why dreaming sets you up for failure (and what to do instead)

Photo Credit: Shelby Courtney

Photo Credit: Shelby Courtney

The topics of the radio show I listen to in the morning usually revolve around what ridiculous stunt the Biebs has just pulled or helping a caller decide whether or not she should tell her boyfriend about her past stint as a professional escort. However, they went off the beaten path this week and played a portion of the commencement speech Shonda Rhimes, the creator behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, gave at Dartmouth this year. And while most of us tend to slightly ignore those given at our own graduations (Snapchatting your friend 4 rows back is WAY more interesting), this one struck such a chord with me that I couldn’t help but share.

I won’t get into too much detail because I really want you to listen to it in its entirety, but in the first part of her speech, she emphasizes the fact that we need to stop being a generation of dreamers and start being the people that “do.” No longer should we sit in our basements thinking and talking about the big plans we have but, instead, should get up off of our behinds and start making them happen. Or make anything happen for that matter. How many of us (me included) have these grand plans of making it big – starting our own business or becoming CEO or moving across the country – and yet the years pass and you are still trudging through your 9 to 5 job in the town you grew up in, no closer to that dream you had set 5 years prior?

I get it: change can be scary. The unknown can be scary. The opportunity to fail can be scary. But you know what else is equally as frightening? The land of “What-Ifs.” What if you had decided to take that job out in California? What if you had ditched your boring office job and started your own landscaping company? What if you had taken a year off to travel across the globe? We can talk and talk and talk ourselves to death, dreaming up wonderful lives that only live on the pages of our mind, or we can take a leap into the abyss and potentially pull those pages out into the real world.

Shonda’s commencement speech also has some other great words of wisdom, so I encourage you to watch the entire video below (or click on the link at the bottom of my post to read the transcript). Share it with your significant other, your mom or your dad, or cousin or best friend – we all could use a reminder that dreams are only dreams until you start doing.

YouTube Video - Shonda Rhimes Dartmouth Commencement Speech - June 8, 2014

Shonda Rhimes Dartmouth Commencement Speech Transcript - June 8, 2014

Photo Credit: Joshua Newton

Photo Credit: Joshua Newton