Castles in the Sky

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” (Henry David Thoreau).

The above quote speaks to lofty dreams and goals that a person may have. There will be those who will come along and say things like, “Get your head out of the clouds and get to work,” or “What your purposing is too great, we haven’t the resources or means to accomplish it.” I understand what others mean when they say such things, but there is a great danger in speaking such words over one’s dreams. I would much rather hear, “Shoot for the stars,” or “Don’t hold back, go for it all,” or “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to do so don’t cheat yourself by possessing a limited mindset.”
The reality is there will always be those around us who will seek to clip our wings and keep us from taking flight. I don’t know why they do it, maybe out of jealousy – jealous that they haven’t the courage to dream big dreams and pursue them with passion and you do.

I participated in a leadership conference a number of years ago where the presenter had us start by writing our obituary. It was, I admit a bit morbid but I understood his purpose. What do you want to be said of you when you’ve passed? How do you want to be remembered? The purpose of starting with the end and then asking how do I get there is a proven process leading to a successful life.
I think that is what Thoreau meant when he spoke of building castles in the sky. The castle is the vision or dreams. The work of the one who would see the castle stand must lay the foundation beneath the dream and doing so while always keeping the grand castle in sight.

I want to encourage all of us to not allow ourselves to be limited by the small-mindedness of others. Just because they cannot see your castle doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The important thing is that you see it and begin the hard work of building a foundation beneath it that will cause it to stand!

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