Today’s post is a guest post from my friend, Tanner Olson. Tanner lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and operates a web site called Written to Speak. He is a spoken word poet, a person who dares to dream, an innovator, a wordsmith, and someone who loves to live life on the edge. Please check out Tanner’s web site and go ahead and purchase his brand new spoken word album: All Things.
Don’t dream alone.
Remember when you were in 7th grade and everything, including you, was weird and awkward? We were clueless, thought cargo pants were stylish, and were beginning to understand hygiene. I remember, too. Being a 12 year-old is hard. Along with being 12 comes the great calamity known as middle school.
Not only do I remember the growing pains of 7th grade, but I remember a project assigned in history class. I was assigned to write a paper and construct a model of the Parthenon from Ancient Greece, all while trying to grow arm-pit hair and make a joke funny enough to make her smile. Side note: I went 1 for 2 that year and no, she didn’t smile. Constructing the Parthenon was another painstaking assignment I couldn’t accomplish alone. I needed to ask for help.
If you’re like me, asking for help is often the last thing you want to do. Some days I’d rather fail than ask for assistance. Pride and ego say we can do it ourselves, while fear says asking would be too much. When I cave in and ask others for help I feel as if I am creating a ripple in the life of another, becoming an annoyance and an inconvenience.
But I’ve learned asking for help isn’t an annoyance or an inconvenience. Rather, asking others for help is us inviting them into something bigger than themselves.
I recently released my second spoken-word album. It was another dream brought to life and wouldn’t have been made possible without the help of others. And like constructing a replica of the Parthenon I had to do the thing I feared the most (besides glitter): I had to ask for help. And I did. I asked for help and the response was incredible. Musicians, artists, photographers, designers, and editors willingly accepted the invitation to help make this dream a reality.
Not inviting others to help isn’t only hurting your dream, but it’s keeping others from joining something incredible.
Dreaming alone can be a nightmare. Our dreams are too important to bring them to life alone, so why do we try to do it? Perhaps it’s fear. And fear isn’t a good enough reason. Perhaps it’s failure. And failure isn’t a good enough reason, either.
What’s the worst that could happen if you invited someone to help you? They can reject you by saying no. And we all need a reminder of what high school was like every once in a while.
Don’t let fear or failure stand between you and your dream. If your dream is to write a book, travel the world in a van, start a non-profit, or bake the world’s biggest cake, you need the help of others. Passion encourages passion, like invitation begins turning a dream into reality.
Invite others to dream with you.
Allow yourself to ask for help. Allow yourself to invite others to join your hope. Allow yourself to reach out your hand and bring someone into your dream.