There are dreamers and then, there are dreamers’. We all, at one point or the other, have had or currently have a dream. The beauty of dreams is that they are not limited by environment, culture, status or time. In a developing country like Nigeria where poverty is still pervasive, corruption thrives, and numerous odds are stacked against youths desirous of setting up businesses, the power of dreams is what has helped people to rise above mediocrity and societal limitations. Likewise in many other countries across the world, countless dreams have turned into innovations revolutionizing the way we live, work and play.
One considers dreamers’ like Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc, and wonder what made them rise above the limitations of their respective societies, making them appear to have a monopoly over accomplishment of dreams in the process? Primarily, what separates other dreamers from these set of dreamers’ is conviction in their dreams. These individuals were convicted of their dreams and the vindication they enjoy is what we see and appreciate in them today.
The word ‘conviction’ can also be represented as confidence, assurance, certainty, sincerity, passion, fervor and/or belief. In contrast, the word ‘convict’ could mean a prisoner, crook, offender, villain or criminal. So as a free person, when you are convicted of a dream, you remain within the prison of that dream even when freedom to walk away is within your prerogative. You hang in there, alone if necessary, with that dream; resolute and passionate about it till you are vindicated by it.
It is not enough to have big dreams of driving super cars, trips in private jets and exotic vacation destinations. Without conviction in a dream or purpose that is larger than us and our immediate needs, we cannot learn certain lessons necessary to live the life we envision. Ask a repentant prisoner or a successful business mogul about ‘being convicted’ and they would give similar responses: a process of reflection (reevaluating values) and enduring correction (refocusing and painful sacrifices).
We must become intentional about finding or joining a purpose we believe in and when discovered, we must commit ourselves fully to conviction. In the Power of Character in Leadership…how values, morals, ethics and principles affect leaders, Dr. Myles Munroe asserts “we will never fulfill our purpose and convictions if we haven’t already decided to serve the values and moral standards that align with them and by which they can be accomplished.” Let me rephrase that a little; we will never be vindicated by our dreams if our conviction in them do not prompt us to impose certain lifestyle constraints on ourselves, while learning the ultimate lesson that there are some goals in life that are immeasurably greater than temporary pleasures, secondary objectives and social distractions.
A lot of youths of our generation, either from over exposure to poverty, lavish luxury, cancer of envy on social media, or deficient society morals, cares less about the self-centered values in the philosophies they are adopting and more than ever before, our young people are eager to trade vision for short-term pleasures. Forgetting when we sacrifice the ultimate for the immediate, we remain slaves to the immediate.
It is why young men stage a jailbreak on the principles needed to achieve large dreams, which oftentimes require acceptance of painful sacrifices, boring repetitive work, compassion for humanity and patience. Similarly, it is why young ladies choose to live expediently –without faith in a broader vision of life that enables them reflect on their values, ethics and the morals they exhibit in relationships and decisions. The case of the mother of Mike Adenuga’s kids readily comes to mind, after she ditched him for a wealthy chief back in the early days while Mike Adenuga was at the beginning stage of actualizing his Globacom dream.
Because hope and work is the vehicle upon which dreams ride to reality, when you’re convicted by a dream you become a prisoner of hope. As a prisoner of hope, the world does not revolve solely around you anymore. You’re willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains. You’re committed to becoming a better version of yourself. Convicted within the walls of your dreams or that of your better half or company, you find joy even in small beginnings. You learn humbling lessons about life, the futility of earthly labor and how the divine ways of Providence prospers us. All a convict has are time, thought and hope…the same resources available to us as free people. Discipline to make the best of our lives, as prisoners of hope, without over reliance on external supervision is the hallmark of freedom.
Go ahead and live your best life everyday.