I had the good fortune of running into Rob Toller the other week at the Human Resource Leadership Forum. It was their annual holiday party and everyone was in a festive mood, due in large part to the special venue: the event was held at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
By day, Rob is the Associate Director-Adult Academic Services, University of Hartford. He is in the business of helping adults realize their dreams through the achievement of college degrees. Rob and I got to speaking about the coming new year and what resolutions we planned to make. We found ourselves laughing because we both realized how fleeting these resolutions are. Rob then told me a story about one of his adult students who recently earned his college degree. He told him that he considered Rob to be his “dream manager.” I found that to be powerful feedback and insight to Rob’s personal leadership brand.
As our conversation deepened, we both agreed that collaborating on a blog post at the end of the calendar year would be a worthy endeavor. Perhaps we could motivate other people to trade up from fruitless “new years resolutions” to something much bigger and more powerful: a dream.
Dreams are not just for kids. Adults need to dream as well. Having a dream means you’re not dead yet. Dreams give purpose to your life. Dreams compel us to action. They motivate us to invest in ourselves and our future. Dreams give us the energy, vision, and resilience to take responsibility for our lives. No more blaming other people for holding us back. When we are led by our dreams, anything seems possible. Perhaps 2017 is the year to reclaim your dream.
Pursuing your dream will likely require new knowledge, new skills, new perspective, new connections, new investment, and new risk. Maybe even a college degree or advanced certificate. Are you prepared to go and get that? Read Rob’s article below and see if it motivates you into gear. Remember, it all starts with a dream…
Paving Our New Year’s Resolutions
by Rob Toller
“New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” – Mark Twain
Leave it to our Yankee philosopher and humorist Samuel Clemens to expose the truth. Resolutions are exhilarating, yet at the same time are spread and rolled with dread, misery and disappointment. The promise of a new year is to begin anew; fresh, unfettered by the dark failures of the past. I am going to lose 15 pounds! I am going to exercise! I am going back to school!
I won’t express here my own failed resolutions about dieting or exercise. What I do commit to is the daily habit and practice of listening, assisting, and weaving success into the adult dream of earning a Degree. I love what I do! The adult dream and journey culminate with the pinnacle of personal achievement, self-actualization, smiles, and thunderous applause on Commencement Day!
Going back to school is not a simple resolution of the meek or a quick promise made in the dark. I see the light! This is a dream that is committed to deeply, from the heart and soul. It requires an abundant amount of resilience, grit, time, energy, patience, intellect, steps forward and trips backward.
I am excited for the promise of this year! Especially during the first week of January, when we will be flooded with calls from adults interested in the promise of a Degree. Each is driven by a resolution!
What I hear and see time and time again in my practice are adults who have earned their Degree and it started with a dream. Adult success doesn’t emanate from a simple resolution. Successful adults commit to the long term promise, and dream of the challenge, support and success that earning a Degree can give.
As you ring out the old and ring in the new, start with your dream. You don’t have to make a resolution to dream. Search your heart, your dream is there. I wish you a year of abundant understanding, love, and support of your dreams!
About the guest writer: Rob Toller is a proud “Dream Weaver,” who counsels and encourages adults with the challenge, support and success of earning a college degree at the University of Hartford. The University of Hartford is accepting applications through seven schools and colleges that provide an array of opportunities for developing core competencies and career preparation. Share your dream with Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org and 860-768-4457 and learn more about the University of Hartford’s flexible and valued adult programs: http://www.hartford.edu/apt_admissions/adult_programs/