Saturday, April 14, 2012

You Can Keep The “F” and I’ll Keep My Dream

In anything we do, there should be a purpose. I once heard a story about a grammar lesson in eighth grade. The teacher said, "Paul, give me a sentence with a direct object." Paul replied, "Everyone thinks you are the best teacher in the school." "Thank you, Paul," responded the teacher, "but what is the object?" "To get the best mark possible," said Paul”.

When we have a purpose, it reduces frustration and keeps us on a steady course. Our motivation is increased by making our life meaningful and giving us a hopeful future. We are able to concentrate on a target and teamwork is easier because there is cooperation to proceed in the same direction.

A baseball coach once made the statement that hitting is about 90% mental. I remember a story my high school baseball coach told our team the day before a tournament. He gave a talk to the team about a golfer that was sick. He would lay in his bed dreaming about playing golf. In his dreams he would always see himself hitting the perfect shot. This went on for several weeks as he played rounds of golf in his head. When he got over his sickness several weeks later, he was able to go out to the golf course and shoot his best round of golf ever.

Most athletes see in their mind the accomplishment of their dream. Have you ever seen a track athlete focus on the finish line as they warm up for the 100 meter sprint or a high jumper as they focus on clearing the bar? Just like a track and field athlete trying to win a race or jump far and high, we can see ourselves winning in our marriages, our professions, or our businesses. In the movie “Field of Dreams” there is a voice “If you build it, they will come”. The voice inspires the building of a baseball field.

From the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul” By Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, revealed to us is the importance of having a dream and sticking to it. The story is about a group on a retreat at a horse ranch in Southern California. To start the activities, the owner of the ranch tells a story of a boy in high school who had to write a school paper. This boy’s family was always moving because his father was a horse trainer and they would move from ranch to ranch; wherever there was work. Since it was the boy’s senior year, the paper assigned by the teacher to all his students was on the topic, “What do you want to be when you grow up”. Many students were going their separate ways either off to college, to the military, or straight into a career so the teacher was wondering what their dreams were.

The boy began at once to write a seven page paper. Within the paper, he told of a dream of owning a 200-acre ranch where he would train horses. He was so excited about writing the paper that he took the extra time to draw sketches of the ranch, the buildings, and stables. He then drew detailed floor plans for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on the dream ranch.

He handed in the paper with confidence but two days later the teacher gave back the paper with a big fat “F”. The teacher explained to the boy that this was an unrealistic dream because he had come from an itinerant family who had no resources. The teacher explained that a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land and pay for the original breeding stock. The teacher told him to rewrite the paper with a more realistic dream and resubmit the paper.

The boy thought about it for a week before finally going to the teacher with these words, “You can keep the “F” and I’ll keep my dream.”

The owner and speaker then paused for a few seconds, looked at the assembled group, and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000 square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch”. He said, “I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that teacher who gave me the “F” brought 30 kids just like you to this ranch.” When the teacher left to go home, he said, “look Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kid’s dreams. Fortunately you had enough guts not to give up on yours.”

What is a dream of yours? Let me know of past, present, or future dreams you have had. Do you have any dreams or ideas that would make your neighborhood, community, state or nation a better place?

What if small groups led by leaders within neighborhoods started gathering together to share ideas. There may be some concerned about family issues that could team up together. With both parents working in most families in today’s world, it is hard to find time for things like grocery shopping and helping with the kid’s homework. Could these neighborhoods unite with the purpose of sharing ideas and developing resources that could help? How about the culture fight families have to take on? Many entertainment goliaths with profit as the number one priority feed our kids minds with negative thoughts. Could neighborhood groups brainstorm to take on these Giants in entertainment and be our David in a culture of Goliaths? They could work together to filter out what’s bad but highlight the good.

One area that neighborhood groups could start talking about is the tremendous increase in cost of living. Food prices are on the rise, gas prices keep going up, and property taxes going up even while market value of homes go down. Will neighborhoods make a stand? The stories above tell me that dreams can come true. Never let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what. Here is a video to inspire your day: Truly Inspiring - It'll Make You Smile -Kristina Rocco.

Thanks for reading this blog. I'd like to invite you to take a look at my other blogs at the links below:
This Day With God
Step Ahead


  1. Excellent post! Unfortunately, I gave up on my dreams. I am a happy housewife, but I have to admit I sometimes wonder where I would be if I hadn't given up on myself. I lost out on my because of my own stubbornness and pride. My dad had told me that if I wouldn't get married (I lacked three months graduating from high school) that he would pay my way through college to be whatever I wanted to be.

    All I could think of was getting away from him, so I declined his offer. My marriage only lasted 7 years, and I have always regretted that decision.

    Don't let pride or spite get in the way of furthering your dreams. I had not thought this through, or I would have realized that I could have lived in the dorm on campus and never had to be around my dad. Impulsive decisions will be the wrong ones A LOT of the time.

    God Bless,

    1. There are many lessons each of us has learned in life that can be shared and be helpful to others. Thanks for sharing PJ.