You keep your F – I’m keeping my dream

Most naysayers and dream kickers are at the bottom themselves. Find people who are already performing at the level at which you’d like to be for inspiration

When Monty Roberts was in high school, his teacher gave the class the assignment of writing about what they wanted to do when they grew up.  Monty wrote that he wanted to own a ranch and raise thoroughbred racehorses.  His teacher gave him an “F” and explained that the dream was unrealistic for a boy living in a camper in the back of a pickup truck.  He would never be able to make this a reality.  When he offered Monty the chance to rewrite his paper for a higher grade, Monty told him, “You keep your F; I’m keeping my dream.” 

Today, Monty’s 154-acre ranch in Solvang, CA, is home to world class thoroughbred racehorses and his gentle “Join Up” methods of training horses (and kids) is the inspiration of companies around the world.  He and his wife Pat have raised their own three children as well as 47 foster children, who return regularly to spend time on the ranch.  As the “Horse Whisperer” he inspired the Robert Redford movie that propelled Monty to fame and fortune beyond his wildest boyhood dreams.

Carrie Olsen’s Dream

Three years ago Carrie Olsen dreamed of being able to be a stay-at-home mom but still contribute family income.  She and her husband Derek came to the Sanctuary and started shaping that dream.  Carrie discovered she was interested in voice acting, found a coach, started working nights and weekends and quit her job just 4 months later.  She has worked with Disney, AT&T, K-Mart, Taco Bell, Kaiser Permanente and more, and last year (2016) generated $104,000 in revenue!

Now who’s been trying to talk you out of your dream?  Who’s been telling you you’re crazy and it can’t be done?  What level of success is that person experiencing?  Do you notice that most naysayers and dream kickers are at the bottom themselves?  Find people who are already performing at the level at which you’d like to be.  You will find they will encourage and inspire you even more.

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  • Two great stories, Dan! Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Wonderful stories Dan! Great reminders that we should follow our dreams and be careful who we listen to for advice. Thanks!

  • Rockin’ Beeby Enterprises

    Each spring I do a workshop for 2 groups of College bound students – I always teach the importance of living the DREAM and start the workshop by asking them to write down their DREAM on the back of my info sheet. At the end of the day, I ask them what they will be studying, and have them write that down. It always amazes me how many kids are chasing the $$$ instead of thier DREAM. So, I encourage the DREAM. Why? Because if you follow your DREAM you can do just about anything!

  • MikeCopelin

    I love these kind of stories, Thanks Dan! The sad part is too many would have (or have already) taken the F and the criticism thinking that the person was right. As Zig used to say, they have never erected a statue to a critic.

  • german6509

    Quiero alcanzar mi sueño y quiero el programa, solo que no puedo viajar, como puedo hacerlo en Monterrey; Mexico?

    • Brian L Richardson

      Sigues leyendo y nunca olvides tu sueño. Simplemente no se olvide de trabajar!

  • William Parker

    I’m cultivating my own dream right now Dan! I took a 3 month leave of absence from my J-O-B and have started up my own non-traditional publishing company building on the skills I have already excelled at in the past 21 years as an engineer. Cheers to Monty, Carrie and all the rest who took the “F” and are doing what they love!

  • Marcy Travis

    Wow! Two really inspiring stories! Thanks Dan!

  • Fellow Couponer

    Trouble is Dan, I have been so caught up in providing a steady income for my wife and five kids that I’ve forgotten what my dreams were. I’ve had a couple of close calls with depression and medical stuff that almost incapacitated me for awhile. It was tough on my wife, so I don’t want to do anything that could disrupt my family. I have a side business that I’ve been doing for a couple of years in addition to my full time job. I’m getting to the point I’m going to have to commit to it full time because my clients need me to be there for them, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it unless I’m pushed by something else. Do you think a bit of chaos and poverty could be good for a family, if it’s just temporary? It’s not irresponsible is it?

  • PaulVandermill

    Good Stuff! Thanks Dan


  • Some people would hear the criticism and give up. Others would say, “Watch me buddy, I am going to prove you wrong.” Let’s be in the last category.

  • Wow, thanks so much for featuring my story, Dan! You’ve been such a huge part of my family’s journey over the last 6 years!

    • piercemarrs

      Congratulations Carrie! I have been doing voice acting for the past few years and love it! So excited you have scaled it to this level!

      • Thank you, Pierce! It’s such an amazing industry! All my best to you.

  • Dan

    This post = a great example of why I stay connected here at 48 Days: To be “around” others who aren’t constantly reaching for the bottom.

  • piercemarrs

    Dan, these two stories are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jennifer Young

    Thank you for sharing. It is a reminder of something I heard several years ago and just let it slip from my mind…
    Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Dream!!

  • Carson

    Loved the horse whisperer movie never heard that monty was the man behind it that fires me with inspiration way beyond the movie!!

    It was said in the 48 days news section that amazon has monster profits or earnings no they have a monster stock price! Walmart has monster profits compared to amazon and apple is the granddaddy of them all!!

  • Linda McGinn Waterman

    Now that Reen and I are finally settled on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, today I begin taking advantage of all your wonderful offerings. This is one of the first I’ve read and it’s terrific! Yesterday I finally was able to complete the process of re-releasing two of my traditionally published books with Amazon. They should probably be up on Amazon on Friday! The thrill of finally self-publishing is the first step in realizing my lifelong dream of building a self-sustaining business around my writing and speaking… like the graft you gave me when we met with you several months ago! Though this year we couldn’t make it to the executive coaching or entrepreneurs seminar (last weekend) that we so wanted to participate in, we won’t be missing it next year! So excited to see what the future will hold thanks to you and your inspiration! Linda McGinn Waterman

    • Linda – congratulations on getting your books back out there. When a message is timeless you can repurpose the content over and over again.
      We still have one more Coaching with Excellence event this year – August 31st – Sept 1st. Would be a great time to get set up to make next year what you want it to be!

  • Thank you for this post! It is truly an inspiration. When I was preparing to enter college, I had a Language teacher completely dismiss my writing abilities. It happened right after I got the results of an extensive vocational test that pointed me to career in journalism. It was devastating! Not only was writing my biggest passion, but also I was a very insecure writer in those formative years. Many years later here I am: bachelors degree (with distinction) in Journalism, masters (with distinction) in Communication, and doctorate in Comparative Literature (ABD). And I keep moving forward with my dreams! My grad school and college faculty career had me spend a lot of time in academic writing and I missed my freelance reporter days more than I thought I would. I told my husband (of one year) about that frustration and he referred me to your 48 days podcast. I have to take this opportunity to thank you for getting me fired about changing the course of my life. I have just launched my blog where I write about a life philosophy I’ve practiced for decades: reinventing oneself by learning a new skill every year. This journey has just began, but it has already filled my life with renewed passion. In the end, a critical, insensitive, larger-than-life teacher propelled me to work my hardest and became a good writer. She also showed me what NOT to do, making me a better educator today. I can almost thank her for trying to crush my dream! Hey, Dan, thank you so much for inspiring me to start blogging!