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What is a Great Dream?

August 27, 2010

“A successful trauma therapy is about more than just not having symptoms. It’s really about having a life…a life that’s about pursuing dreams, pursuing happiness. But especially it’s about the right to have a present and a future that are not completely dominated and dictated by the past.”– Karen Saakvitne

As the Adverse Childhood Study informs us, our past has a huge influence on our health outcomes. We can let the past dominate us to the point where we don’t have dreams of a wonderful future, but just suffer the consequences of letting the  past dominate ourselves. Our goal in our Restoration to Health strategy is to have happy and healthy people. This will require becoming forward, or future, looking and thinking. We must have realistic dreams. On the other hand, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” We must learn how to enjoy each day as we move towards our dreams and goals.

Our dreams also require us to be realistic. I really subscribe to the thinking and research of Dr. K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University when he states “New research shows that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching, not of any innate talent or skill.” For us to have realistic dreams, we must be prepared to put the time and effort into the “deliberate practice” required for achievement. A commercial fisherman becomes great by understanding, then focusing on all of the elements required for success. An attorney becomes successful by understanding, then focusing on all of the elements required for success. The same is true for athletes (except you can’t teach certain things like being 7 feet tall for basketball). The point by Dr. Ericsson is that we are not limited by our biology, only by our desire to pursue our dream, and having appropriate teaching.

Chugachmiut can only work with the goals and dreams of our tribes, so we know that we must provide assistance for each of our tribes to collectively examine what they want as a tribe. Setting goals and dreams, then purposefully pursuing them, is our way out of the past that currently dominates us and sets the unfortunate part of our agenda.

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