Stay away from the dream stealers.

This is a story I find relevant for every single person alive. Those of us who have dreams have probably encountered a dream stealer who tells us that our dreams are not achievable and are not realistic, but I'm here to tell you otherwise. I'm here to tell you that we are in charge of our dreams. I'm here to tell you how absolutely profound it is, what we are each capable of. And I'm here to tell you that it is no one else's responsibility but our own. Let this story be your inspiration as it has become mine.

From Chicken Soup for the Soul
By: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.

The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my house. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.
“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200- acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.
“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, ‘See me after class.’
“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, ‘Why did I receive an F?’
“The teacher said, ‘This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, ‘If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’
“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, ‘Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’
“Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all. He stated, ‘You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.’”
Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000- square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough guts not to give up on yours.’”
Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what."


  1. I have never read chicken soup for the soul, but by this one inspiration I clearly feel it speaks to me.

    The clear key to this story is your dream must be clear, concise and your highest point of excitement. It must not be what someone else want you to do, but what you truly want to do.

    To make this dream happen even faster, you must make sure everything you do along this path is your highest excitement no matter what it may be. If it's not then this dream may take a little longer to achieve.

  2. wow. that was so beautiful and inspiring. and i LOVE the chiken soup books. they always make me cry. lol.

  3. Thank you for sharing this amazing and inspiring story Justina!
    Stay true to your dreams and you'll see how amazing life is.

  4. I love this, it's such a beautiful story and that teacher was probably unintentionally giving people a hard time and it just goes to show you how people can really make a big impact on what you think when you were young..I used to borrow chicken soup books in the library in primary school haha never finished though :/

  5. that's an inspiring story! and man, what teacher would give an F for a unrealistic dream?! what a grinch.

  6. Hey Justina! Come by my blog when you can, my latest post includes you :)

  7. oh.. I hate that teacher.. I'm so proud of your friend.. that took a lot of hard work i'm sure..

  8. I literally just posted about how someone was trying to kill my dream. Its so amazing that you are writing about this right now. When you reach high there is always someone that wants to drag you down. I'm glad that you are following your dream as I am mine.



  9. Great post and what a truly inspiring story. It's funny how people think it's their right to be a dream stealer, like they're doing the dreamer a favour of some sort. How wrong are they!
    Hold on tight to your dreams. (ELO)

  10. Oh my gosh you make me want to grab 'chicken soup for the soul' off the book shelf and dust it off! Awesome inspiration for this post :)

  11. Visiting from Day Dreamin' Optimist blog. This is a really beautify story. I am a big fan of the Chicken Soup stories. Thank you for sharing.

  12. That's such an inspiring story :)
    I must get a 'chicken soup' book!


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