Can you be a dreamer and be generous? Or are dreamers all about themselves? Frivolous? Fanciful? Bigger... Better... More...
Yesterday, I heard someone directly express their concern that to pursue a dream would be to abandon being generous, caring, seeking the well-being of others or even serving God. "When I think of dreams, I tend to think of self-centered wants. I almost feel like to dream would be selfish of me."
For years I have been encouraging people to discover and engage their most authentic dreams. The truth is that most of the dreamers I've encountered possess a passion that goes beyond requiring more stuff, self-indulgence or self-serving ambitions or sex. Many share a deep desire to make a difference in the world. Create better lives for others. Share what they've been given. Bring justice the oppressed. Feed the hungry. Employ the unemployed. Invest in their children. Use their gifts to leave a lasting legacy on planet earth.
The Bible makes it clear that the spiritual, relational, emotional and often even long-term material benefits gained by the giver far outweigh what they give. "A generous man will himself be blessed..." (Proverbs 22:9) "They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed." (Psalm 37:26) "...Whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6) "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." "Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely." There's no "Give and be miserable" mentality here! Givers live life to the full.
Recently, Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud shared his studies that givers receive more positive endorphins than those who experience sexual fulfillment. Take that one to the bank!
Of course generous dreams still require courage to act and a will to persevere. Most things worth doing still require energy, investment and typically sacrifice. But, there are many examples of powerfully generous dreamers and dreams. Most go unnoticed by the masses. So if you're wondering about generous dreams here are a few generous role models to learn from.
Businessman Bob Muzikowski left trading futures and founded a Chicago urban little league and most recently Chicago Hope Academy, an alternative school in Chicago's inner city.
Former Insurance CEO Tom Okarma found his passion and engaged his dream to bring his business and management skills to help non-profit organizations become the best versions of themselves. His company is called Vantage Point.
New York City Businessman and winner of Oprah's "Big Give" Steve Paletta founded GiveBack.org as a way to encourage and equip ordinary people to become philanthropists.
Retired naval officer and financial consultant Larry Galley began mentoring young leaders and sharing the wisdom he's gleaned as an avid golfer with others seeking growth. His blog is called GolfWisdomLife: Life Lessons from the Links
Twenty-something Matt Johnson left the financial industry to pursue his passion to bring clean water to those without through Project LivingWell.
Business owner Richard Roche is transforming his business to pursue his dream of building a company, Roche Industries, that provides not only fair wage jobs holistic success and community development people in Mexico as they create manufacturing opportunities.
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