Dreams for My Daughter

UPDATED: June 18, 2017
PUBLISHED: June 18, 2017

A door shuts.

A door opens.

I look into your eyes.

I see me.

But, I want you to be you.

I want your dreams to be yours.

Not ours.

The world is big.

We make it feel small.

There’s so much to see.

Don’t let it all fall.

You’re a tween now.

That won’t last for long.

Tackle the projects now.

And live for long.

Don’t look back.

Look forward and you’ll see.

It was not me who pushed you.

It was you, you’ll see.

Fear nothing and think big.

Life is sacred, live it so.

One day you’ll be my age.

And glad you lived so.

Run with it.

Follow your path.

You’ll see what I mean.

Doors will shut.

Doors will open.

Push it further and test your dreams.

For soon, you’ll be grown up.

You’ll be you.

And I’ll still be me.


The day before I wrote this poem, I explained to my 12-year-old daughter that we have 1,440 minutes in a day; use them wisely. If we continue to take on new challenges, take on new goals, our lives will be amazing.

So I wrote this poem for her, to tell her that it’s her life. She needs to keep tackling new tasks, new projects and don’t be afraid to fail. If you fail, so what? Press on; another door will open. If not, our doors will remain closed.

This is why we don’t set boundaries in our lives. Step out of your comfort zone and give it all you have. Because in the end, I want her to look back and be glad she pushed herself to achieve more. No regrets, take action now.

At 12, as it is at 46, we need to take that first step, again and again.

Related: 5 Ways Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone Made Me a Better Person​

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, and a Delta Tau Delta Fraternity member, Jim served four years in the U.S. Navy. He lived in Japan for four years, and served on board the USS Independence CV-62. Jim loves to travel, and has been to 23 states and 13 countries. Jim backpacked throughout Asia multiple times; climbed Mt. Fuji, and is an avid sports fan. In 2011, Jim wrote his first book, Go the Distance, which was followed up by two other books: 2000 Miles on Wisdom (2015) and Next In Line Please (2016). Topics are on alcoholism, customer service and the power of positive influence. In 2013, Jim rode a bicycle from Carmel, Indiana, to Orlando, Florida, to raise money/awareness for multiple myeloma cancer. In April of 2017, Jim ran his first marathon to raise funds/awareness for breast cancer. He is an avid reader, and writes periodically for the Current in Carmel newspaper. Jim is an operations manager at the Indianapolis Airport, and he currently lives in Carmel, Indiana.