The Dream but Not the Drive

Do you remember the movie Grease? If so, you can probably think of one or two familiar songs. The song that always comes to my mind first is “Beauty School Dropout,” sung–I believe–by Frankie Avalon. In the movie, anyhow.

In that song, he sings about the girl in the story who’s dropped out of high school to attend beauty school. And she’s not doing well there. He specifically accuses her of having the dream but not the drive, and he advises her to return to high school. Which she does.

That phrase has haunted me for years. It’s easy enough to want something wonderful–don’t we all have a dream or two?– but working hard enough to get it gets us down. Some people can make a plan and stick to it all the way to the end.

I admire them.

But other people bog down along the way. Each of their dreams–no matter how worthwhile–turns into an “impossible dream,” to quote from the musical, Man of La Mancha. How sad to watch them settle into jobs they hate and other situations that seem easier to tolerate than to change.

I had the dream of becoming a published novelist. I thank God daily for helping me to achieve that goal.

But what’s my next goal? Is it a dream I can accomplish if I have the drive–the determination and stamina–to stick with it? What if it involves some things that are beyond my control?

Hmm. That’s when I need to remind myself that God, the Creator of the world and everything therein, is bigger than the biggest dream I’ll ever have. Although He wants to give me the desires of my heart, He also knows what’s best for me. Having my seemingly impossible dreams become reality may not be His will.

That’s one of the great things about praying for God’s will to be done in any given situation. He’ll always do it, even if it’s not what we want. And one of the great things about prayer is that it helps us to sincerely want only what God wants.

Have you attained a seemingly impossible dream? Did you ever feel that the harder you tried, the further away your goal seemed to be? Feel free to share that in a comment.


I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
Best regards,

2 thoughts on “The Dream but Not the Drive

  1. Dreams… So many ways to think about it. At night I sometimes catch myself dreaming and some of the dreams are very strange: episodes that my mind seems to revisit – like flying. Once in a while I’ll realize I’m dreaming and persue that particular event becaus it’s interesting or fun

    There is also daydreaming. I know lots of people who do that and I myself am guilty of spasms of daydreaming. They are usually unrealistic flirts with reality that do nothing for morale or the current state of the universe. Fantasy and neurosis are tightly linked to daydreaming.

    The kind of dreaming you must be referring to is that desire one keeps in his heart to achieve or realize something special or important. Wanting to be a published author is a dream I have and a dream you have attained. Me, I want to be not just a published author but I want to write something worth reading. Something that will shift peoples opinion about things, move them, leave an impression, spark a controversy of hearts. Alas, for me, this is nothing more than cheap fantasy at the moment.

    I also had a dream to be a chef. Now that was something I could sink my teeth into (no pun intended). I wanted to be able to make people happy with food, see them marvel at the new flavor, or taste, Have them insist on eating at my restaurnat. And I am realizing that dream. It is so nice. I have an ardent following and the business is growing very well despite the limitations I have placed upon it: no advertising, located in an out-of-the-way mall in a slum area, food more expensive than my neighbors. It has been real nice picking fruit from from that dream tree.

    However, there is an ember in me that glows for writing. It will come to pass. There seems to be a gestation period and I am constantly thinking and organizing my thoughts in order to attain that dream. I do not know when but the time will arrive and I will put everything aside including my spatulas and springform pans and sit to write and not get up until it is finished. It will be my miracle. I know what it will be in substance but as of yet it’s form is nebulous.

    Thanks so much for this post.


  2. Tom, I thoroughly understand waiting while your organize and plan. You’re wise to do that. But don’t wait too long to start. I’d hate to see you run out of time before finishing.

    And you’re certainly welcome for this post. 🙂


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