Many times, it takes a big event to wake us up and motivate us to do something. In the movie, The Matrix, the main character Neo has the sense that something is wrong…or different (“What’s Your Dream?”). He’s just not sure what it is. When he meets Morpheus and is set free from the Matrix, he is given an explanation: “You’ve been living in a dream world, Neo.”
In our own lives, big events also thrust us into situations that demand a choice – a decision. Some choose to attack full force – holding nothing back. Others choose to do nothing – trying to remain hidden in the familiar.
On 9/11 (eleven years ago today), there was a huge event that took our nation, and the world, into a state of drastic change. A wide-spread attempt was made to increase security. If the attack that day never occurred, the breaches in security would not have been noticed. It was the trauma of the day that woke people up and drove them to action.
We all have dreams of what we would like to be or do. Sometimes we have to take some time to realize what our dream is, but we then have to take action to make the dream into a reality.
Using our Matrix illustration, Neo displays seven steps we go through in this process:
Neo went through a time of denial immediately. We will tend to do the same. Things can be shocking, and it takes time to absorb and adjust. We often try to deny the truth.
After some time, he came to grips with reality. He started accept the truth. If we are going to progress in life, we need to learn to accept the reality we find ourselves in. We need to realize that we can’t decide what our situation will be, just how we respond to it.
3. Gather information
Neo began to learn some more about the situation and the specifics of the problem. After realizing and accepting our reality, we need to start learning more. When it comes to our dreams, we need to find out more information about the specific needs, problems, and obstacles that could come.
Neo began a host of training sessions to mentally prepare. After we gather some information, we can begin to prepare to meet the needs and overcome the problems. This will involve some reading, listening, studying, and/or taking a class (or several classes).
Neo had been going through the training sessions one after another, but Morpheus came to turn that preparation into practice. We can only get so far on head knowledge. We must also start doing what we are learning. This is when the knowledge begins to make sense and the parts start coming together. This is when knowledge becomes wisdom.
6. Begin to believe
As Neo is taken into the Matrix, he speaks with the Oracle; who gives him some information and advice. He then has to confront the agents, which causes him to begin to believe that he can do what he has been preparing for.
We also need to come to this place. Getting practice will help to develop some courage and confidence, but getting additional advice and instruction really helps to give a boost at this point. Ultimately our strength comes from God (Phil. 4:13), but we also need to have a sense of growing our faith.
7. Gain confidence
Neo’s confidence begins to take tremendous steps after a victory over the agents. Eventually, the small victories we enjoy coupled with our growing faith will lead to greater victories. We will start to see definite progress as we work toward our dream and purpose.
Question: What things have helped you to realize your reality and begin to work toward your dream?