Beware of the dream stealers who are everywhere

Like Tom Brady, quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or hate him, he is a champion.

After this year’s Super Bowl win, Brady has won seven Super Bowls, more than any other team.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have won six.

Brady’s vision going to Tampa was to win a Super Bowl. He convinced his friend and former teammate at New England, Rob Gronkowski, to come out of retirement and join him.

Tampa had a 7-9 losing record in 2019.

At the start of the season people saw all the reasons Tampa couldn’t get to the Super Bowl. After Brady’s loss in the 2019 playoffs with New England we heard a lot about his “old” age of 43.

Some said he should retire.

Tom Brady looked at the same information and saw all the reasons he could continue to play and even win the Super Bowl at Tampa. He had a dream and chose not to listen to the dream stealers.

Have you met your dream stealer(s)?

These are NOT the people who will encourage you. They are the people who will tell you all of the reasons you can’t achieve your dream. Sometimes dream stealers are well meaning people close to us like a spouse or other family members. Even close friends. They may not understand it is better to aim high and fail then to aim low and succeed. When we aim low and succeed we never know what we are really capable of. Will you believe the dream stealers or your encouragers? The night before the big game Brady personally called each of his teammates to remind them of all the reasons they would win the next day. They won big!

In 1999, I asked the seniors of my boys high school soccer team the question. “Gentlemen, what is your dream?” Our team had never won a championship or been to the State Tournament. The answer I expected was, “A winning season and beating a couple of the AAA schools on our schedule.” The answer I got was, “Coach, we want to play for the state title.” I was stunned. I almost told the seniors this was unrealistic and suggest they aim a little lower. Instead I said, “We have a lot of work to do.”

The seniors’ vision of playing for the state championship changed everything. They believed it was possible. They began to see the reasons we could go to the championship game instead of the reasons we couldn’t. They practiced harder and with more focus. It was an emotional dream that excited the team. We never focused on the problem or obstacle. We focused on what we could control.

This dream has changed many lives in the past 20 years, including mine. Those young men gave me the ability to dream again! The 1999 team achieved their dream of playing for the state championship. Every team now knows it is possible. Sixteen regional and five state championships later, we know how powerful a dream can be.

My wife was seriously injured in car accident nine years ago. In the ICU when the trauma team of doctors examined her, they talked in low somber tones. As they were leaving my wife whispered, “Doc.” The head trauma doctor put his ear over Lynnda’s mouth. She whispered, “We have a trip to Disney World with our grandchildren planned for the middle of next month. Is there any reason I can’t go?” The doctor started laughing and said, “It will be uncomfortable if you are driving.” I responded, “We have plane tickets.” He said, “No problem.” What an encourager!

Lynnda was serious. She knew she had a lot of work to do. In a couple of days she was out of bed and in a walker. One of my favorite photos is the one I took of her in a wheelchair with our oldest granddaughter in front of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World one month later. She chose not to listen to friends who out of concern told her to slow down.

Sadly, many people don’t look at the world with a positive can-do attitude. They are good people who don’t understand a negative attitude is a dream killer. My friends in Columbus send me the negative articles constantly talking about why we can’t bring manufacturing and petrochemical jobs back to the Region. A recent webinar spent 2 hours going through all of the reasons why ethane crackers and associated manufacturing won’t come to the region. They looked at most of the same information as Shale Crescent USA and came to a different conclusion, like those who didn’t believe Tom Brady could win.

Shale Crescent USA (SCUSA) was formed in 2016 to let the world know about the advantages of our region like abundant affordable energy, experienced workforce, abundant water and a location in the middle of the largest economy in the world. The webinar talked about a “resource curse”, China and many other nations wish they had. In Houston, at the World Petrochemical Conference in 2018, the Gulf Coast petrochemical executives weren’t happy with SCUSA’s message. They told us, “You don’t need to be building any crackers up there. Just keep sending us your natural gas and liquids. We know what to do with it.” Maybe they forgot the first ethane cracker was built in Clendenin, WV by Union Carbide in the 1920s. Wally, one of SCUSA’s founders responded, “We choose not to be a banana republic.”

Resources can be a curse if we only ship them out. The key is to use them to make high end products here in the region creating high paying career making jobs. Dream stealers can destroy the bright future we can achieve in our personal lives. They can also destroy our opportunity for a clean and prosperous region. But only if we believe them. All things are possible. Ask Tom Brady. Dream high.

Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a mastes in environmental engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is a professional speaker and author.


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