Friday, 17 February 2012

How to Be Truly "Living the Dream"

Roger Lumpp faced a Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma diagnosis in April 2010. Facing eight months of chemotherapy treatment he decided he was going to use his cancer journey to learn how to increase fulfilment in his life so that others could gain from his experience. Lift Living is the vehicle that chronicles his journey back from fighting cancer and mission to Lift as many lives as possible. Here’s a recent article he wrote explaining his philosophy of life:

“I think we've all had a moment in our life where one of our friends asked us how we were doing and we uttered these magical words:

"Just living the dream."

“Not sure where exactly the idea of "living the dream" originated, but I suspect it has to do with practicing the concept of the American Dream to which we are all supposed to aspire. In the spectrum of dream concepts, there is one that stands above the rest and it was delivered by someone who continues to inspire us today.

“In August of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was the keynote speaker at the March on Washington. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of more than 250,000 supporters, Dr. King spoke of the racial inequalities in the Union and his dream of a United States where all men and women are truly created equal and we are no longer "judged by the color of our skin, but the content of our character." Martin Luther King, Jr. was a student of Gandhi's non-violent approach to protest and used it to engage the nation in addressing civil rights. Whatever it took to advance equality, he was willing to address it through non-violent means. This inspired men and women of all colors and ages to do the same and resulted in major advancements in the civil rights movement.

“The great part about effective dreams is that they pull you forward in such a way that you can reconcile your current actions directly to their completion. While Dr. King's dreams were grand in nature, he could ask himself if his every action was working towards realizing them. That was the great part about Dr. King...

“Not only did he lead with his vision, he led with the integrity of a consistent character.

“Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I am way more reflective about life. And on a recent flight while I was looking out on the clouds I thought a lot about what my dream was and if I could deliver it in a speech in front of a quarter million people...

“And would it inspire?

“Over the course of my treatment and into remission I worked hard on understanding my values, goals, and beliefs. I realized that in my pre-cancer days my actions were not fully in line with my own dreams, but more towards a composite of dreams made up from societal expectations for my age, gender, employment status, etc.

“Not very inspiring...

“The composite dream is pushed on us from a young age by teachers, employers, media, government, etc. because the concept of the individual is not convenient to administering mass educational programs, employment best practices, or what the average household should look like. The key to finding your own dream is to ignore the pressures to fall in line with what's deemed acceptable by the masses. By doing this you will free up the energy and capacity to understand where you operate at your best. Only then will you be able to paint a picture of a future that you want to spend the rest of your days pursuing.

“In everything you do...

“While we may live in a society that is closer than ever to all men and women being created equal, our dreams should always remain unique. While they may overlap in content, dreams are tools to pull us forward (as individuals) towards maximum fulfilment in our lives.

“When you find your dream and start living it in everything you do it will be apparent to everyone you encounter. Just as it was to those 250,000 people in Washington DC who crossed paths with Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963”

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