Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamt I was in this old house, the dream was even black and white, which is strange because I usually DO dream in color. A well meaning old man was lecturing a young man about the life he was living. I’m not sure who the old man was, but the young man was Elvis. The old man was getting nowhere and for some reason I felt the need to speak.
I called him over, “Elvis Aaron Presley, come over here, I need to talk to you.” He came over. “Sit down,” I said and he did. He looked like the young Elvis from the movies. I said, “Elvis, one day they will call you the King of Rock and Roll. You will be wealthy beyond measure and millions of young people will want to be just like you. They will follow your example. They’ll dress like you. They’ll do what you do… (a slightly sneering smile spread across his young face…) And by 1977, you’ll be dead because of your choices. Your choices matter, and they’ll matter to millions of people. People will do what you do.”
As I finished speaking, I thought I got through to him. Then there was a knock at the door. When it opened, a large crowd of people who were up to no good came to get Elvis for a night of “wild living” as the Scripture says. Someone asked him why he would do this after what I just said. He said “I have until 1977.” Then I woke up.
Why do I share this? First because while most of us will never be called the king of anything, we are almost all leaders (especially as creatives), maybe to a small group of people, maybe to a large one, maybe just to one or two other people, but for almost all of us, there are people who will follow us. The choices we make matter, so we need to make good choices.
Secondly, one of the things people lament over is the unknown quantity of life. If we knew when things would happen, we could do things differently. I don’t think it matters. If we knew our “deadline,” I’m not sure it would change very much. Human nature seems to say, “live now, pay later…” It has since the garden. The truth is every one of our choices contributes to the quality of life we will live. Choices matter, so make good ones.
This dream shook me up a bit. It made me take a look at my own life, because while I’m not in a place of debauchery, there are some areas especially in the realm of health, where I could be making better choices. I also knew almost immediately that I had to share it. So my guess is it’s for someone besides me. Is it for you?
Where will your choices lead? or better yet, Who will your choices lead?