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Your imagination is your own fertile field for growing any seedlings that you choose to plant for a future harvest.
You may have been told that you have always been a dreamer, as if this were a fault. I can speak here from experience. Family, friends, teachers, and even advisors frequently disparaged ideas that burned brightly in my imagination. I often heard comments such as, “Wayne, you’re such a dreamer. Get real. You are never going to make it as a writer, or a television performer, or a movie personality. Be realistic—we know what’s best for you.”
When I was being discharged from the Navy at the age of 22, my superiors warned me that starting college at my “advanced age” was loaded with uncertainty, particularly since I had no higher education experience, and I would be competing with younger recent high school graduates. Since I already had a skill as a cryptographer in the Navy, they advised me to pursue what they felt was best for me. But I had a dream—an imagination filled with the idea of teaching, writing, and speaking to large audiences. I saw myself onstage. I saw myself as a prominent author. And this vision could not and would not be sabotaged by someone else’s vision of what I should or could become.
As a young boy in a foster home, I almost always ignored other people’s ideas about what I should be thinking or doing—I simply was indifferent to their opinions regarding what I could imagine for myself. I have carried this kind of inner discipline regarding my own imagination with clarity, refusing to allow external opinions to cancel or diminish what for me was hallowed ground.
Not long ago, others advised me that acting in a movie was not sensible for me as a 68-year-old man with no acting experience. I once again remembered to hang the DO NOT DISTURB sign at the entrance to my imagination, and proceeded to take acting lessons and adopt the self-enforced regimen that allowed me to create a movie. It is a product that fills me with pride today—all because I have diligently practiced the following rule:
Never, and I mean never, allow anyone else’s ideas of who you can or can’t become sully your dream or pollute your imagination. This is your territory, and a KEEP OUT sign is a great thing to erect at all entrances to your imagination.
Stay in a state of grace and gratitude for this resplendent gift that is always yours to do with as you choose.