Rescuing your dreams from the “place that never was”
I recently read a delightful book called “The Traveler’s Gift,”by Andy Andrews. It is about David Ponder, a former executive in a Fortune 500 company who now works a part-time minimum wage job and struggles to support his family. His child is sick and he can’t afford her medical care. He is at his lowest low, not knowing what to do, when one night his car skids on an icy road and he doesn’t even care if he survives.
But, this is just the beginning. For the rest of the story he finds himself traveling back in time, meeting leaders and heroes at crucial moments in their lives and learning their personal secrets for success. There is some wise philosophy here from the likes of Abraham Lincoln as he prepares the Gettysburg Address, Anne Frank as she hides in an attic, Christopher Columbus as he faced months at sea and a mutiny, and others.
If you are afraid of criticism you will die doing nothing. ~ The Traveler’s Gift
But, while each of David’s experiences are insightful, I was most intrigued by his last stop on this adventure when he found himself in an immense warehouse of infinite proportions. The space went on and on, with no walls or ceiling, and as far as he could see there were shelves filled with stuff. Electrical equipment, lumber, wires, and machines; photographs, papers, files, mattresses, and bicycles.
Imagine walking into a place such as this, with millions or billions of items that could have educated, cured and benefited society but that never happened because someone quit.
There were drugs and wheelchairs, automobiles and space ships; machines that cured blindness, inventions that made cars and airplanes collision-proof, vaccines for cancer. Every item imaginable – and others that have yet to be imagined – was stacked in this infinite space.
We learn that this is the “place that never was.” The contents of the warehouse are all the lost dreams and ideas of people throughout history who quit before they reached their goals.
Sadly, David sees there is even a simple and inexpensive cure for his daughter’s illness. But because someone lost their courage and faith in themselves, they never brought the cure to fruition.
Times of calamity and distress have always been producers of the greatest men. The hardest steel is produced from the hottest fire; the brightest star shreds the darkest night. ~ The Traveler’s Gift
Imagine walking into a place such as this, with millions or billions of items that could have educated, cured and benefited society but that never happened because someone quit. What an “Aha” moment for me.
It made me think, “how big is my own warehouse?” What sorts of things would be stacked on those shelves? How many dreams have I let pass because I didn’t have enough courage or faith to see them through? Book ideas that I thought no one would like, artwork I never finished because I lacked confidence in it, all sorts of inspirations and aspirations…maybe one of those lost opportunities could have had a positive impact on someone.
My warehouse doesn’t have infinite space and, in fact, needs a bit of tidying up. So, I’m starting to revisit some of those old ideas to reignite them and give them a new life. At the very least, I want to see where they take me. Yes, I will finish that query letter, shine up that story, and take a few more risks. I don’t ever want to look back and say, “I wish I had….”
What about your warehouse? Is there anything hanging around in your “place that never was” that you’d like to make happen?