Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On August 29, 1963 Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The 17-minute public speech called for an end to racism in the United States. The speech, delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.1 At the end of the speech Dr. King departed from his prepared text to deliver the most memorable portion of the address.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends — so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
Dr. King lived his life, and died for his dream of equality and a truly united nation. So as we honor Dr. King I ask you, what is YOUR DREAM? What legacy will you leave to your family? Your country? Your World?
I truly believe that each of us was placed on this earth with a divine purpose. And the small business owners that I work with believe that through their small businesses they are taking control over their worlds, walking in their purpose, and making their mark. Here are my 3 key strategies to living your dream life:
- Write Your Vision Down: Habakkuk 2:2 says “Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with.” It is important that you have a clear vision for the life and business that you want and that you write down both your vision and your goals. Putting it on paper has a way of making the vision real and serves as a reminder for what you are working towards. I challenge you to get creative, write your own “I have a dream” speech to articulate your vision for the life you want to lead.
- Believe You Can’t Fail: Live fearlessly knowing that failure is not an option. You may have set backs but treat challenges as missteps that you can learn from and move forward. Believe in your success, behave as if you cannot fail, and experience your dreams as they become your reality.
- Work Hard, Play Harder: Good things come to those who WORK; success isn’t going to just happen you have to focus, work continuously, and make the necessary sacrifices. But it is also important to live a balanced life. Find time to relax, spend time with family and friends. Make it a habit of enjoying the life that your success brings.
Your destiny may not be to transform the landscape of our nation, but you to have a dream. A dream of the life you are meant to lead.
1Hansen, D, D. (2003). The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech that Inspired a Nation. New York, NY: Harper Collins. p. 177.