Last night my four year old daughter told me that when she grows up she wants to be a cucumber. Not just any cucumber mind you, but Larry the cucumber from the wildly well done show Veggie Tales.
Now my first responses to that was, “ooohhhh, aahhh, that’s adorable. A cucumber! Kids say the darnedest things.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that her cucumber dream was fairly unrealistic. For starters, neither I or her mother are vegetables, so right of the bat she’s fighting her genetics. Her skin is not green. She’s not that tall and her head is covered with thick waves of curly hair. All in all, my daughter has a very slim chance of ever accomplishing her goal.
That’s a horrible thing to think about a button cute dream, but maybe becoming a cucumber is every bit as realistic as dreams other people have. For instance, over the last ten years whenever someone has asked me what I do for a living, I say “I want to write a book but right now I’m in advertising.” How is that less fanciful than wanting to be a big vegetable?
Seriously, it’s been “right now” for ten years. Nothing in my life ever indicated that I was actually going to write a book. Certainly writing advertising for the Home Depot did not bring me closer to that dream. But yet I held on to it. And my friend Kris is the same. He wants to make a movie but right now he does web design for a used car site. How is arranging icons on a page for a Honda Civic going to get him closer to making a movie? It’s not and he knows it so in some ways he’s trying to become a cucumber.
What’s your dream? Are you working on it right now? Do you spend any time during the average week pursuing it? Is it something that you can actually accomplish? Or are you just trying to become a cucumber?