Some years ago, an unknown, homely spinster stepped onto the stage of Britain's Got Talent. Her awkward personality didn't help the audience expect anything amazing from this quirky, unattractive woman. And when she confessed her inner dream to sing like Elaine Page (please tell me I'm not the only one who had to look up Elaine Page on Youtube!), everyone laughed at her.
Until, that is, she sang her first note.
No one would have ever guessed that underneath the cheeky, socially-awkward demeanor was a voice so stunning that she would receive a standing ovation and become a world sensation. By now, most people have at least heard the name Susan Boyle even if they've not heard her sing. (You can see her "I Dreamed A Dream" debut here.)
I don't think it was Ms. Boyle's singing talent alone that got everyone's attention. I think what really drew people to her was the possibility that perhaps they, too, had a dormant inner talent just waiting to bloom.
Last month, I had the amazing privilege of guest-posting for Money Saving Mom. My article was great fun to write, and I was over the moon when she accepted it. But what really caught my attention was one of the comments someone wrote at the end of the post.
One reader asked, "If we've paid off debt, are saving for the future, and living comfortably, what do we do next?" It was a fantastic question.
My response to Sarah was this: "What is your secret dream? What is it that you really want to do but are afraid to start? Do that."
Many of us, if not most, have a tiny dream that we'd love to do "someday." But we laugh at ourselves for even thinking about such a silly-sounding, crazy idea. And if we're laughing at ourselves for being so outlandish, surely everyone else would laugh at us, too, if they knew what we really dreamed about doing.
Or would they?
A more important question than asking if the world would laugh at you about your secret hope, however, would be to ask, "What if God gave me this desire? What if He's the One prompting me?" Because if the Lord is behind it, why are you ignoring it, squelching it, or saving it for the inevitable 'someday'?
Jon and I have a dream, too: we want to start our own business so that he can work from home. There's more to it than that, but that's the basic passion that the Lord has given us right now. It sounded silly when we first said it out loud, and truthfully, it seemed impossible that we could build our own business without going into debt.
But guess what? Today is launch day! We built a company called Canvas Gadget that provides affordable 3D marketing (Jon's a 3D modeler, so it makes sense that we'd design something in the 3D world) to small businesses. We couldn't be happier. While it may or may not be the job that lets Jon work from home someday, just the fact that we finished something is completely amazing to us.
Your dream probably isn't to start an online 3D business. It probably isn't to sing on a stage in front of thousands of people. But I would bet that you do have a dream, and it's quite possible that it's something the Lord has been laying on your heart.
It's not silly. It's not crazy. And it shouldn't stay dormant.
We never would have known who Susan Boyle was if she'd' never decided to try out for a well-known talent show. I'm sure she was nervous, but she did it anyway. It's not always easy to step out in faith. And just because Ms. Boyle saw immediate success doesn't mean that you and I will. But I believe it's still worth the risk.
Your turn: Do you have a goal or dream that you've kept to yourself? If you're willing to share it, I'd love to hear about it! Need help with planning out steps for that dream? The Brilliant Business Moms group on Facebook is a great place to start!