At age 13, I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and knew I HAD to be a rock star. I immediately got a guitar and took lessons and before long, I wrote my first song and started a band. I was on my way and ready for fame, fortune, and the adoration of girls, girls, girls!
I was still ready at ages 20, 25, 32, 36, and 45. I did everything I knew to force my way to a Grammy for song of the year. Every year I grew more weary of never fulfilling the dream, more weary of always being broke because I spent all of my money (and more) recording demos, more weary of performing for too little money.
At age 45 I gave up and made a decision to learn about money and wealth. My unmet dream had cost way too much in too many areas of my life. My unmet dream had taken a toll on my spirit and left me headed for a poverty retirement.
I did learn about money and I did prepare for my senior years. For seven years I set aside that tiresome unmet dream and, after seven years, I had everything I had always believed I could only get as a rock star: money, adoration, widely known, respected, appreciated, and happy. I was on stage in service and the audiences wanted to hear what I had to say—After I gave up that old dream.
After seven years I also had something unexpected: I took my guitars out of their cases and music began to be joyful instead of stressful, fun instead of defeating, in the moment, instead of “When I’m famous…”. I began to meet amazing musicians, write with famous-y people, record and perform with the highest level of professionals. Music transformed from my old unhappiness to my new joyous life.
I searched my heart and mind for other old, tedious, tiresome unmet dreams and I found more than a few. I wished them well and sent them on their way. More blessings followed: abundant peace, happiness, love, prosperity, and endless new experiences.
I still come upon old unmet dreams. Some are so old, the ingredients it would take to fulfill them no longer exist. I’m never going to be that hilariously funny guest on Johnny Carson. Frank and I won’t perform as a duet singing “The Best Is Yet To Come,” though the best IS yet to come. I’m not going to co-write a book with my friend, the late Shakti Gawain, unless she writes her part from the great beyond. I’m not likely to be the leader that guides the world to peace, but my world is peaceful.
In the letting go, my life is glorious. I have a favorite prayer (I’ve posted it before) that encompasses the dreams I choose now. It reminds me that my dreams aren’t up ahead in the unknown someday, they are with me everyday. If you’re unhappily harboring old unmet dreams and want peace right now, you can borrow this prayer until you create your own:
“Vanish the ticking clock,
There is time to love.
If a timer chimes,
Make it time to sing.
When I’m rushing around,
Make me rush to serve.
And when I look back in time,
May I look back in love.”
You can find more prayers in my latest book “Your Life Is Your Prayer.”