Aug 03

Are You Letting People Steal Your Dreams?



Don’t let anyone steal your dream. Follow your heart no matter what.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I recently finished reading what I consider one of the best self-help books of all time.  It’s called The Success Principles and it was written by none other than Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Jack Canfield.

What sets this book apart aside from the principles it imparted was Jack Canfield’s unique talent in telling stories.  One such story was that of his friend Monty Roberts who grew up from humble beginnings, traveling from one place to another just to make ends meet.

As the story goes, Monty was in his senior year when he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and what he wanted to do when he grew up.

He wrote a 7-page paper about one day owning a horse ranch.  He was so passionate about his dream that he wrote it in great detail, as if he was there in the moment.

He drew a diagram of the 200-acre ranch with the buildings and stables standing where he envisioned it to be.  He even included a detailed floor plan of the 4,000 square-foot house that would sit in the middle of this massive ranch.

He put his heart and soul into this paper so imagine his disappointment upon getting the paper back from his teacher with a big red “F” in front and a note that read, “See me after class.”

Heartbroken, the boy went to see his teacher and asked why he got an “F”.

“This is an unrealistic dream for a boy who doesn’t have any money, no permanent home, and no resources.” the teacher replied.

“Owning a ranch requires a lot of money.  There’s no way you could ever do it.” the teacher said further.

“If you will rewrite this paper and come up with a more realistic goal, I may reconsider.” she said.

The boy went home obviously disappointed.  He thought about it long and hard and asked his father for guidance.

“You have to make up your mind on this son.  I think this is a very important decision for you.” he said.

The next morning, Monty turned the same paper in without making any changes.  What he said blew me away and really inspired me a lot more.

“You keep the F, but I’m keeping my dream.”

Monty told Jack along with a group of people about this story while they were sitting in his 4,000 square-foot house in the middle of his 200 acre ranch.

“Don’t let anyone steal your dream.  Follow your heart no matter what.”

Sometimes people can be really cruel and like it or not, we will come across people like this at one point in our lives.  They are called dream-stealers and they will tell you the harshest and most brutal of criticisms you will ever hear.


“You’re crazy”

There are people who easily pass judgment like they’re passing food at the dinner table.  They’ll say you’re out of your mind for thinking that you can make such big dreams and the truth is, they’re just ignorant.  People won’t accept ideas they can’t easily grasp or understand.

What to do?  Ignore.

Just like our parents would always say, “take the high ground.”

Jeff Bezos founded amazon.com in 1994 as an online bookstore.  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in a garage in 1976.

Who would have thought these startups would eventually turn into empires?


“You don’t have what it takes”

This is more of a ridicule than a criticism in my opinion but such people exist.  These are people whose lone purpose is to put others down and shatter your self-esteem.  It can be because of envy, arrogance, or they’re just simply A-holes of the worst kind.

What to do?  Prove them wrong!

Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he was told “he lacked creativity”.

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, was rejected by 36 publishers.

We all know how they both turned out.


“You’re too old”

One of the things personal development has helped me realize is that it’s never too late for one to fulfill his or her dreams.  There’s no age limit to success.  Everyone, young or old, has the ability to succeed.  It all boils down to hard work and a bit of luck.

Colonel Sanders was well over his 60’s before he made it big with KFC.  He was rejected 1009 times before someone gave his unique recipe a shot.

International singing sensation Susan Boyle was 48 when she gained fame after winning second place in Britain’s Got Talent.  She was a cook for a local college before she entered the contest.

Vera Wang was a figure skater and former journalist before she entered the fashion industry and became one of the most recognizable names


“It’s impossible”

Much like Monty’s teacher in the story above, there are people who will laugh at you and find you ridiculous. That’s okay.  They won’t understand either.

It’s not your fault that they lack creativity and optimism.  They grew up with limiting beliefs and now they’re trying to impose the same belief on you.

Would anyone from the 19th century ever have taught that it was possible to travel by air?  Would anyone born in the early 1900’s believe that it was possible for a man to walk on the moon?

Would you have envisioned back in the 90s that gadgets like smart phones and tablets will eventually come into existence?

A lot of the things we enjoy today came from ideas that were once deemed as impossible.  They were concepts waiting to be realized.  What made them possible was not only the advancement in technology but the people behind them who never gave up on their vision.

They held on to their belief that someday, somehow, these ideas will become a reality and boy were they right!

People will try to mock you, ridicule you, and put your dreams down and you have to be ready for that but if you really want something so bad, you’ll hold on to it and work hard until you make it.


Over to You

How do you deal with the dream-stealers you meet?  What was the last thing you heard from a dream-stealer you last met?


I would love to hear from you and I’ll appreciate it if you leave your comments or stories about this topic.  I love to be inspired and hear inspiring stories from people!


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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions


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  1. Tara Parker-Tong

    Noel, from those I share my past with I will often hear, “How are you not a drug-using hooker on the street?” These comments are based on just as you stated, those with limited beliefs and mixed with narrow minds. They focus on the perspective they were given rather than expanding to the perspective they should have.


    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Most of the time, being the one who knows better, we should just turn the other cheek and take the higher ground. Thanks for your comment Tara!

  2. Julian Sirian (@JulianSirian)

    Brilliant post…very inspiring.

    Sometimes we’re born in families that are so used to a minimalisitic way of living, that it takes a high amount of self-esteeem and single focus just to move one small mountain.

    But from my experience, it’s worth it…only this summer, I was able to go from around 13 secs of 100 m to under 11 seconds… in just 2 months (inv. visualizing amongst other stuff).

    Just proves how not giving up and being flexible to slightly edit your plans can go along way;-)

    Thanks for posting

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      thanks Julian! Great to hear about the improvement in your time. Keep on improving!

  3. Ikechi Awazie

    Hi Noel

    This is an inspiring post and you remind me about a post I wrote about dream stealers.

    You are right and I can relate to the situation that Monty had to face especially when it came to his dreams.

    Thanks for this awesome post.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks Ikechi! Monty’s story is really one of a kind and inspiring. Makes you realize how powerful dreams are and that no one can stop you if you really believe that it’s possible.

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