He stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, looking out at the crowds. He was the final speaker that day. He was just 34 years old. The date was August 28th 1963.
The words he said have inspired every generation ever since. If you’re looking for change in your life, Martin Luther King would make a great therapist. Those fine words are a good place to begin.
King hadn’t planned to say it. It wasn’t in his planned speech. But the moment grabbed him and he said it anyhow.
“I have a dream!” he said. “I have a dream!”
He didn’t say: “I have a plan.”
And he certainly didn’t say “We have a problem.”
Of course, he did have a problem. The people in the crowd did too. But his focus was on something more powerful.
His focus was towards the future. He had a dream. And so he led people forward.
There are two ways to seek change in our lives. We can focus on the problem we feel stuck in. Or we can look to the future that we want.
King had it right.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
When we dream, we build the future that we want. We create the vision of the change we long for. We create a benchmark to measure our progress against.
When we dream, we can find markers that tell us that we are on our way.
When we want to make change in our lives, we have a choice. We can get lost in the quicksand of the past, or get moving towards our preferred future.
King wanted to inspire his people. So he offered them a dream of a different future. When you want to inspire yourself, be like Martin Luther King.
Start dreaming of a different future for you.
Flesh out the details. Then follow its path.