One of the fascinating things about living overseas is realizing the little things you’ve taken for granted for the majority of your life. Many of these realizations are fleeting and merely leave you with a deeper sense of gratitude. Others, like the one I experienced today, quite simply rock you to the core.
This morning I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop, engrossed in a great coaching conversation with one of my Filipino clients. We had noticed a pattern in his progress whereby he’d have a breakthrough in our session, experience momentum for several days and then fall into a place of paralysis. In addition, we were both growing frustrated by the fact that every time we’d try to do goal setting we’d come up empty.
This had been going on for quite some time and today I intended to get to the root of the issue today. We both felt that it was related to a limiting belief that was holding him back, so we began to dig around below the surface and see what we could find. What ended up emerging was the realization that he believed he didn’t know how to dream.
Quite simply, no one had ever taught my client how to do this. No one had modeled it for him or encouraged his earliest memories of “I’m going to be a _________ when I grow up.” He was perfectly capable of identifying his wants and desires, but when it came to manifesting that dream and turning it into a physical reality, he dead-ended each and every time.
As I spent more time thinking about it, I realized that I had seen several other examples of this phenomenon in Filipino culture. For example, I had once asked Norma about where she dreamed of visiting one day and she told me she didn’t let herself think about it because then she’d just be disappointed when it didn’t happen. My friend had also asked her helper what job she wanted to advance into after being a helper. Her helper’s response was that she dreamed of cleaning the US Embassy instead of houses, for that was the extent of what she could fathom.
This hit me hard for many reasons. On one hand, it broke my heart that my client (and so many others) had been robbed of the joy of seeing their dreams come to life. It also made me realize that I’ve never fully appreciated the fierce independence and endless possibility that are the hallmarks of the American lifestyle.
I sense now that the chance to ‘taste that dream’ is exactly why the good majority of Filipinos I meet dream of getting to America. And to think I’ve had that all my life and never appreciated what that confidence enabled me to create in my life! I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – it is a true gift to be a citizen of the United States of America. Spend 5 minutes today and reflect on if you are taking the gift of your citizenship for granted. The answer my surprise you, like it did me. In closing, I thought I’d share with you (and celebrate) a few of the dreams I’ve birthed over the last 30 years:
- Marrying an amazing individual whom I love with all my heart
- Getting my MBA
- Learning to take stunning pictures
- Becoming a Coach and being paid to do work that brings me immense joy
- Building a house of my own
- Riding in a Hot Air Balloon
- Living overseas
- Owning My Own Business & Working from home
- Swimming with a dolphin
- Letting my voice be heard publicly (via this blog & public speaking engagements)
Now that I’ve shared, would you kindly celebrate with me by sharing what you’ve manifested or created in your life?
Filipino friends, can you please share your experiences and perspective on the role of dreaming in Filipino culture? I am very eager to have more dialog on this topic.