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Joel Osteen on Why You Should Dream Big

Pastor and author Joel Osteen says that even when we think we’ve lost our dream, there are seeds of greatness in all of us.

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Rick Hamlin: You talk a lot about dreams and how important they are to you.

Joel Osteen: Yeah. It is. I think that it’s important to have a goal for your life, to have a dream that’s bigger than where you are right now. I believe the dream is what keeps you going each day. It’s what gives you passion and enthusiasm. And even now, you know, God’s blessed us. But you know, I have a dream to be of greater impact to people, or to be a better father. You just got to have something in front of you.

It seems like today, there are a lot of people that have lost their dream. Or it’s been pushed down. Hey, look, and he economy is so bad. People tell me, I’m never going to survive. Or I’m never going to get to where I’m supposed to be.

But I think you have to stir that up. You know, I think it was Paul that told Timothy, Stir up the gift that’s within you. I like to tell them, you know, people, that with their seeds of greatness on the inside of every person, you can be a great father, a great employee, a great business owner, a great—you can make a great difference in our world.

RH: Did you ever have a dream for yourself when you thought, oh, I don’t think I can do this one.

JO: Well, I think the biggest—well, two of them Rick. One when my dad died, I didn’t—I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church. But I thought, I don’t know how to minister. And I’m more quiet. I hadn’t been out in the public eye. I’d been more behind the scenes. So that’s one that, you know, what I’ve seen come to pass.

And then I think the other one was the facility that we’re in now, the former Compaq Center. You know what, we were told that we would never get that facility, that the city owns it, that the city would never lease that to a church. So it was—well, we were David and that was Goliath. But here we are, five years later, and we’re there. We saw God bring it to pass.

RH: That seems to be one of your favorite stories, David and Goliath.

JO: It really is, just because you know what, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. And I think we all look up in life at times and think, well, you know, my challenges are too big. Or I’ve gone as far as I can go in my career. But you know what, David was—I wanted to say just a shepherd boy. He was a shepherd boy, maybe not just. But it didn’t look like he had that greatness in him. But you know what, Goliath, the challenge is what made him king. It’s what led him to the throne.

RH: When you see somebody who has a dream and they’re afraid of following it, what do you tell them?

JO: Well, I tell them that, you know, faith is—I believe one way faith is defined is in risk. And I think you got to be smart. And you can’t just—I’m not saying to quit your job, and you know. But when it’s deep down on the inside, at some point you have to say, sink or swim. I’m going to go after this dream. I’m going to take this step of faith.

And I just, again, I try to stay balanced. But also, don’t go your whole life and end up 80 years old and think, I wonder what would have happened if I would’ve done this? And so I just encourage them.

Like, even when my dad died, I didn’t know if I could become a minister. I didn’t know if I’d be good up there. But my attitude was, God, I believe this is what you want me to do. I’m going to step out in faith. And if it doesn’t work, I’ll go back and do something else. But I’m not too proud to try, even if I fail, to say, you know what, I thought I was supposed to do that. I think you have to have that attitude that, you know, you take that step of faith. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll step back.


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