I remember, after returning from my climb on Everest in 2010, doing a presentation and referring to my position as a “public dreamer” or as someone who shares her dreams in public. With the advent of social media, we are exposed to and inspired by so many who dare to dream in public. This weekend, I have been deeply inspired by two such dreamers: Sheilagh O’Leary and Diana Nyad. I’ve cheered both of them on from both near and far.
As both took to the ocean this weekend to swim to their dreams, and to do so in full public view, I am struck by their courage to do so. To put your dream and your struggle/challenge to achieve it out where all can see can leave you open to scrutiny, derision, full-on haters, and the likelihood that all may observe you “fail” to reach your dream. The reward for this courage, however, are the heaps of love, support, and care that a community can bring to you and your dream.
Dreaming in public also brings pressure and accountability…I know, for me, it deepens my commitment to my own dreams and helps me take both the necessary small steps and the big leaps to try to achieve them. Watching Diana Nyad emerge from the water today after 53 hours and 110 miles of swimming from Cuba to Key West Florida (on her fifth attempt to do so), tears rolled from my eyes, streaked down my cheeks and I hung on her every word:
1) Never give up
2) You are never too old to chase your dreams
3) It may look like a solitary sport but it is a team effort.
I thought those same thoughts as Sheilagh O’Leary swam from Portugal Cove to Bell Island yesterday. I was moved by both women’s determination, perseverance, and willingness to dream (and therefore inspire) in public. To all who inspire us to be/do all that we truly want to be/do, thank you to those who dare to dream in public-I am humbled and inspired by you.