This morning as I was driving the children to school, we noticed a plane flying overhead but low enough that we could make out that this was a private aircraft. After all three children noticed it, my daughter starts dreaming out loud. Sitting in the last row of our minivan, she states “if I ever make it big, I want a private jet.” My three year old must have liked the sound of that because he yells back with such excitement, “I want one too, I want one too.” I giggled to myself as I listened to Joshua’s exclamation.
“You see how you got your little brother fired up now”, I said to my oldest.
She then begins to explain why she wants her own jet. “If I have to get somewhere in a hurry, I don’t want to be held up by traffic,” she says. “I want to be able to get to where I am going.” Our daughter is the perceptive one. She thinks things through. I paused for a moment as I thought about her reflection on the plane flying above. As much as her claim may have been reasoned out, I hated that she used the conditioning clause “if I ever”.
I thought about it. I wanted to come up with two words that could replace the “i” and “f” of those ifs.
Then I got it, I told my daughter the next time she thinks to say “if” instead think “inspired fulfillment”.
Some of us have been taught to replace “if ” with “when” but there is value in reflecting on the “i” and “f”. Fulfillment means that you are doing what is necessary to bring something to completion or see a dream realized. We put emphasis on the period between the start of the dream and the end achievement. As I once heard, it matters more about the journey than it does about the moment the goal is achieved.
It helps us to think of the “ifs”. How many ifs have gone unfulfilled in your life that you wish you had been inspired enough to achieve? The great thing about the “if” is it is a conditional which means in some ways, you get to apply the condition. Just like in hair maintenance, conditioner strengthens and improves the result of the process. You become the inspiration for the fulfillment of your “if ever”.
Perhaps when you are dreaming out loud, you might inspire the fulfillment of another person like Jenesis inspired her little brother to want his own jet plane.
What if you fly?