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There is something that drives and motivates each of us in life. We may know what lies underneath our pull toward a purpose designed specifically for us or we may just make the conscious decision to chase after the pull on our lives – Knowing that it will lead us to the very things we want and need the most. Fulfillment.

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The Let’s Build Futures Blog is very much about learning new and helpful things while in our chase. As young adults it is easy for us to listen to the loudness of the world. The sheer volume of opinions placed on us at birth makes it hard for us to hear our own callings. So when others can relate to this concept it’s truly special.

And as a blogger, something incredible happens when your words resonate with your readers after writing about chasing a purpose; you begin to believe in yourself that much more. This is what millennial blog Driftyness did for me when she commented on my post titled Chasing The Pull…

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I was so excited that someone could not only read my words and be moved but understand my own personal experiences. I asked if she would take my hand in holy collaboration. A few months, deadlines and several emails later between two busy bloggers’ hectic schedules; we decided to do an interview styled blog post centered around finding our life purpose in chasing the pull. I was eager to hear about her experiences in chasing the pull and I know you guys will enjoy her responses as well. Let’s get into it…

 

What do you think is the best way for you to chase the Pull, knowing what you know about yourself and your responsibilities?

I feel like I’m kind of fragile right now. I’m still trying to piece together what I want. I’m praying, trying different things, praying again. But I still don’t know. I’m also at a point in my life where everything feels like it’s up in the air. I’ll be graduating in a year, I have loved ones who are sick. I recently lost someone. I want to move out soon. I’m dating. I don’t feel stable at all and I’m not at my best when I feel that way. I think adding more instability will make me dysfunctional. So right now, I think my best bet is to try doing things slowly, a little bit at a time instead of jumping in all at once. I’m doing little things on the side, like design groups, or design classes, or writing this blog. They’ll add up over time and they’re flexible enough that I can work more intensively on them when I’m willing and able.

 

The Pull makes us uncomfortable and removes us from uncertainty when we go on the chase to follow it. Where have you felt that discomfort? How are you working through it?

I feel uncomfortable pretty much every day. Trying to do things on the side means I have more things to do and I often wonder how I’m going to get everything done. Sometimes I just don’t . I was reading somewhere that we tend to get anxious when we’re going through changes and that’s definitely true for me. I’ve been really anxious lately, and it’s hard to function like that. And there’s the restlessness and frustration too. It’s hard working on things and being stuck waiting for results, or worse, not knowing when or how it’s going to pay off.

I think the good thing about being uncomfortable so much is that I get used to it. The first little while is awful, but after that, it’s like I have a higher tolerance for it. That’s helpful when it comes to working through the discomfort. I also find that sometimes I just need to make peace with myself and my situation.

If I was supposed to do something today but I didn’t, I try to accept the fact that I will have to work on it the next day. I used to spend a lot of time being frustrated with myself, and sometimes still do, but I’m realizing it’s a lot more helpful to think about what I can do than beating myself up. Gratitude helps me a lot too. I try to thank God for three things every morning, and when I go for my (almost) daily walks, I try to thank Him for things too, and just appreciate the beauty around me. It sounds cliché, but focusing on what I have, on the present, makes me feel calm, happy, and able to move forward.

 

How does your chase manifest itself? Do you job hop or follow some odd specialized path toward your purpose?

 
I don’t think I’ve been on the chase for long enough to say, but it seems like it’s a bit of both. I think I make some huge pivots, which are like hard tugs. And then in between, there are these gentle pulls that feel nice to follow, they bring change that doesn’t feel like it’s shaking up my life. I like to think that everything happens for a reason, like my life is a big, beautiful puzzle than I can’t see. So I think my chase is an odd specialized path, but in the moment, I never really understand how it’s all fitting together.

 

What difficulties do you find in chasing The Pull on your life?

I think the hardest thing for me right now is the feeling that I’m behind everyone else. I tend to be slow to make decisions and socially, I’m a late bloomer so I think I would have felt behind regardless. But in chasing the pull, I feel like I’m starting things way after everyone else. Being a student in my mid-twenties means I don’t have the financial abilities that my friends do. I want to go on trips, buy clothes, and move out, but it’s just slow. By the time I finish grad school, I’ll be on the other side of 25.

I’m not sure I want to work in my field of study, and if I don’t, I’ll be looking at entry level jobs while I’m not that far away from being 30. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever catch up, but then I realize that everybody has their own path to walk. At the end of the day, I’m grateful that I’m doing all these things now, in my 20s, when I don’t have major responsibilities.

Early on in my twenties, or maybe just before, I read something that said that our 20s are for building. That stuck with me for years. Even though I don’t feel like I’m reaping the rewards yet, I feel like I have been spending my 20s doing that, so I’m happy. And hopeful it will pay off one day.

 

What is some advice you would give to someone chasing The Pull?

I would say make sure you take care of yourself and also make sure that you don’t get so caught up in the future that you forget to ignore the present. For me, taking care of myself means making sure I’m doing okay spiritually and dealing with my emotions. Writing helps me with both of those things. I write down my prayers, my anxieties, my plans, my feelings. When it comes to enjoying the present, it’s doing things like finding 3 things to be thankful for each day, making time to hang out with my friends and family, helping others in a way that builds me into a community, doing fun things I enjoy, taking breaks, and just appreciating the beauty in the world around me.

 

Do others in your life understand the chase?

 
I love this question! I feel like my desire to please important people in my life can lead me away from the things I feel pulled toward. I really value my parents’ opinion and I want them to be proud of me. But I’ve always been a bit unconventional in the things I gravitated towards career-wise, and they haven’t always seen the value in that. My parents are immigrants and they know that life can be hard. I know they don’t want that for me. I don’t want that for myself either, but I think we have different approaches on how to avoid that. We all value education, but they wanted me to go for the Big Two: doctor or lawyer. Maybe I’ll change, but that’s not what I want to do right now. I’m not at a place where I feel like I’m secure enough to defend my interests, so I don’t really talk about them. I look forward to that changing.

 

What have you learned about yourself in chasing The Pull? About life? About People?

• I’m a bit of a control freak and I like to have things all figured out. It drives me crazy when I don’t.
• Progress can be slow, but doing a little bit every week adds up over time.
• Life is messy. We do what we can to get the outcomes we want, but we have to be able to roll with the punches we can’t control too.
• It’s important to make decisions sooner rather than later and stick with them. I think large part of the reason I feel like I’m playing catch up now is that I didn’t make decisions about what I wanted early.
• Self confidence is a life skill. By self-confidence, I mean trusting our abilities to do things, to handle failure, to engage with others, to seek counsel & make decisions. It’s really hard to move forward (and keep going) without that.
• The people who give you some of the biggest opportunities are people you might not even know very well (this is called the strength of weak ties).
• Having good, close relationships can keep you afloat during hard times. If we have to cut back on certain areas in our lives, I think these should probably be one of the last things to go.

 

Special thanks to Driftyness for her amazing cooperation and transparency. You can read my responses to her unique questions at her blog Driftyness in the post titled below.

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Millennial Lesson: Stay open to new alliances because they can teach you so much about who you are and how you work.

 

Giving Support does not equal Getting Support.

This has been a sobering reality as I’ve embarked on the journey to explore my dream, ideas, and goals for the Let’s Build Mentoring Program and my blog.

Where the hell are my day ones on day two?

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Some close friends and family seem like the last ones to get on the train when it comes to supporting your dream. Could it be because they’re unsure of the destination, unclear on the goal or that it just doesn’t seem like something of interest until others hop on?

I’m exploring this question because I found myself feeling a little jaded and unsupported throughout my young entrepreneurial career in which I looked at how I freely give support and encouragement but felt I have not received the same back from those closest to me.

So I lashed out a little in posting…

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That was the Krystal from a week ago. (So immature, eye-roll)

I have now come to other revelations that have helped me to understand what may be lying underneath the surface.

Like maybe I’m part of the issue. 

In the words of the great Ms. Badu

“I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t!”

I feel that way in my writing. Vulnerability being the culprit. I have a love/hate relationship with putting my thoughts out there so I hide it from those who would be the most honest with me. Insecurity and fear of judgement also play a part.

I just need to grow a pair in that area.

 

You’re supportive in nature.

I’ve always found pure joy in rooting for others. Maybe it’s the people pleaser in me or the fact that I can relate to wanting to be understood.

As Oprah says everyone just wants to be heard. Whatever the reason, I find myself hyping up associates, friends, and family alike whenever I’m told about a goal or dream. Hell, even when I see a random selfie.

I am especially more fierce in showing support and love for others on social networks now because I see how hard it is to build up a following around a project.

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To me it takes very little time to show your support for someone in the online world. So why is it that so many are having trouble garnering support from those closest to them. The truth is, just like lending money, in offering support you should not expect it back.

But here are some other reasons outside of yourself that could explain the cricket sounds surrounding your dream.

 

 

They Don’t understand what the hell you’re doing or how to support it.

I think when we’re passionate about starting a business or venturing off on our own we hit family and friends with the headliners of the grand plan. This can translate to them as a pursuit that is either outrageous or complicated.

Uncle Leon may know how to DM the ladies on Facebook with the one hit pickup line he’s been using since 1974…

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but that doesn’t mean he knows what a blog is. Your grandma may be happy you’re attending college but may not understand you explaining Public relations to her when discussing opening your own PR business. Slow it down, take your time in explaining the basics and discuss small ways they can support your endeavor.

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Your pursuit makes them uneasy.

Seeing you pursue your dreams/passions causes others to look inward at their own life. This can go one of two ways:

It will either inspire them to pursue their own dreams (True story happened to me S/O to some of my Instagram/Facebook followers)

OR

It will insight them to resentment as it is a reminder of you doing something they feel incapable of or afraid to do. For this reason people will only support you for as much as is comfortable for them to. Don’t sweat it. (True story happened to me S/O to some of my Instagram/Facebook followers!)

What can I say?…I’m human.

 

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Their support got lost in translation.

You may have a specific way that you show your support for others whether it’s likes, verbal encouragement or actually taking the time to read/buy/subscribe etc…

Your family and friends may have their own definitions of supporting your dreams. For example, my guy hates reading (I’ll break up with him soon, I promise); however, his verbal encouragement when I’m down, answering my “research questions” for my blog, and quick glance overs of my writing are all ways he shows his support for what I’m attempting to do.

 

 

They have their own shit.

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Expecting your loved ones to shout your business/project/dream from the mountain top to all they know is a little unrealistic. They may have their own shit going on in which it takes up most of their time/attention/money.

They aren’t as passionate about your dream as you are and that’s okay, that dream is yours because YOU are the one who loves it. It is then your duty to build up that dream in a way that it will appeal to even the least supportive in the pack.

They secretly hate you.

JUST KIDDING!!! HA.

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The point.

Relax young grasshopper.

It takes time to build support around your dream.

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Honestly, you need that time to perfect and tailor your dream to something that can be useful to all who encounter it anyway. Stop being so hard on yourself and stop being so judgey toward your loved ones.

Trust me, when your idea does takeoff that will be all the (TOLD YOU SO) you need. Some people get lucky and win the lottery big but don’t ignore that scratch off for $10; just go buy you a happy meal and keep grindin’.

#LetsBuild

 

 

Disclaimer: After reading this some friends and family may be tempted to contact LetsBuild via phone or text.

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DO. NOT. 

I had to explore this topic; it called out to me like my name was Carol-Anne.

 

 

Ahhhh, it’s that time of year again for the phrase heard around the world.

Come on. You know the one. You’ve even used it before.

NEW YEAR, NEW ME ringing any bells? Well, I’ve decided that instead of attempting to construct a new me; I will just revamp the ME that’s already here!

(I’m Pretty damn awesome already)

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CAUTION: Self Love often mistaken for Selfishness Ahead

 

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I don’t want to make a truck load of changes that I may or may not stick with. I’d rather dedicate this next year to focusing on the most important person in my life.

Again, ME.

Investing in the things that matter to my present and future self could make a world of difference this year.

I came up with this “brilliant” idea one day while contemplating all of the important things I had set up for my 9-5 in January.

All the meetings I needed to take, the phone calls/emails I needed to send out and the programs for the community that would make a difference in others getting a jump-start to their year.

But what about me? What about the real goals that I want to accomplish this year just for myself? Those are just as important. But those things need my TLC as well. Shit, I need some TLC!

So, I decided to not only be the worker bee but Queen Bee.

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I’m spending the month of January setting myself up for success by focusing on my needs, wants and everything in-between. Investing time and money into myself is what this is all about.

All while being unapologetic of course. I hope you decide to do the same.

 

Here’s the tea.

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Financial Empowerment

I started the infamous envelope challenge this December. Basically, I take cash out of my account for bills I don’t pay online. I budget reasonable amounts and place it into envelopes just for groceries, gas, eating out, personal care, rainy day car expenses, and my personal allowance.

NO Cross Sharing cash between envelopes!

I have to say that sticking with this budget isn’t easy but knowing exactly where my hard-earned coins are going has helped me develop a real relationship that treats my doubloons with respect.

Now I don’t get anxiety every time I swipe or constantly worry about being broke when I’m not. Instead, I think long and hard, REAL HARD, before handing over my precious.

This step is important in me getting the most from my money. Now, I actually check my bank account and open my bank statements rather than dodge them like I do the guys in Wal-Mart. My money is working for me now.

Finances and Anxiety under control (Check!)

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Boosting My Passions and Interests

New Blog Look Coming Soon!

Investing into something I am truly passionate about will be the best kick off to the New Year. I’ve placed money aside to upgrade my blog space (YAY) and I’ve also budgeted money to design informational packages for my Let’s Build Mentoring program. I will send these packages to guidance counselors and school officials attempting to garner a partnership.

If you have a business you’re interested in starting up or an endeavor you want to explore; DO IT!

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“But I’m broke”

Okay, listen Linda, tax season is around the corner so set some of that money aside to invest in your interests. OR save up, because it’s worth exploring what interests you and not just working for someone else’s dream or goals.

Making Boss Moves (Check)!

 

Getting My Mind Right

Mental health

I’ve found free sessions with a psychologist who can give me the tools I need to better overcome the mental blocks I face and the anxiety that I deal with.

*Military personnel or families of military personnel can get 6 free sessions for issues they face through military one source Phone: 800-342-9647*

I can get free sessions for anxiety and then turn around and get another 6 free sessions for grief or quarter life crisis https://letsbuildfutures.com/2017/12/12/the-ghost-of-crisis-past/

 

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Spiritual Health

Walks in the park, massages, reading in a quiet little coffee shop; all these things make me feel closer to God because they focus my energy inward. So, I’ve carved out time to do these things to keep my inner self happy and connected.

 

 

This past year I gave all my free time away like Krispy Kreme Hot Sign doughnuts. The more I gave, the more I was expected to give.

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but taking time for myself will give me the energy I need to fully be there for others when they really need.

For you it may be going to church, or hiking….either way make sure you give yourself ample time every week to draw on something bigger than yourself.

Happy, Healthy Me (Check)!

 

 

Ball TF out!

I’m that person who hesitates in spending money on myself but when it comes to my family I throw money and all my free time at them.

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Not this New Year.

I started taking better care of myself in 2017 but I definitely still held back.

I gave 110% to my civilian job

110% to my military job

110% to my family and friends

2% to me/my interests (OKAY….maybe I’m being dramatic but you get the point)

I will be blowing the dust off of my vacation days from work this year.

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I now realize that if I juice everything around me up and don’t give myself time to recharge then nothing gets done. It’s okay to take that mini vacation especially if your work ethic is on point.

My boss, My family and My friends will just have to understand. I will be a little more selfish than they’re use to this year. And it all starts with my birthday in which I will RUN TF OUT.

Because why not? I’ve never heavily splurged on myself because I’m always money conscious but as this birthday approaches I realize that I will only get one chance at my 20s; so why not make the most of them in working hard AND having fun?

“Krystal, you’re so extra.”

Me: “You damn right I am!”

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We always go into the New Year with intentions to change the things we don’t like about ourselves weight, food habits, that pinkie toe that’s a little weird-looking

BUT

why not celebrate what we do like and enjoy.

You don’t have to make a million resolutions you know damn well you’re not gonna stick with. You can, however, pick out the things in your life that bring you joy and focus on that this year because a happier you IS a healthier YOU.

 

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Answers Phone: “New Year, Enhanced Me…Who dis?!”

Loving on Myself (Check)!

 

 

Someone or something told me dreams were not for me. Dreams were for the smart or the rich or the lucky; but they were not meant for someone from my background with my skin color. This is true for many underprivileged children. Many of them share the same sentiment without ever realizing it. Dreaming and setting goals can be the difference that changes one’s circumstances from “just getting by” to “flourishing.”

Unfortunately, children from low income homes find it hard to dream past their circumstances; often feeling hopeless in the face of others older and wiser than they having never overcome financial or educational struggles.

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I was 20 before I held my first dream like a precious egg; I was afraid it would break if I neglected it. So I nurtured it as much as I could and fed that dream until it hatched. Eventually, that dream birthed more dreams for me to mother. Up until that point I had made goals for myself that I achieved but to dream was out of the question for me. While setting goals and achieving them is great, a dream transcends you mentally, emotionally, and many times, financially.

A dream is what stirs your passion and gives you butterflies. It’s sad that so many children today will choose only to pursue goals because they view dreams as a luxury. The difference of a goal and a dream is as simple as this:

21 year old Miya comes for a household where income is low. She decided against college because of the cost and set a goal to get her certification as a hair stylist because she loves doing hair and interacting with women. She is eager to earn money to support herself and help her household. This mentality will be how she earns a living for the next 20 years.

as opposed to

21 year old Miya decided to get her certification as a hair stylist and take business classes at her local community college so that she could eventually open up her own salon. She saw spending money to take classes and getting her certification as an investment to her future. Within 20 years she has 2 hair salons, 14 employees and lives a comfortable upper class lifestyle. She is better able to help her family.

In the first example Miya has set a wonderful goal to become a stylist based off of what she loves to do and the immediate financial need of her family. In the second example Miya actively works toward her dream by taking the necessary steps to get there. The second example isn’t likely to happen without emotional mentoring in the form of encouragement.

Too often we allow our own negative life experiences to seep into the advice we give our youth. “That’s too big a dream, aim for something realistic.” We say this in our own paraphrases without understanding the impact it has. Miya likely had someone encourage her dreams and that helped to give her confidence in pursuing them. But how do you do that?

 

How do you dream when you can’t see past your circumstance?

One of the important things I’ve learned is, in order to break down the mental barriers of low income children you must expose them to environments that stimulate their mind and expand their world view. Although I was heavily affected by my circumstances in the teen years of my life, I can attribute my creativity, curiosity, and thirst for knowledge to my childhood. Watching history documentaries or nature shows with my dad for hours expanded my world to places outside of our tiny walls.

Constantly wanting to learn more, being equipped with 9,999 fun facts and being a general nerd has all steamed from him. Watching my mother and sisters create from their own imagination, bringing their passions to physical forms spurred me to play with my personal creativity. Children who are given an alternative way of seeing the world, free from the eyes of financial stress, are better able to dream past their circumstance.

 

It is hard to dream something you’ve never seen.

That’s why connecting children with a mentor can improve the way they view the world and most importantly, change the way they view themselves. Seeing someone living well who shares similar background baggage or physical attributes helps children envision themselves living well, accomplishing the “impossible” and conquering dreams. REPRESENTATION ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! In saying, “If she can make it, then so can I” a child is empowering themselves and establishing that they want more out of life.

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Wanting MORE is not a crime

Dreaming bigger than what you’ve personally seen accomplished can feel like a betrayal to those closest to you. It can feel like saying “The way we live isn’t good enough for me.” It can feel like you’re slapping your hard working mother/father in the face.

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The truth is that unless we live a dream realized then we all want more. Some of us just forget that. Even our parents or idols.

Another issue is that not everyone dreams the same. Your MORE may not look like my MORE. My more right now is having a successful mentoring program and middle class lifestyle while my boyfriend’s more comes equipped with extra zeros in his bank account. Similarly, I had completely stressed myself out a while ago wanting more for my mother.

She’s amazing and I think she deserves all the gold in the world. One day in her office at school I asked her “Ma, what did you always want to be or dream about being when you were my age?” I thought she was going to give me some off the wall response like a Hollywood actress, world renowned chef or something. Instead, she peaked at me from the top of her reading glasses and said “I love what I do now. I feed people and get to decorate and be myself. My greatest dream was to be a better mother than I had so anything extra is a blessing.”

(Real tears) I was floored. Here I was wanting a dream for my mother that wasn’t even hers. Her MORE had already been realized through the reciprocated love of her daughters. So wanting more for yourself is nothing to shy away from. Everyone has a “MORE.”

Some people have achieved it and others are afraid to pursue it. Don’t allow worrying about how others view your pursuit of more to deter you from it. As long as you travel the path towards your dream with respect for your past and grace for your future, you will be alright.

To me dreaming doesn’t have to be outrageous. Dreaming for people from households that don’t encourage or talk about the future often involves achieving things that no one else in the family has.

A dream doesn’t have to be something utterly trivial like wanting to be a star NBA player or world renowned author. Most times it’s dreaming of being the first in your family to graduate from college, start a successful business, join the military, travel the world, own a home etc…

In having discussions with others about the difference between setting a goal and pursuing a dream I realized that many people consider dreams those things in our lives that live outside reality and thrive within the probability of winning the lottery. However, to me dreaming often is far smaller than that.

Dreams are linked to our passions, sometimes our talents. Dreams are those things that call out to us from a distance ahead; urging us to take action through pursuit. Our dreams make use restless.

I’m not saying encourage your 35 year old cousin to continue in his pursuit of being a rapper but do offer a healthy discussion about the future with your 16 year old niece who believes she wants to be a surgeon. Help her to envision her dream and find ways to actively go after it.

 

Dream complete

When I was graduating from High School I got asked, “So what are your plans after graduation?;” more times than I can count. No one asked this the other 3 years of my high school life and I honestly don’t think I was really asked that question after the age of 8 when the answers were cute. They included astronaut, policeman, and actress. Once I became older and the reality of adulthood was nye; it became a different ball game in which my answers were expected to be followed up by actions.

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GIPHY: I virtually felt as though I was being thrown into the world of adults vulnerable and unprepared after graduation.

The problem was that since no one had really encouraged me to dream about my future, I didn’t. I was blindsided by the “what next” question that suddenly appeared in my senior year of high school so I only offered a response with no real follow through thinking. “So what are your plans after graduation?” I replied, “I’m going to school to become a psychologist.” Ha! I laugh at this now because man oh man was I clueless in what that pursuit really entailed. At the time it seemed like the best way to fulfill my need to help people.

The topic to dream complete means exactly what it says. Dreaming the process of the pursuit all the way through. Whenever you think about your dream you should make a plan on how to achieve it. Dreaming completely allows you to see your dream in it’s entirety and helps you make the decision on whether it’s really for you or not. Once I realized that I wanted to help people but I wasn’t willing to pursue a PH.D to do it; I changed my major to something more realistic. Encourage the youth, friends, and family in your life to dream complete.

This post in based on my views of what dreams and goals mean. What are YOUR thoughts? Comment below and let’s discuss. #LETSBUILD