The baseball Hall-of-Famer and accidental philosopher, Yoga Berra, once quipped, “Always go to other peoples’ funerals; otherwise they won’t go to yours.” Think about that for a moment.
The same is true of dreams. If you’re not there to support other peoples’ dreams, why would you expect them to be there to support yours?
Yet, we live in a culture where being a cynic, a critic, or even a hater is as simple as sitting down at your keyboard and Tweeting or leaving a scathing comment on a blog or video. Maybe you’ve been guilty of or experienced the old school version. The casual comment about how “that will never work” or “you should stop being foolish and get a real job.”
Some people honestly believe they’re giving you sound and sagely advice or helping you by torpedoing your confidence and tearing down your dreams. Others do it simply because they’ve never achieved anything and they take a certain pleasure in keeping others stuck there in mediocrity with them. Sadly, these people are sometimes family and friends.
As any artist, entrepreneur, or visionary can tell you, this is crushing. To have people you care about casually dismiss your dreams can kill them in the cradle, if you’re not strong.
Power hack: Here are some ways you can support others’ dreams and ways you can ask others to support yours.
- When someone expresses a big goal or dream, support them immediately and without qualification. They’re confiding something of profound importance to you. Who cares if it seems crazy? Most big dreams do. Be the person in the room who says, “You can do this.”
- Be a supporter of people following their dreams in general. A world where people feel encouraged and empowered to follow their dreams is a better world. Even support acquaintances or social media friends. Always be the one to lend a positive word to fuel their fire.
- Be a sounding board when they need it. The person pursuing the dream may think they’re crazy too. Offer to be someone they can turn to for counsel.
- Proactively offer help. This is my favorite and I try to do this one as often as I can. Once you know about their dreams, be on the look out for people and ideas that can help them. Share liberally.
- Finally, and this is hard one, don’t allow people who casually nay-say and to tear your dreams down have a say in them anymore. Whatever role or title they have in your life, if they’re not on board with you following your bliss, don’t confide in them. Surround yourself with people – real and online – who believe in you and what you’re doing.
What you put out into the universe is what comes back to you. It’s one of the foundational principles in every major spiritual teaching. Support other dreamers and your dreams will be supported.
Besides haters are a dime a dozen in our world today. Buck the trend. Refuse to participate in that culture of negativity. The dream that benefits just may be yours.