Secrets of Success II: Epic Dreams and Lessons From Moby Dick

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Have you ever had a brilliant idea? A wonderful thought of a stunning possibility? Then, you catch that thought in a net, chide yourself for even thinking it was possible, and pack it away never to release it again? Or perhaps as a young child you had a great passion and and a great ambition to go with it. But people told you, “It will never happen, why cheat yourself?” They said, “You are dreaming, this is the real world!” …and with all this your inner voice whispered, “How silly of me, I should just let go, after all, it will never happen.”

Wrong! While my last piece was on cutting the cord from toxic people this piece is about overcoming your own internal fears and unleashing all your greatest hopes and aspirations in the form of big, bold and powerful dreams.

Now I like epic things, I always have… Epic stories, epic books, epic movies, epic songs! I think if something is worth doing and you have the capacity, do it big! Like the air we breathe, dreams are free, and so I dream BIG! I may never get there but I will visualize it, embrace it, and in doing so allow my subconscious to start to tweak my every response towards the realization of that dream. Seeing it, they say, is half the battle won. And so I ask, do you see yours? Is it epic?

I interviewed US President Barack Obama a few years ago, he was then the Senator of Illinios but there was wide speculation that he may seek the Democratic nomination to run for the Presidency. He was very down to earth and quite humorous. Later, back at the office at Nation Centre everyone ridiculed the thought that this black man could run for President in the US – let alone win… But therein lies the key to a great dream… It must encompass the ‘Audacity of Hope’.

So, take a look at your dream and ask yourself, would it make everyone scoff at me? If not, perhaps it’s not big enough… Perhaps you can stretch yourself and make it bigger, bolder and more audacious! It is only in creating a big bold dream that we will challenge ourselves enough to outperform even our own expectations… And thereby yield abundant fruits on the journey even as we seek to get to the final destination.

And while your journey toward your epic dream must be focused and determined, ensure that it does not become a self destructive obsession. Moby Dick is one of the greatest American works of literature. Written by Herman Melville it captures the obsession for revenge of Captain Ahab, who seeks to kill Moby Dick, the great white whale that destroyed his ship and claimed his leg – but ultimately Ahab’s quest for revenge is his own undoing. On the journey towards self fulfillment there are several vital lessons one can take from Moby Dick:

1. Your dream must be about you.
Captain Ahab makes his life about Moby Dick, and yet he is told, “Moby Dick sees thee not. It is thou, thou that madly seekest him.”
It should never be about others, it must be all about you. Do not imagine that others are competing with you, and even if they are, do not seek to compete with them. The greatest competition lies within oneself.

Even as you set your own internal compass, ensure that you do not craft your journey or your destination around the success of others, the need to ‘be’ like someone, the need to ‘have’ what others have, or the need to outdo or destroy another… this could be your own undoing.
In the story, Ahab harpoons the white whale he so desperately sought but as Moby Dick dives into the deep he is caught in the line and drawn to the depths of the ocean and to his own death. His ship is also destroyed. All for naught.

2. Be flexible.
The search for Moby Dick reveals that the goals will often shift. In the story one sailor states, “It is not down on any map; true places never are.” In addition, your journey will have twists and turns, you will move back and forth, and that’s just fine, more often than not the path will not be clear and direct.

3. Be adaptable.
To be or not to be? One character in Moby Dick makes the profound statement, “Well, well, what’s signed is signed; and what’s to be will be; and then again, perhaps it won’t be, after all.”
As you seek your dreams remember that they may come to be or they may not come to be, perhaps then the greatest joy should be in experiencing the journey rather than getting to the destination.

Whether it will be or not, do not deny yourself a bold, positive vision, and a plan towards achieving this dream –  then brace yourself, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride! I have no doubt you will find that embracing your vision, crafting your strategy, and walking your path is one of the greatest gifts of learning that you could ever give to yourself.

Afro-optimist * Wife * Mother * Child of God TV Host * Writer * Producer * Entrepreneur * Philanthropist

22 Comments on "Secrets of Success II: Epic Dreams and Lessons From Moby Dick"

  1. phenah says:

    Such an inspirational piece Mum.Read Moby Dick but could not imagine such a piece could come out of it

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks for the inspiration,very much needed esp for those struggling to work on their epic dreams.

  3. Frank Kuyi says:

    Hi Julie,
    I must say that, this a great encouragement to me personally in that truly speaking I got a nice background in Information Technology I have never gotten employment after graduating starting from scratch I have done a lot, Being called for per time jobs for network installation and general computer trouble shooting which foot my bills to some extend but i feel my IT potential is under-utilized…that is why my my wish is to register my on Company so that I can win jobs/Tenders related to the computing world…Finance has been a problem but ii know one day I will get there. Cause am of the notion that a Journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. My slogan has been that in the society I must play a role in Narrowing the Digital Divide.
    Otherwise just feel that That Series of Secrets of is of great inspiration to me, I cant wait for the next….
    Bravo!! Bravo!! Julie

  4. charles katambo says:

    Thanx to u Julie u ave fertilized my mind and al live positive for ever

  5. mercy says:

    This is very insightful. Keep it up gal.

  6. daniel says:

    i believe that geniuses are not born they are made.what you dream,believe,and look up to is what you will get

  7. serah says:

    Thanks for the good inspiration word Julie

  8. Komesha says:

    It is an inspiring article and an eye opener. it is always good to chase your dream to its futile/logical end. Most of us have failed to meet their goals because of the doubts and storms that always company our vision. The dreams we have also have a life of their own. We should not always expect a perfect world because it is not.
    Thanks Julie.

  9. Mulela says:

    iam in total agreement with every word of this article.
    But i want to say in life it is good to set some goals and have some dreams and leave your mark so to speak , unfortunately in the modern capitalistic world things have changed such that goals are setting our lives. every one is obsessed with ‘go gettism’ and ‘making it big’ to the point where nothing else in life seems to matter. so i think we need to redefine ‘success’ so that it covers more than ‘making it big’ . I have not read or seen Moby Dick but i can say Captain Ahab had a ship he could do a lot of things with; if nothing else just travel around the world. he had more than many people had and he should have been content with that. He was already successful.

  10. Muriel says:

    I have never considered the possibility that my dream, even when I go after it with all my might, may not come true. It’s scary but worth considering.

  11. HottensiaMunyua says:

    Thank you Julie….i have really liked thz….

  12. beloved naisula says:

    “People who seem to be in their element & who thrive, possess 3 key things: PASSION,COMPETENCE & PRODUCTIVITY. I tend to believe you are in your element, Julie!!! Your blogs are quite encouraging & inspirational, indeed!

  13. Susan Kairu says:

    This piece has come in handy at a very trying time in my life. Very encouraging and enlightening, made me underake a reality check. Thank you and abundant blessings dear!

  14. Vincent says:

    quite an inspiration to us… keep it up Julie.

  15. Steve says:

    …”It must encompass the ‘Audacity of Hope”… great piece Julie …

  16. CK Njuguna says:

    Julie, this was a great read. Often times, we limit ourselves by thinking “it cannot be done”. Well, Barack Obama did become President of The United States, so if that is not a strong case for the audacity of hope, then what is?

    I have personally gone through many moments of self doubt, but I think I might have to keep referring to this post here to remember that ultimately, it is not really the destination that matters, but the journey.

    Thanks Julie.

  17. Ray c says:

    Wot an inspiration…part 3?

  18. mutwiri says:

    Lovely,I think I speak for
    all of us when I implore you to
    expedite the next post.

  19. Bill Mwakera Evans says:

    Thanks Julie Gichuru! My dream must be about me, be flexible and be adaptable. This great and we also need to pay the price for our dreams to come true. If we won`t pay the price then they will just remain but dreams. The fun thing is that the bigger the dream the bigger the price…Like a young person dreaming of being a Media personality like you or Jeff Koinage when they grow up!…It sounds like a mirage though very possible!…But can you narrate to us what it took you or what it takes one to be where you are!..For example @ SundayLive…Or may be you write an Autobiography!!…I would really love to read it…Because I believe these Dreams Costs a lot! Now what is this cost and are there universal things one is to do to achieve their Dreams? Just a thought!

  20. thanks for the great inspirational piece,in every soul lies a seed of greatness waiting to be unlocked,my GOD give you the grace to continue doing this,many are looking up to you,you are an encouragement to us all.shalom peace and life to you.

  21. Rachel Ngaruiya says:

    great piece!!You are my role model,Julie

  22. Mohamedhadi says:

    Nice read, inspirational…. Thanks Julie

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