Lenny Ravich
Don’t Deadline Your Dreams

Don’t Deadline Your Dreams

January 13, 2023

Hi. Nice to see you. I’m Lenny Ravich the author of the best-selling book “Everlasting Optimism” and a humorous keynote in London and Hong Kong. At 86 I can finally keep all Ten Commandments. Especially the one about not committing adultery. Piece of cake.

Don’t Deadlines Your Dreams

Some people who experience happiness on a regular basis are those who have dreams and take action to fulfill them. Delight is not only about achieving goals. It’s about having a dream and enjoying the ride and, the learning, growing meeting awesome people and failing a lot on the way. Failing is important. It’s a good way to learn.

What Do I Dream?

What dream? What journey? How do I know what I am destined to do in this life? The first thing to do is to listen and to observe your daydreams. Ask yourself, “Who are my heroes and why?”

Almost everyone has heroes. Some of us admire certain personalities since that tells us what we want to be like. It’s as if a caterpillar looks at a butterfly and says, “I would love to be like that someday.” That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what we pay attention to.

My heroes were Marlon Brando, Fritz Perls, (the father of Gestalt therapy), the comedian George Carlin and William Shakespeare. Have you ever thought that Spiderman may even be looking to you as his/her hero? Or Wonder Woman?

I slowly but surely became a combination of all my heroes. When I was a teen I watched Marlon Brando in the movie “Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare. I dreamed that someday I would become an actor. I eventually went to New York and in 1961, with $30 in my pocket and became a Shakespearean actor and nosedived a lot; but a dream I had to fulfill. I never met Willie, though.

Feel the Fear

When you listen to your fantasies you might be scared to take action. However, the passion for realizing your dreams outweighs the fear.

Let me put it this way. You want something so badly that it would be a 10 on a scale of 1-10. You are very scared and your fear is at nine. Being that your passion is at ten and your fear is at nine, I suggest you feel the fear and take action anyway.

If the panic is a ten and your passion is at nine…forget about it. You will never do it. You’ve got to want something so badly that the fear becomes secondary.

Here’s a Mantra you could use when fright overtakes you. Put your finger and thumb together and chant aloud: “I’m afraaaaid and I’m going to do it anywayyyy! Ohooooom!

The Journey

Then you start out and you get the stuffing knocked out of you but that’s okay because failing, getting up and moving on molds you into a hardened warrior. Who has ever seen a combatant without scars? It’s cool. It’s like wearing a tattoo.

In 1978, I read a book called “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim” and when I looked at the picture of Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt on the back cover, I yearned to become like him. Whenever I met therapists and psychologists, I would quiver with envy and admiration.

I opened, together with my partner, the first ever Gestalt Institute in Haifa, Israel in 1986 without having known fully what Gestalt Therapy was. After all, I had only read a few books and attended some workshops on the subject. Oy, catastrophe is a hoot. Ohoooom!

When I want to do something, I don’t only learn it. I teach it.  In my opinion, it’s better to start when you’re 80% ready and make up the other 20% while you are roaming than it is to wait until you’re 100% prepared. The delay in waiting for that final 20 percent is dysfunctional and adds little value.

My partner was a woman whom I thought could help me since I was convinced she was an expert in Gestalt Therapy. People came from all over the country to study with us and one day someone in the group asked a question concerning the theory. I looked at my partner in anticipation and assumed, “You answer her.” She smiled and whispered, “You know the theory better than I do, Lenny. You tell her.” I looked at her in amazement and blurted, “I thought you did.”  Ohoooom!!

You can’t cross a sea by merely staring at it. Just start and wait to see what happens, rather than sitting on the sidelines deliberating, reflecting and contemplating.  Martin Luther King once understood: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

We had fun and spit blood at the same time. I guess that is what a partnership and wisdom is all about, isn’t it?  We botched lots and gained experience until we became more successful. Eventually, we planned the first Gestalt Humor and Laughter Workshop in the world. Again, lots of disappointments, fun, heartaches, and learning experience. Ohoooom!

As I tell my audiences in my funny motivational keynote speeches in London and Hong Kong, you don’t have to be an expert when you start out. Just pick an area of your life that you would like to explore and lean into it. As Rocky Balboa said to his son in “Rocky 6”. “Life is hard. You will get knocked down. Just get up and keep movin’”.

All the best to you. Write to me and let me know how you are doing. And keep moving…Ohoooom!


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