Dare to Dream

At a very young age, we were introduced to the song, “When you wish upon a star” and believed everything we dreamed of and desired could be found by looking towards the stars. Just as we are individuals, our dreams are truly unique based on our needs and wishes. Everyone wants to live or achieve their dreams yet only few are successful at making them a reality. Is it perhaps that our dreams are too lofty, unattainable? Or is just that we daydream too much and wish what could be rather than daring to take action of what can be? While some of us may continue to wish upon a star, recently a local man who dared to dream and succeeded became a national news story.

At a young age, Werner Berger got interested in hiking and mountain climbing.  As his experience and passion grew, he went on to climb six of the seven tallest summits on each of the seven continents, dreaming to some day summit the top of the world — Mount Everest. On May 22, 2007, that dream became a reality and Werner Berger became the oldest North American to summit Mount Everest at the mere age of 69 years old!  No, that is not a typo. Werner is not only heading into his seventies, but he did something people even half of his age who attempt struggle with and he far exceeded the expected “normal” lifestyle of what most people his age are doing at this point in their life. Werner’s dream was so driven by desire that there was nothing, not even the task of accomplishing what some consider to be unfathomable, that was going to stand in his way.  A common reaction to his feat might be "why would anyone want to do that?" To which I say, "Why not?"

Why not do something that very few people can say they did? Why not do something that puts life into perspective and gives it some purpose, like training to run a marathon, perhaps climbing a mountain, or even living a healthier lifestyle so that you can enjoy all that is important to you? We like to watch but not move as is apparent by the popularity of reality TV shows and our growing national waistline. We have become very quick to pass judgment on those who excel and assume we know best; that they are the ones who are crazy. We like to make excuses like we're getting too old to do this, too old to do that. Baloney! It’s not just about doing something to gain notoriety. It’s about living life and enjoying all that it has to offer. The only one truly standing in the way of you and your dreams is you.

Stories like Werner's may not appeal to everyone but the message is blatantly clear. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Neither age nor gender should ever be an excuse. And every dream, even if it involves climbing the greatest of all physical obstacles here on Earth (Mount Everest is 29,029 feet!) can be achieved, but only if you dare to go after it. Whatever your dream is, whether big or small, no obstacles or hurdles should stand in your way, especially the views and opinions of others.

I challenge you to follow your dream, whether it is to own your own business, be independently wealthy, travel the world, etc. But I also challenge you to take a look at what are you doing right now to at least make those dreams a reality. Sitting around hoping to hit the big lottery, wishing upon the stars, or constantly judging others on their personal and proud accomplishments will get you no where. They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Take that first step, focus straight ahead, and dare to dream.