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If I were a dog playing in the Orchestra I would be waiting for the conductor to throw the stick, too. In truth, I have played in many music groups where the conductor did throw fits when the notes weren’t played right, or someone in the group made a mistake. And… they sometimes did throw their baton out of anger or frustration. Fortunately, it never sailed in my direction.

I do, however, look back on my life and see times where I was waiting for life to happen, for dreams to magical appear, for success to come to me whether I paid my dues, or not.

I earned a degree in performance on trombone from Michigan State University. I had every intention of being a professional musician and making my living as such. I had grand plans that never seemed to materialize. Maybe I wasn’t sure how to proceed. There is some truth to that. Maybe I didn’t have enough drive or the confidence I needed to go out and take on the world in the ways necessary to be a working professional musician. There may be some truth here, as well.

I also know that I allowed life to intervene over and over, letting myself get sidetracked too easily, convincing myself that I would get my dream back on track. It’s also possible that dreams can change, or take on different shapes, and be redirected. I know that happened as well. The wonderful thing about being a musician is that I can still play any time I want to without having to make a living at it. Which is exactly what I have done over the last 36 years in my adult life. The dream changed in many ways but as I look back I find that I don’t have many regrets about that.

Unrealized dreams can stay with us our entire lives waiting for the spark to re-ignite them. Regrets about those unrealized dreams can work against us or for us. It depends on your perspective and your attitude.

If your unrealized, side-tracked dreams cause you to feel sad, disappointed, resigned, and locked into the “I wish I would’ve” frame of mind they will always exist as a piece of your history that remains unfinished and unsatisfied.

If you have held onto your dreams with the hope that they will still one day come true, the good news is that they still might.

I once saw a bumper sticker that said ‘It’s never too late to have a happy childhood’. It’s also never to late to realize, or to manifest that part of your dreams that still have the possibility of coming to fruition. Don’t get me wrong. If my dream was to play in the NBA as a 58 year old, I may have to wake up and smell the coffee of reality. There are some things that move into the realm of ‘Not Going To Happen Anymore’. And, that’s ok.

Here are some ideas to consider if you are still holding on to a piece of your dream that derailed somewhere in your past.

What part of your dream is still a reality? Are there still parts of your dream that have the possibility of coming true in your life today? In my case, I could still pursue my dream of being a professional musician. It would take a huge commitment, a lot of hard work practicing, and diligence in finding ways to pursue it that would work for me now as a musician in my late 50s but the answer is yes, it is still possible.

How badly do you still want it? If the dream rates somewhere in the category of ‘It would be nice, but…’ then its time to sigh, wish it well, and come up with something that will satisfy you, make you happy, inspire you, and give you new energy. If the dream is burning brighter, hotter, more insistently now that other things in your life have settled down, then, go for it! Just Do It as Nike says.

How willing are you to work through the reasons that got you sidetracked in the first place? I think it is safe to say that we all have allowed life to intervene, to get in the way of what we really want to become, achieve and receive. Maybe money was an issue, a child arrived expected or unexpected, or something more internal like lack of confidence, a strong disbelief in your own abilities, or a voice in your head that said things that made you believe your were not worthy. Whatever the reason(s), working through and resolving the issues is vital to make sure that history does not repeat itself.

Yes, dreams get sidetracked and go unrealized. And yes, it is possible that you can still grab the comet by the tail and make them come true. Yes, the conductor might just throw the stick at some point, or you have to go and get one of your own.

Ignite Your Life!!!