Dreams Without Action Are Like Farts in a Windstorm

Lady in cloudsA month ago today, I launched my blog.  This past month has been phenomenal; I have connected with so many electric readers and been delighted to discover that more than my mom thinks my writing's pretty groovy. 

I've been resuscitated from the zombie half-life I was living prior to last November when I finally committed to move forward on this project, and though I am tired and busy and it's not always easy, I have only one regret.

Why didn't I do this sooner?

The Hairy Edge has been in my head for nearly a year.  The title downloaded while I was in the shower as so many of my best ideas do.  I mentioned it to my husband, and then did nothing.  On my birthday in August 2010, my husband purchased the domain name and volunteered to build my site.  I still did nothing.  The possibility of my own bloggy vision was sexy, but in truth it mostly sat up on a dusty mental shelf, waiting for me to notice it.

In October, my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and had surgery to remove it.  There's nothing quite like the words "brain tumor" out of a loved one's mouth to put life into perspective.  I watched my bad-ass brother flip the double bird at his brain cancer as he openly stated, "I've still got things I want to do and a wife and child.  Cancer's got no choice but to go."  And so far, he's been true to his word.  Insane rounds of radiation and chemo, and his white blood cell count looks like a perfectly healthy man's.

Cancer didn't stop him.  Even from the hospital he returned to the projects he'd been working on.  Not work in that it's time to make the donuts way, y'all, but stuff that geeks him out.  Ideas to explore, questions to answer…that's his life as a college professor, and he was checking off his bucket list even as the painkillers hadn't yet worn off.

Excuses Annihilated

When your brother has brain cancer and is still taking action, excuses like having a job or being afraid no longer quiet that part of you that you've kept drugged up and gagged in some locked compartment of your brain.  It busts out of its cell on steroids and demands to be heard; it grabbed me by the collar and shook me until I was filled with action and got my groove thang going.

You see, dreams without action are like farts in a windstorm:  ineffective.

My pop-pop used to say we were acting like farts in a windstorm when we were dragging our feet instead of getting into the car or taking care of business.  As a little girl I thought it was funny, but I didn't really understand it.  Now, however, it makes perfect sense.  It doesn't matter that your fart could peel paint if it's diffused by the wind just like your dreams or good ideas don't matter if you don't take action on them.  Your unstrived for dreams are just blown away like so much refuse.

You can't achieve what you don't try for, and there really aren't any good reasons for not pursuing what you want in life.  Not enough money?  Align your finances with your goals or figure out how to make more.  Not enough time?  As my mom always preached and Corbett Barr wrote yesterday, we make time for what we value.  Make sure the way you spend your time matches with what revs your engine.  Don't know how?  Take a class, ask for help, teach yourself or pay someone to do it. 

Just. Do. It.

Stop putting off your dreams until Tomorrow, Someday, If Only, or Maybe When and start moving towards them now.  Right now.  This minute.

You don't have to do it all at once.  Building and launching this blog required a series of small steps, and developing it into the force for happy goodness I envision is requiring even more itty-bitty steps.  I take at least one step forward every day because, as one of my dear friends likes to say, "Little step by little step we go far."

Your turn:  What dream is sitting neglected on your shelf, begging to be nurtured?  What's keeping you from it?  What's one step you can take today to move a little bit closer to reaching it?  Share your thoughts in the comments! 

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Image:  Lel4nd

10 Responses to Dreams Without Action Are Like Farts in a Windstorm
  1. Lori
    April 21, 2011 | 6:28 am

    You rock! What an inspiration. I am at SIU and know your brother. He too is an inspiration. Blessings to you.

    • Ellen Berg
      April 21, 2011 | 7:09 am

      Thanks, Lori! Once we both grew up I realized he was actually pretty cool. He’s the most single-minded person I know, and that’s how I know cancer doesn’t stand a chance. Blessings back to you. :)

  2. Kasey
    April 21, 2011 | 7:40 am

    Ellen:  Please write a book!

    • Ellen Berg
      April 21, 2011 | 12:44 pm

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Kasey! I’m actually working on an ebook to release sometime this summer. There’s so much I want to share about pursuing our dreams along with strategies for all stages of the process, and the blog alone won’t let me go as deep with the content as I’d like. I’ll definitely let everyone know when it’s published. :)

  3. Joe. M.
    April 21, 2011 | 8:42 am

    Truth! The old sayings "He's his own worst enemy" and "We have met the enemy and he is us"  do have truth (at least once you think about it.) We are the ones who put obstacles in our way (invented and sometimes real ones).
    Kick ass writing!

    • Ellen Berg
      April 21, 2011 | 12:48 pm

      Yes~we are our own worst enemy. No one has ever caused more harm to me than myself, and I think my purpose with this blog is to share my own work on eliminating myself as an obstacle and saboteur. I really believe that 99.9% of our dreams are within reach regardless of the perceived obstacles. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Jane
    April 21, 2011 | 8:30 pm

    Ellen,
    One of my favorite posts you have done.  It warms my heart that you are sharing Scott's fight with all your readers.  I am so proud of him. It is so important for people to hear his story and know that this horrible cancer can be fought.  When I read your posts, I actually feel as if  you are sitting next to me at mom & dad's table speaking passonately about something that is very important to you. Keep going.  Don't stop!

    • Ellen Berg
      April 21, 2011 | 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Jane. I wanted my writing to sound exactly as you describe, so it’s nice to hear I’ve achieved that. Scott has always been the rock God of reaching his goals; I’ve never seen him not get something he’s put his mind to, so I know he’s going to beat it. He’s decided, and the rest is merely details.

  5. [...] Dreams Without Action Are Like Farts in a Windstorm (The Hairy Edge) From Ellen: “Dreams Without Action Are Like Farts in a Windstorm had a catchy title and a call to action. It had 40 shares and 145 views which was pretty good for a one-month-in blogger! Still gets lots of pageviews.” [...]

  6. Barb
    June 15, 2011 | 9:27 am

    Interesting Ellen. I was just thinking about Dad this morning. That doesn’t make me sad, it makes me smile. He will forever be with me. I can still imagine that strange little way he would laugh.

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