dreams you have when sleeping. I'm talking about the dreams you have for your future - the dreams that keep you going, the dreams that make each day worth living.
Dreams Are Not Enough
As important as dreams are, they aren t enough. Why? Dreams don't take you where you want to go.
A dream needs wings, to become a tangible vision - a passion that will take you where you REALLY want to be.
Bethany Hamilton lives in Hawaii, her passion is surfing. Her dream is to become a professional surfer.
She spends every available minute in the water, even home-schooling so she can have more time to pursue her vision. At 8 years of age she entered her first major competition taking the division championships that year. Bethany's dream had become her passion - a tangible vision.
When Your Vision Is Attacked
Bethany's vision was viciously attacked on Halloween morning, 2003, when she was 13 years old. Bethany was lying on her board, left arm dangling in the cool water.
She remembers a flash of gray, pressure, and a couple fast tugs. She also remembers watching the jaws of a 15-foot tiger shark cover the top of her board and her left arm.
The shark was gone as fast as it appeared. So was her arm.
What It Takes To Keep Your Vision Alive
Fast thinking friends and surgery saved Bethany's life. Everyone, including Bethany, believed her surfing days were over. But within a week her vision returned, she rejected the fear and thoughts of defeat.
Less than 30 days after the attack Bethany was back in the water. Her family and friends were there to cheer her on.
Her first attempts were failures. She struggled to push herself up with one arm and keep her balance.
Her fear was that her dream would die in the water that day -- the shark victorious after all. Bethany pushed down her fears, gritted her teeth, and kept trying. And then it happened.
Tears rolled down her face, the crowd cheered, she caught her first wave and rode it in.
The Dream Takes Wing
Only months after the vicious attack, Bethany amazed thousands by achieving the unimaginable - taking 5th at the 2004 National Scholastic Surfing Association Nationals Championships.
In September she struck again, winning the Open Women's Division of the NSSA's Hawaiian conference season opener. Having placed in the finals of the National Surfing Championships Bethany has secured a spot on USA's National Surfing Team. She has truly conquered her fears!
Five Ways To Put Wings On Your Dreams
Bethany's story shows how to put wings on your dreams:
1) Your dream must become your passion - a tangible vision.
2) Everything you do needs to fuel your vision.
3) When your dream is attacked, face the adversity squarely and choose to overcome it with whatever it takes - face your fears and do it anyway!
4) Make necessary adjustments, regain your balance and keep your eyes on your goal.
5) Accept help when it comes, with grace and gratitude, let it fuel your vision.
From Dream to Vision to Reality
Bethany's vision overcomes her fear of sharks and her continued nightmares. Her story teaches how to create dreams with wings that push you toward your life-goals. Follow her example and your dreams will become reality, too.