Sixteen years ago my father had a dream.
To buy a boat, quit his job and sail the world. At the time he had a wife and two teenaged kids to support, a mortgage and a job in a bank which had him working 100 hours a week.
It was a mad dream, but it was his dream. He knew he had to do it.
So he hatched a plan and eight years later he quit his job and set sail around the world.
In five days I’m heading down to Ushuaia, the southern tip of Argentina, to welcome my father back to South Ameirca as he returns with his son and three friends from a voyage of a life-time to the Antarctic, having crossed one of the world’s most treacherous seas around Cape Horn.
In those sixteen years since he had that dream on 19th September 1996 (yep, he remembers the date), I’ve seen my father transform. From a man consumed by work, head in the financial times, always stressed out and buzzing off adrenaline, to a man in love with life. A man who is living his dream, who made it happen, against all odds.
He is like a child again, full of peace, love and gratitude.
To see him grow and transform out of his commitment to his dream, to himself, has been the greatest inspiration a daughter could ever wish to get from her father. In honouring his own dream he gave me the confidence and strength to honour my own.
Our message to you is never stop dreaming.
No matter how impossible it seems. No matter what the dream. Honour it.
If people roll their eyes and tell you to stop being such a dreamer, dig your heels in. Run in the other direction.
Run towards those dreams.
Embrace them, unwrap them, see what lies at the heart of each of them and set out to bring them to life.
Because the moment you commit to your dream, your life will change. You will have no idea of how until you go for it.
With so many people telling us to stop being dreamers, I’m telling you don’t.
Don’t ever give up, don’t ever walk away from those dreams, don’t ever settle for what you think is possible, for what you think is allowed. Instead go out and discover what is possible. You don’t need permission from anyone. Just do it. Play full out. You’ll never regret going for it. But you’ll regret a million times never giving it a go.
Your dreams are a sacred part of you. By honouring your dreams, you honour yourself and the life you’ve been gifted with.
So ask yourself this question now, is there a dream that you have been keeping locked away because it just seems too impossible?
Dig deep. Answer honestly. Because all of us has at least one dream we keep hidden.
Now gently take it out and dust it off. Unwrap it and see what experience lies at the heart of it and make 2012 the year where you finally honour your dream by bringing it to life.
Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s an adventure to be lived to the full.
So go get that dream and let’s make it happen.