Daring is a lot easier for unmarried students, especially post High School, then it is for students in High School or people who are married, especially while raising children. It’s not responsible to “dare” if you have others you need to think about. So daring takes a sharp downturn as we get older and have helpless beings to feed. But change happens for most of us incrementally. So I apologize for the cliche, but I’ll say it: “Dare to dream.” What does that mean?
Well, I think it means that a person has a faculty, at the very top of his chain of thought, called “will”; what I want. This is called “ratzon” in Hebrew. In Kabbala, it is at the top of the chain of decision-making called the Eitz Chaim.
Much of the time, we have some level of success in implementing that will. Sometimes the early steps take over so quickly, given the ease of implementation, that we hardly notice the will to begin with. For example, if I want to drink something that is right in front of me, I hardly have the time to think, “I want to drink water” before the water slides down my throat.
Other exertions of will take longer to implement, like the thought to drink something for which I have to go to the store. Again, one stops thinking of “will”.
But here’s the challenge: Keep the will alive, even if planning and implementation isn’t in the cards at the moment. Don’t focus too much. You don’t want to be stuck in obsession mode over things that are impossible, and risk failing at the things you can accomplish.
But dare to think that this is what you really want. Then little opportunities become available, though you never noticed them before.
I know a couple that desperately wanted to make Aliyah. But circumstances with one of their children made this highly impractical. They didn’t abandon their act of will though. They have been working in dozens of small ways over the years to make that dream more and more possible, probable and even practical. They spend more and more time there, have opened up career and dwelling opportunities there, and are well on their way. They dared to keep the dream alive.
I know someone else who desperately wanted to be a rebbe. Family life and finances did not allow for that. But he kept the dare to dream alive. He worked on numerous eduational programs and ventures over the years, and is teaching in a Jewish school.
Perhaps you can think of similar examples. I know I can.