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Got Generous Dreams?

June 28, 2011

Can you be a dreamer and be generous?  Or are dreamers all about themselves?  Frivolous?  Fanciful?  Bigger… Better… More…

Yesterday, I heard someone directly express their concern that to pursue a dream would be to abandon being generous, caring,  seeking the well-being of others or even serving God.   “When I think of dreams, I tend to think of self-centered wants.  I almost feel like to dream would be selfish of me.

For years I have been encouraging people to discover and engage  their most authentic dreams.   The truth is that most of the dreamers I’ve encountered possess a passion that goes beyond requiring more stuff, self-indulgence or self-serving ambitions or sex.  Many share a deep desire to make a difference in the world. Create better lives for others.  Share what they’ve been given.  Bring justice the oppressed.  Feed the hungry.  Employ the unemployed.  Invest in their children.  Use their gifts to leave a lasting legacy on planet earth.

The Bible makes it clear that the spiritual, relational, emotional and often even long-term material benefits gained by the giver far outweigh what they give.  “A generous man will himself be blessed…” (Proverbs 22:9)   “They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.”  (Psalm 37:26) “…Whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  (2 Corinthians 9:6)  “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.  “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely.”  There’s no “Give and be miserable” mentality here!  Givers live life to the full.

Recently, Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud shared his studies that givers receive more positive endorphins than those who experience sexual fulfillment.  Take that one to the bank!

Of course generous dreams still require courage to act and a will to persevere.  Most things worth doing still require energy, investment and typically sacrifice.   But, there are many examples of powerfully generous dreamers and dreams. Most go unnoticed by the masses.  So if you’re wondering about generous dreams here are a few generous role models to learn from.

  • Businessman Bob Muzikowski left trading futures and founded a Chicago urban little league and most recently Chicago Hope Academy, an alternative school in Chicago’s inner city.
  • Former Insurance CEO Tom Okarma found his passion and engaged his dream to bring his business and management skills to help non-profit organizations become the best versions of themselves.  His company is called Vantage Point.
  • New York City Businessman and winner of Oprah’s “Big Give” Steve Paletta founded as a way to encourage and equip ordinary people to become philanthropists.
  • Retired naval officer and financial consultant Larry Galley began mentoring young leaders and sharing the wisdom he’s gleaned as an avid golfer with others seeking growth.  His blog is called GolfWisdomLife: Life Lessons from the Links
  • Twenty-something Matt Johnson left the financial industry to pursue his passion to bring clean water to those without through Project LivingWell.
  • Business owner Richard Roche is transforming his business to pursue his dream of building a company, Roche Industries, that provides not only fair wage jobs holistic success and community development people in Mexico as they create manufacturing opportunities.

These dreams are changing the world.  Wanna join them?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2011 4:23 pm

    I would have to agree. I think we are the most deeply passionate about those things about us that use a personal gifting to bring true value to other people.

    • jeffcaliguire permalink*
      June 29, 2011 3:26 am

      Agree Mike! Strange how that works…. but very true. Passion and other people centeredness do seemed to be linked. Hard to be passionate when its all about me, isn’t it?

  2. June 28, 2011 9:09 pm

    You’ve just modeled the generosity of an “Outward Dreamer”—my word choice.

    Nice job and thanks.

    • jeffcaliguire permalink*
      June 29, 2011 3:24 am

      Thanks Larry! Got a great mentor who models it!

  3. June 29, 2011 6:08 pm

    Great thoughts Jeff! I think dreams that don’t have some component of bettering the lives of others or giving back in some way are bound to be empty.

    Lately we have been learning that of our biggest joys in life is being able to expand our dreams for giving. How many more surgeries could we fund? How many orphans could be sponsored? What mission trip needs to happen? Whose seed idea just needs some dollars behind it to lift off and make a huge impact?

    Everything else really is just more “stuff.” I can think of no better heartbeat for a family or company to have than to be outrageous dreaming givers who allow the crazy generosity of God to flow through them to others.

    Helping to be a small part of bringing real and lasting change to others is the greatest privilege and thrill of all! Thank you for the great reminder today.

  4. jeffcaliguire permalink*
    June 29, 2011 7:08 pm

    Wow Julie!! Love what you wrote!!!! I can tell you’re a writer… and definitely a generous dreamer! In fact, it you don’t mind, I would love to share your extremely well spoken words:

    “I can think of no better heartbeat for a family or company to have than to be outrageous dreaming givers who allow the crazy generosity of God to flow through them to others.”

    Glad we’re friends!

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