3 Things My 4 Year Old Taught Me About Dreaming Big

dreaming big

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His eyes were squeezed shut and his hands folded intently in front of him.

The small, flickering flame from the lone candle had sent a single bead of melted wax downward; precariously close to the chocolate frosting.

Small wrinkles had formed around his eyebrows, and to a passerby he looked like he was praying (at least a smaller, fleshy version of Optimus Prime praying based on the mask he was sporadically wearing).

I leaned closer, knowing I wouldn't be seen, and I heard my 4 year old mumble confidently, "I wish I could fly."

I wish I could fly.  That was his birthday wish at 4 years old.

You see at 4 years old you don't know that the likelihood of you sprouting wings and flying over the neighborhood isn't exactly going to happen.  You haven't yet had your dreams crushed by the reality of aeronautical engineering (and gravity).

At 4 years old you believe anything is possible.  "Daddy said when I get 1 wish on my birthday, and before I spit all over this candle and eat this cupcake face-first, I'm getting that wish."


I remember when I was about 6 I was convinced (CONVINCED) I could be a dog if I wanted to.  I remember telling my mom at the grocery store, "when I'm a dog, I would like THIS kind of dog food," as I pointed earnestly at a colorful bag of puppy chow just past the checkout line.

Now at 34 years old I am not a dog, nor have I ever been a dog, nor could I choose to be a dog at some point in the future.

How do you break it to a 4 year old that he is probably not going to put on winged shoes or don a rubber-rocket suit or step onto a magic carpet...and take flight?  How long until he realizes that is not going to happen?

At some point we all lose sight of those aspirations from our youth.

What dreams did you have as a kid?

Did you dream of being [insert age] and [insert weight] pounds with [insert # of offspring] mini-me's running around?  Did you dream of a different career, a different life, living in a different location?  Did you dream that some aspect of your life would be different?

I'm here to tell you today that whatever you set your mind to is possible.

Now I dream about playing tackle football with my teenage sons when I'm in my 40's.  Hiking 14'ers as a family (14,000+ foot mountains in Colorado) in my 60's, and running around Disney World with my grandchildren in my 80's.

Being a Fit Dad has generational impact.  Getting this right in my 30's will benefit me (and my family) for decades to come.

Here are the 3 lessons I learned that day.

1.) Start Dreaming Big. Set a goal that matters.  Something that you daydream about it.

2.) Speak and/or write your dreams.  Make an action plan to turn those dreams into goals.

3.) Don't let your dreams die.  Chase after them.  Remember them and share them with those close to you.

And maybe, just maybe, when I'm hiking those 14'ers as a 60-year old I'll look up and see my son, the Rocketman, soaring high above me.

What do you think?

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