After attending college for a short time, I can already sense patterns in the way that all my professors teach their courses. The most common similarity that I found was during lectures they always pause to give "Course Instructions" or as they call it, "Things you want to keep in mind." In the book of Genesis, the character Joseph had a hard time as a dreamer. He was hated and envied by his brothers, he was sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, and even thrown into prison, but he kept a calm mind, and held steadfast until his dreams became a reality. I often wondered how he was able to do that. I believe that along with his relationship with God, Joseph kept some spiritual course instructions in his mind. I believe there are course instructions for us today as well, to keep us from wavering off of the course of purpose.
The quintessential characteristic needed to keep a dreamer on course, is the knowledge that there is more available than what he or she has seen in his or her surroundings. As humans, we are conditioned by our environments. Our perceptions, fears, views, spiritual outlook, and overall developments are shaped by what is around us. Often, people who are raised in negative families, neighborhoods, or conditions, may have a negative and hopeless outlook on their future. I encourage everyone no matter what environment he or she was raised in to hold fast to the concept that the world is full of infinite possibilities. When a dreamer is exposed to sectors outside of where they have been raised, or wherever they have had the most struggles, their perception of possibilities changes.
Education is the catalyst for personal change. Ignorance inhibits growth, and the more people do not know, the more they become enclosed in a stagnant, unproductive box. Education affects not only behavior, but also communication, our ability to relate to other people, and the amount of opportunities that we can actually take advantage of. Getting an education is not limited to the core subjects studied in schools like: Math, Science, English, and History. In fact, the core subjects are just a foundation for other knowledge to be built upon. It is important to make sure that one gets an education that will assist him or her with reaching specific dreams. People who dream of achieving in the music field study the theory and structure of music, or how to operate recording software. People who seek to be great organizational leaders study how to organize events; the structures of business; and even how to operate new technologies. The acquisition of knowledge brings about the acquisition of skills. As we immerse ourselves in education, we will uncover gifts, skills, and passions that can lead us to broadened horizons and the fulfillment of dreams.
One last important thing I have learned is that knowledge can excel a person to an entirely different level of living, but hard work is the only thing that will keep him there. The fact alone that we are all human, qualifies us to be recipients of opposition and struggle. If a person with a dream is turned away by every no, persuaded to quit by every negative opinion, and pushed into doubt when faced with difficulty, then his or her future is sure to remain in a windmill of nihility. Throughout life, those that obtain lasting success are those who have obtained it at the sweat of their brow. Passion and the desire to have something better than their current state will push them to learn, achieve, and ultimately become a better person.
All in all, vision beyond one's surroundings enables the expansion and development of dreams; education provides substance so the dream can be pursued; and determination ensures that the dreamer will be driven by faith and heart, and pursue the dream relentlessly. These vital attributes are the things that turn dreamers into doers, and can change the lives of anyone willing to grow, change their life for the better, and be successful in this present world. I write this not only to whoever may read this, but I write this to myself. I hold these things as reminders of why I should keep going. Recalling these truths help me to see the bigger picture, when I am consumed by the many small obstacles that often seem to be rather huge. None of this is new information. In fact, this knowledge existed way before I was even born. I write this simply to encourage everyone to implement the things that you already know, and stay focused on where you are going, and not where you are. Paul says it best in Phillipians 3:14 where he says: "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (KJV). So I say to you as my professors say to me, keep these things in mind, and they are all going to come together as we make it through the course.