Inspiration! Listen to Shonda Rhimes: don't dream, do something

Next time someone tells you to dream big and envision your success and all that jazz, it might be worthwhile to pull a Shonda Rhimes and ask yourself whether they are suggesting that you actually DO anything or if they are just telling you to DREAM (and probably making a lot of money off that "dream big" talk to boot). There is a difference between dreaming and doing, after all. Nothing wrong with a dream, but if you don't start acting on it, then what the heck do you think is going to happen?

Of course, I'm putting this down for myself just as much as anyone else.  Shonda Rhimes gave some pretty awesome advice at the Dartmouth Commencement in 2014:
"When people give these kinds of speeches, they usually tell you all kinds of wise and heartfelt things.   When people give these kinds of speeches, they usually tell you all kinds of wise and heartfelt things. They have wisdom to impart. They have lessons to share. They tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Change the world. Make your mark. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Embrace failure. Dream. Dream and dream big. As a matter of fact, dream and don't stop dreaming until all of your dreams come true.

I think that's crap.

I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, engaged, powerful people, are busy doing.

The dreamers. They stare at the sky and they make plans and they hope and they talk about it endlessly. And they start a lot of sentences with "I want to be ..." or "I wish."

"I want to be a writer." "I wish I could travel around the world."

And they dream of it. The buttoned-up ones meet for cocktails and they brag about their dreams, and the hippie ones have vision boards and they meditate about their dreams. Maybe you write in journals about your dreams or discuss it endlessly with your best friend or your girlfriend or your mother. And it feels really good. You're talking about it, and you're planning it. Kind of. You are blue-skying your life. And that is what everyone says you should be doing. Right? I mean, that's what Oprah and Bill Gates did to get successful, right?


Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change.

-Shonda Rhimes, Dartmouth Commencement Address, 2014

Here is an awesome comic made out of this speech by Zen Pencils:

Read Shonda Rhimes' full speech and check out more from Zen Pencils.

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