What follows is a post from five years ago about dreams and delusions that is relevant as I continue to chase my own dreams. Enjoy.
I read an article in my university’s alumni magazine the other day about Andre Ingram, who at 32 became a rookie for the LA Lakers. Reading his story, I teared up because the whole thing seems so surreal, so unlikely.
Since he was 8 years old, Andre dreamed of playing for the NBA. He played in high school and then at our university. Once he graduated, he toiled for years in the NBA’s minor league. And I mean toiled – he made $13,000 for the entire season in the minor leagues, which is less than what NBA players make for a couple of games. He tutored kids in math while his wife also worked. He says he thought about quitting several times, and some friends advised the same, or to find a better payday overseas. But he persisted.
“Every time I was ready to jump off that ledge something pulled me back,” he said. “Whether it was in training, when I’m hitting every shot I take, or in the weight room getting encouraged by the guys. My story is to let that voice, let that encouragement, pull you back in.”
Andre is the oldest American rookie in the NBA since 1964. His story fascinates me because at what point does a person give up on their dream? Sometimes a dream is a delusion. We’ve all seen those auditions on TV where someone thinks they’re an amazing singer or dancer and they have zero talent. To the rest of the world, it’s obvious the person will never be a star, but they can’t believe it.
At what point is it harmful to keep believing in a dream? At what point is it better to let it go? I don’t have the answers to those questions. I’m sure many people told Andre it was unlikely he’d ever play in the NBA. A 32-year-old with gray hairs competing against people 10 years his junior? What are the odds he could share the court with them? But it happened.
What struck me the most about Andre’s story is that quote about how something kept pulling him back. Every time he wanted to quit something kept him from doing it. That to me reeks of intuition, which my spiritual teacher says “establishes the link between the crude world and the subtle world. And as a result of a closer link being established between the subtle and spiritual worlds, and as a result of its closer acquaintance with the sweetness of the spiritual world, this intuition guides human beings along the path of spirituality.”
It seems to me that if something keeps coming up over and over again, it’s intuition, guiding a person on their behalf. We don’t know how that journey will unfold, and it likely won’t look the way we want it to, but I have to believe if some dreams don’t disappear, then they are meant to become reality.
I dream of a world where we pursue our dreams if something keeps pulling us back in. A world where we recognize the fruition of that dream likely won’t follow the route we intended. A world where we understand something may seem out of reach, but that doesn’t always mean it is.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.