Friday, June 28, 2013

Life Lessons—Follow Your Dream

by Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Don't hide your dreams.
Let me guess. You want to be an author but you’re afraid others won’t understand or approve. So you keep your dream tucked away inside your heart so no one can talk you out of it.

That works for a while but inevitably you feel like a criminal hiding the truth from those who are important to you. There comes a time when you have to walk the path you’re destined to. That’s not easy sometimes. Let me help. There are some things you need to know:

You'll ultimately judge your life on whether
or not you lived your dreams.
  • In the end, you’ll judge your life on whether or not you lived your dream. It’s true. I’ve been around many people as they drew their last breaths. Not one of them said, “Gee, I’m really glad I abandoned my dream because people didn’t understand or approve.”
  • Your dream is there for a reason. Sure, there are some zany dreams that a person concocts like flying to Pluto on a parasail but by and large, your dream is legitimate and has a specific place in the world. If you don’t live it, the world will have a hole.
  • Everyone’s got an opinion. Get over it. Don’t believe me? Go to the mall and stop everyone who passes you. Ask them if they think you should be a writer. They’ll tell you something. But do those opinions matter? Uh, no.
Publish or not, you must write.
  • You live life. It shouldn’t live you. To let life—and other people’s negative feedback—lead you around is like being a dog on a leash. You weren’t meant to be that way.
  • Publish or not, you must write. If that weren’t true, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Writers write. Fire up your word processing program and type. Don’t cheat yourself out of your dream by a failure to launch… your day of writing.
  • Establish parameters with those you love. If they don’t agree and you need their support, tell them. It’s okay to say, “What I really need right now is for you to support me in this.” If they care about you, they should be able to do that even if they don’t agree with your decision. If they don’t care, you don’t need their support anyway, right?

Look, the bottom line is that precious moments of your life have ticked away since began reading this blog post. You’ll never get those back. I just turned 56. Even if I live past a hundred, I’m on the down slope. We’re not in a dress rehearsal. This is your one shot. Make it count.

Do it. Do it now. Follow your heart wherever it leads. Not only will you be happier, but the literary world will be a much better place.

What is your heart telling you? Are you following it? Share it here!

Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching ( She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.


  1. Always encouraged by your posts and this is another one! Thank you.

  2. "This is your one shot. Make it count." I love this! This is such an encouraging post..I just printed it. It's definitely a keeper ~ thank you!

  3. Thank you Marilyn. I appreciate you stopping by!

  4. So glad it ministered to you Jill. I think we all have to be reminded from time to time that we are not in a dress rehearsal.

  5. Dear Marilyn, Thank you for a word spoken in due season to one who is weary in heart. Your message has lifted me and the Lord has spoken to me the very encouragement He knew I needed. Yes, your post was written just for me!
    Margie Houmes

  6. You are so right, Reba, this life isn't a dress rehearsal. So live it to the fullest!

  7. Margie, I'm so glad today's post ministered to your heart. Thank you for your honesty. May God richly bless you today and lift your burden.

  8. Pat you are one of those who always lives her life to its fullest. We should all follow your example.

  9. Thanks so much for this word of encouragement, Reba. Perfect time. Funny how the Lord gives us just what we need, exactly when we need it.

    1. He really is amazing that way, isn't He?! Thanks for stopping by Marji