Hold onto Your Dream

Written By Gary Spirer Published October 26th, 2009

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Michelle Price, Paul Hoyt and Clint Rogers asked me to join their conference call about this quote from Marianne Williamson, the best-selling author. They had an incredible idea to touch 10 million people in the 10 days leading up to Thanksgiving by disseminating Williamson’s message.

People needed to hear encouraging words in these trying times.

They asked me: Do you feel that the message of this quote is about “Live Big: Play Big?”

I said I wanted to think about it. My mind was swirling with ideas as I got off the conference call. I read Williamson’s quote over and over.

Wow, I thought. From just the beginning of the quote, you could write volumes – “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.”

What did it truly mean to me?

I really reflected. What kept coming to mind was the word “dream”. But, why dream? How could the word, the concept of “dream”, be related to what Williamson was saying?

Then, I kept hearing my inner voice say “never give up your dream.”

Many years ago, when I was just starting into business, that’s what I was struggling with myself.

I realize now that many people must be feeling the same feeling that I confronted years ago – you start to wonder about that all-consuming dream that wants to gurgle up from the deep recesses of your being and manifest itself in the world.

Years ago, I found by holding onto my dream, I was able to complete a novel and build some exciting companies that help people live a better life. I continue to be fascinated by what makes people successful in life. I have written extensively on the patterns and models that unify all areas of life and business, which I am now sharing on StepsTo.com.

I asked myself when I was struggling with my dream: what if the music stopped? What would I have accomplished?

I realized then that I would never live my dreams unless I faced my biggest fear: the fear of being powerful. It wasn’t so much the fear of being inadequate as Williamson stated; it was the larger fear – what if I succeeded?

My Dad was powerful. He had meaty fists, a vise-like grip and a ferocious temper that could come cascading down upon me without warning.

My Dad was successful financially, working himself up from sweeping floors and being a shipping clerk. With barely a high school education, he bootstrapped himself to owning a successful apparel company.

My Dad could sell. He was a master.

Yet, with all his monetary success and apparent power, few people came to my Dad’s funeral in Hollywood, Florida.

With all the hard work and the years of anguish, my Dad never really achieved his real dream – to be loved and accepted by many. He had the looks of the movie stars of his day – Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum. My Dad had it all. Yet, my associations of my Dad were varied.

It took me many years to understand how my Dad must have felt seeing his family lose all their money in the Depression and his having to put cardboard in his shoes to cover up the holes. His childhood dreams turned to caring for his Dad, who suffered a stroke – undressing him, bathing him and taking him to the bathroom.

My Dad never forgot those days. I didn’t see much of him. He was smart, funny, incredibly determined, courageous, resourceful, a master salesman, a risk taker and honest.

In Williamson’s quote, “our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.”

I often struggled and wrestled with the thought back then, that my life at times was like the myth of Sisyphus who was doomed to roll a large boulder up a hill. Just when Sisyphus neared the top of the hill, the boulder would always come tumbling down and he’d start over and over again for all eternity.

What Williamson was speaking of was the fear of success.

As a young man, I decided then and there that I had to confront my deepest fear: What if I was all powerful like my Dad? What would I do with my power?

In Erich Fromm’s book Escape from Freedom, he spoke of man’s fear of being free, powerful and independent. He quotes Dostoyevsky in saying people are desperate to be led.

Williamson: “We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

I remember one holiday when I returned home from college with a writing assignment I had completed that I wanted to share with my Mom. My Dad would always refer to me as “the college kid,” and would often laugh and make jokes when I wanted to share what I had written with my Mom.

After winning the English Award of NYU, turning down a Wilson Scholarship in Literature and coming in second for a Rhodes Scholarship in Literature, I enrolled in NYU Law School.

After a year, I left. The law was not for me.

I loved teaching poetry and writing.

I held onto my dream.

I taught literature at Wagner Jr. High School in N.Y.C. where kids were bused in from Harlem. I remember the head of the English Department was an African-American man. I asked him directly, “Why isn’t there any Black poetry being offered to the students?” He fumphered. His response was not acceptable to me and I took matters into my own hands.

I remember the joy on the kids’ faces when I explained to them who the Black poet Langston Hughes was. I had them read out loud his poem “Harlem.”

It spoke about the “dream deferred.” In Hughes’ work, he wrote about a dream shriveling up like a raisin in the sun.

Like Williamson, Hughes recognized as I did then, and continue to, the power of the dream.

Still, my Dad’s message that being a writer and a poet was a waste of my time still troubled me and dominated my thoughts. His statement kept replaying in my mind: you are worth the money and assets you possess. Writing will make you poor.

I left teaching. I listened to my Dad.

I earned an MBA in Finance at Columbia University.

As the years passed, I struggled to hold onto my dream.

I realized I was following my father’s path.

Even then, I felt the years were swiftly passing.

I remembered the saying, “if not now, when?”

What if, as Williamson mused, I could admit to myself that I was “brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

What if I could say, as Williamson did, “Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So, I held onto my dream, and decided to make it into a reality.

Since then, I went on to write successfully and develop, build and syndicate real estate across the United States, as well as finance and advise start up and emerging growth companies. Many times I used my writing skills to write their business and marketing plans. I found ways to continue to write creatively in both fiction and non-fiction.

I can say from the heart, never give up your dream!

If you hold onto your dream and have the courage to share it with others, you will free yourself from your fears and live your dream, which is the stuff we are made of.


Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

My name is Roger Due and I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I am the owner of the Monsano software company. This has been an absolutely fantastic conference. This is the best I have ever been to.