When I was a young boy I used to love art. I still enjoy it but it definitely is not a high on my priorities during this season of my life.
As a child I would absolutely love watching the incredible American painter and TV host Bob Ross make happy little scenes, with happy little trees by happy little rivers. It was a happy time and every tree had a little friend. "Everyone needs a friend" you know.
I remember, very vividly watching (probably completely obvlivious to the world around me) Ross swirl around paint on his palette and gently lift just the right amount of paint off with a brush. He would slowly make simply stroke that seemed to fall effortlessly onto the canvas. He made it so simple and as I watch I remember even more vividly this thought going through my mind...
"I can do that"
The best part of this thought, in that moment, is that I actually believed it!
I literally believed, without a hint of doubt, that I could match the patient skill, stroke for stroke, of Bob Ross by simply watching a couple of episodes of The Joy of Painting.
20 years later.....
Maxton, my 3.5 year old, absolutely loves gymnastics and he does not even know what that word means yet. He loves cartwheels and tumbling and especially standing on his hands. a lot. Today I got home from work and we had a 15 minute conversation while he was staring at me upside down.
Before every drop of blood rushed to his head I told him I want to show him something. So we headed over the the laptop and I asked him if he likes gymnastics.
"nope" he said.
"Do you know what that is?" I asked
"nope" he replied again.
I turned on the laptop and headed over to Youtube, the place any good father takes his son to teach him a lesson. and showed him this video.
At first I thought he was stunned at what he was witnessing, but right there, right in the middle when the guy just sticks a quadruple back flipimmajig Max looks me right in the eyes and boldly declares to all of the witnesses in the room
"I can do that"
The best part of this was that in that moment he actually believed it!
I love that about kids. I wish that we could all have that kind of confidence about our dreams. I wish that we didnt listen to fear so much. I wish we had people so passionate about changing the world and doing good for others that they the believed they could solve life's biggest problems. Listen...
If you want to go to Central Africa say..."I can do that"
If you want to adopt a child say...."I can do that"
If you want to change careers at age 45 say...."I can do that"
If you want to develop a plan to get water to every person in the world say..."I can do that"
If you want to go to college say..... "I can do that"
If you want to walk across the street and meet a neighbor say..... "I can do that"
If you want to end the sexual slave trade say...."I can do that"
If you want to get out of debt say..... "I can do that"
If you want to save yourself for marriage say..... "I can do that"
If you have desire to go back to school say.. "I can do that"
If you want to write a book say ... "I can do that"
There is something in your heart stirring to get out. You have a dream and passion to make this world better than when you started. You have to decide to pursue it.
Will there be setbacks? of course
Will you fail? absoluetely
Will fear (and maybe even friends) tell you not to do it? no doubt
Will it take a lot of time? anything important does
Will you doubt it? probably everyday
Will you actually do it? Maybe
Maybe. That seems anti-climatic but its the truth.
I would be a fool to tell you that you will achieve 100% of your dreams! The reality is that you might not. But you must realize that you just might.
"What if" is such a cool place to think about.
What if we did cure cancer.
What if you did write an all time best seller
What if every child in the world could go to school
What if people accepted everybody regardless of choices they made.
What if nobody had to worry about where clean water would come from.
The road to success of "What if" always leads through maybe. You will never achieve a dream or change the world turning away from "Maybe". You will never reach the goal by going to the valley of "I can't".
One final thought...honestly, sometimes you can't. again that's the truth. A 5 Gallon bucket can never ever hold 6 gallons. We all have limits. If "I can't" creeps into the landscape of your life remember than when "I can't" remember you are not alone and "We can".