The Velveteen Rabbit and Cost of Big Dreams

velveteen rabits and dreams hurt


The story of the Velveteen Rabbit is one of the most popular stories in American literature. Most people encounter it as children. It is one of those books that has a lot to teach adults also. One of the best lessons for adults, is that sometimes, being achieving your goals is hard and you may get hurt along the way.

“When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”

Often when a person has been close to achieving her goals or reaching major milestones, she gets tired, she gets hurt and she gives up.  This is sad, because often this is just the time she should not give up, but instead should push forward because success and the finish line are just ahead. Many of the most worthwhile things we do in life are hard, they involve sacrifice and pain. At the same time, these things are often the most worthwhile, rewarding and treasured experiences in our lives. Check out the following examples of things that require hard work, sacrifice and may change a person.

  • obtaining a college degree
  • making a marriage work
  • raising children
  • starting and growing a business
  • caring for a sick loved one


When you are doing things like those listed just above, even if things are hard, painful or scary, you must continue to move forward and fight in order to succeed. The fact that things are hard, hurtful or scary does not matter in the grand scheme of things. You must find a way to power past the difficulty, pain and fear to do what needs to be done. When you are working to do important things, like those listed above you will fail and succeed many times along the way. Achievement often is partnered with sacrifice, pain and hard work. When you are trying to accomplish great things, or trying to do important things, you must remember that the result is worth the work required.

Early in the story of the Velveteen Rabbit the bunny hears from another toy that, “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”  When it comes to us working towards our goals and trying to achieve our dreams, sometimes we will get hurt. While we may never get to a point where we do not mind being hurt, we do come to realize that being hurt is part of the game, part of the journey. Perhaps it is more accurate to say, “when you are real, when you accomplish your mission you have been hurt many times along the way and have learned to work with the pain, through the pain and in spite of the pain.” Just as people learn to live and prosper with bad vision, bad hearing or damaged limbs, you can learn to live and prosper despite the hard work, sacrifice and fear you will encounter along the way.

Be prepared that one you reach your goals, some who knew you along the way, may no longer recognize you.

The last line of the Velveteen Rabbit  is “But he never knew that it really was his own Bunny, come back to look at the child who had first helped him to be Real.” This is a feeling that many who lose friends along the way can easily understand. Sometimes the friends and family members we lost along the way from dream to reality forget what we look like.  Other times, we no longer recognize them. Do not let these things keep you from going to achieve your dreams and reach your goals.

Make a Plan – You Really Don’t Work Best When You Wing It

plan to succeed make a plan
You have heard people say it all your life, ”’If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In addition, you know that you do a better job when you work with a plan rather than just winging it. So why aren’t you creating a plan and working according the to a plan?

Stop believing the myth that you are one of those people who worķs better under pressure without a plan.

People often say they are at their best when working with a looming deadline, under pressure and without a plan. There are two possible responses to that idea. The first response is, stress raises our blood pressure and negatively impacts our breathing, heart rate and ability to think and recover. The second response is, take your best and make it better. Working with a SMART plan, is making things better and striving for optimal performance and results. Even if you think you work better under pressure and without a plan, if you look at the situation objectively, you will probably notice several things:

  • you are more stressed than usual
  • the work itself is not as enjoyable
  • you are more prone to make simple errors
  • things around you are more irritating
  • the quality of the finished product is not as good

Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude – So Make It Good

It’s not just a cliché, your attitude really does determine your altitude. So, take action now to get an attitude that leads to success. Your success and your attitude are both things you control. Think about it, you have very little control over other people on the planet. Anyone who has ever  attempted to parent a child or manage a staff has a clear understanding of just how difficult it is to control those others. However, your attitude about others and your reaction to what others do is completely within your control. Since these things are in your control, step up, stand firm and adapt the attitude of a successful victor in all you do.

When your attitude is right, those around you see it and will recognize success is coming your way.

This summer my daughter, now college sophomore, got her first “real” job as an administrative intern at a great company. She gets to work early each day and stays late most evenings. My daughter works hard at her job and she is well compensated.  She has done such great job her boss has offered her additional employment opportunities. Her boss, who is a smart, determined and powerful woman, took  my daughter under her wings and mentored her. None of this would have happened without my daughter having an attitude for success. The attitude for success is not something that comes naturally with age or experience. It is not something that appears by chance. The attitude for success shows up when a person decides to have it. The attitude for success is free of charge and available to all who want to have it. So, step up and claim your attitude for success. If you do, success itself will follow.

In your life at home and at work, your attitude determines the results if your actions.

When you wake up each morning, the world is before you, waiting to see what you have to offer and what you will give. You can choose to offer an attitude of gratitude for the adventure that is life. You can choose to have a bad attitude and think only misery and failure are your travel companions. You can choose to have an attitude for success and then work towards that success.In the end, both choices actually require the same amount of work. If that is the case, doesn’t it make sense to have a good attitude and expect greatness to come?