How To Kill Your Dream In One Easy Step

How could this have happened to me?
How did I end up here?
How did people like them, find themselves in a place like that?


These are just a few of the questions that we ask ourselves when we end up in a place we thought we’d never be. Or when people we admire have a slip up somewhere in life we ask, “how”. How is it possible that so much potential could end up so pointless?

Everyday dreams die. What’s worse is they die deaths that don’t need to happen.

Another marriage hits the bottom. Another son or daughter makes all the wrong decisions. Another future destroyed by bad integrity.

There’s a lot of things that go into the making of a dream. There are many components to a dream. So how is it possible to kill your dream in one easy step, possibly without realizing it in the process? Simple…don’t be INTENTIONAL.

Now…I’ve seen people try to make dreams happen through faith. They put their faith in God and simply believe that He’s going to make it all happen. The problem with this is that God ALWAYS expects something out of us. Rarely does God just hand us our dreams on a silver platter with no work or effort on our part. Even the greatest apostles and servants of God in scripture had to work towards what was in their heart. Why would WE be any different?

  • Moses had to walk in the desert for YEARS.
  • Paul was shipwrecked and beaten
  • John was exiled

All these men and more had great dreams…dreams that truly came from God. Yet they faced things that were very difficult and they worked very hard to get to the place God wanted them to be. Most of the successful bible characters that we read about had this one common denominator…they were INTENTIONAL.

  • They made intentional choices
  • They intentionally worked hard
  • They had intentional times with God

They even had intentional relationships with people for the purpose of getting where God wanted them to be. So…what about you? Are you wishing and hoping for God to do something in your marriage that will really fix things? Stop wishing and start taking intentional steps to make things better. Are you just waiting for your “ship” to come in? Stop waiting on your “ship”. Instead, intentionally jump in the water and start swimming towards where you believe God wants you to be.


Now…I think there’s a reason or two why people aren’t as intentional about their dreams as they should be or as they would like to be…

  1. They don’t know WHERE to be intentional – Their dream lacks direction. They haven’t heard from God where to step next. There’s no clarity. God wants to give you direction. He really does want to help you in reaching the dream that HE has placed in your heart. You can be intentional; but you have to answer the question of WHERE. Where should my focus be? Where should I take the next step? Where should I go from here? God can help you answer the question of where…then He wants you to be intentional on taking the next step..
  2. They are AFRAID to be intentional – Sometimes…people want to talk about big things; but they don’t want to work towards them because those things are BIGGER than they are prepared to handle. Simply put, dreams can be scary. By definition, a dream is BIGGER than we are…otherwise it would be easy. What if my dream does happen? Will I know what to do? Will I be happy? Will I succeed? All of these questions and many more can cross our mind…But…why does that surprise us? Dreams ARE bigger than us. Dreams hold the potential to CHANGE our life. You don’t have to be able to handle your dream if and when it comes to pass…you just have to be able to ride it and listen to God for direction.
  3. It’s too much WORK to be intentional – If you don’t want to WORK HARD to reach your dream…I can guarantee that it won’t happen. Dreams take work…effort…sweat…prayer…and perseverance. You have to be willing to put in the time to let your dream sprout and begin to grow. Overnight success is rarely something that lasts. And dreams without work never happen.
  4. They don’t BELIEVE in their dream enough to be intentional – Now…here’s the question: if you don’t believe in your dream, who will? If you don’t really believe in your dream deep down, with all your heart…no one else will either; and you won’t be able to accomplish it. To accomplish something that is going to COST you time, effort, lack of sleep, hard work, perseverance, prayer, study, and possibly relationships, or ridicule…YOU’RE GOING TO NEED TO BELIEVE IN IT.

Here’s what to do – Locate ONE place where you can be intentional about your dream and start there.

Now…I would love to hear from you. What has been difficult for you in the process of reaching your dream? Would you be willing to share your comments below? I hope you will…your comments might just help someone else as well!

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Larry Shankle is a pastor, author, and blogger. He helps people get clarity and direction in their calling, purpose, dreams, and leadership.

Larry and his wife (Amanda) live in the Arkansas river valley with their two boys (Braxton and Dawson). He has spent almost two decades in active local church ministry serving in multiple leadership roles. Larry has spent the last six and a half years serving as Lead Pastor of GrandviewChurch in Natural Dam, AR.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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