Motivation Articles

Shoot for the Moon

Harnessing a Child's Enthusiasm to Achieve Your Goals

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Whoooosh! As I relaxed in a lawn chair, my six-year-old sank yet another basket. Watching his skill develop, I couldn’t help but dream about him becoming an NBA star some day. I could just picture it…I, his proud mama in the stands adorned in the appropriate team sweatshirt. After the game - a big hug and kiss for his mom while fans surround him and scream "We’re Number One!" And (of course), I could clearly see the big house he’d buy me to live out my old age (come on, if a girl’s gonna dream she may as well dream)!

When my husband and I first recognized my son’s passion for basketball, we did everything we could to help nurture his interest into the talent he so desperately wanted. I found a basketball camp in the area that would teach him the proper way to shoot and handle the basketball. My husband spent night after night watching basketball games with him (what a sacrifice…), explaining the rules and pointing out the techniques of the game.

It’s easy to recognize our children’s gifts and get excited and involved in developing them. Since it is so much fun to see the progress our kids can make, isn’t it strange that the same optimism about developing a new skill or finding a gift doesn’t always spill over to us?

Maybe one reason is that when we look at a child, we see nothing but a blank slate, ready to be filled with whatever outrageous and exaggerated dreams they can think up. Anything is possible! As we get older, though, our slate is no longer clean – we have "responsibilities" and "obligations" that leave no room for larger-than-life dreams. We foster the belief that if we can’t have it all, it’s not worth trying.

What a shame and a waste! If we were limited to the gifts and talents we developed as children, many of us would never discover the wonderful things in store for us. Anna Mary Robertson (also known as Grandma Moses) never even picked up a paintbrush until she was in her mid seventies. The year before she died, at 101 years old, she painted 25 pictures. What a loss it would have been if she had decided she had too many things preventing her from fulfilling her dream!

Sadly, that’s what many people much younger than Grandma Moses believe… when in reality, the possibilities for them are limited only by their own self-made barriers.
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About The Author

Sue Dickinson Sue Dickinson
Sue Dickinson is a mom, businesswoman, and the founder of, a website designed to celebrate the many facets of mom. Sue is also the author of the book What's a Mom to Do? Overcoming the Urge to Put Your Life on Hold.

Member Comments

  • We had similar hopes for our Grandson and he was good. He broke all the basketball records for his school and they had been long standing. College days were not good for him, but he manages to find teams to play on and he is in his 30s.

    I like the way you applied your story. We can do more than we think if we put our heart and energy to it. Thank you for that reminder. - 11/12/2015 9:57:35 PM
  • Just came across this and it is so true. We need to dream big, also for ourselves. - 5/21/2015 11:03:00 PM
  • BLC424
    Great article, I love the part about Grandma Moses - 3/28/2014 2:28:08 PM
  • Great article - 10/31/2013 7:48:58 PM
  • Thank you!! Excellent article. Much needed in this household! - 7/28/2013 3:11:49 PM
  • Thank you so much for this article, it is exactly what i needed. - 5/29/2013 8:41:12 AM
  • Very true! I have a dear friend who learned to dap dance at the age of 50. She's now in her late 70s and still going strong! Shen belongs to a dance group (all over 65) that puts on shows several times a year. - 3/31/2013 1:38:04 PM
  • As C.S. Lewis said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
    I firmly believe this, and was glad to find this article to read this morning. Deb

    - 3/31/2013 9:20:38 AM
    Love this!!!! I've been riding the fence on a few things....I'm going to brush off the watercolors, pick up the brushes and start on the canvas!!!! - 3/31/2013 8:09:57 AM
  • Beautifully written and inspiring!! Thanks for sharing! - 3/15/2013 9:57:12 AM
  • Really? There are people that don't feel excited about the skills they are learning? I don't get it. I go from new thing to new thing because I love the feeling of learning something.

    Right now, it's swimming and it is fun to learn how to tweak my skills to speed up and to do new strokes. I'm going to the pool today to work on some new drills I learned and I noticed my excitement didn't resonate with my friend when I described the drills... oh well. I like it. - 5/4/2012 11:40:27 AM
  • Such a motivating article! Thank you! - 3/31/2012 12:33:49 PM
    Great article! Thanks for the inspiration! - 2/16/2012 7:38:08 PM
  • Great food for thought. This article's given me permission to be abit more daring and aim for the moon. - 2/16/2012 2:31:42 PM
  • I really liked this one, and I dont even have kids to watch and learn from! Still good. - 1/26/2012 7:03:50 PM

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