I remember as a small child when we would have these gatherings with either family or friends. Invariably someone would come up and mention my “cuteness” and ask, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Well, it started out being a cowboy or some super hero. Later it was fireman, policeman, lawyer… As I grew older my dreams of the future changed. When, at last, I was in college, I was asked, “What will you major in?” Another question designed to find out what I would be when I “grew up.” By then I had my heart set on becoming a preacher as my father before me. So I studied and prepared for that life. I reached success in that endeavor. I was preaching nearly full-time for much of my adult life. Physical disability keeps me from plying my trade full-time anymore, but I still am called upon to preach here and there. I am content that I could realize my dream and perhaps have a positive influence on someone’s life. My kids are now reaching their dreams and it thrills me to watch them achieve their goals. However, for many, there is a “thief” which goes around stealing our dreams and robbing us of the necessary mental state to attain our goals. Sometimes, the thief will come as a parent, a relative, a friend or a co-worker, but the greatest thief is, so many times, just ourselves. We find ourselves just about reaching the pinnacle, and this “small” voice inside says, “You’ll never make it.” “You can’t possibly do this.” “Very few have ever done this successfully.” And on and on the “small” voice predicts some kind of failure. Failure, though, is exactly how dreams are realized. It is one of the most important tools we have, because it teaches us invaluable lessons. And, when we learn these lessons well, we are poised and ready for success, which is probably just around the corner. The message I always gave my children was, you are capable of doing anything your heart desires. You are smart enough, good-looking enough, strong enough, and worthy of reaching the stars. The human spirit is indomitable. Remember the saying, “If you can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, you can achieve it.” There are no “overnight” successes, but with perseverance, it will come. Imagine yourself in the life you dream of living. Then in your heart, believe it will happen for you, as it has for others. Then work, work, work, work. You get the picture. So, be true to your dream, and don’t let anyone steal it from you — especially yourself. You can do anything your heart desires, so don’t give up or give in. Let the dream in you live.