When Your Dreams are Crushing You…


Sometimes it feels like pursuing your dream and changing the world will actually take more than what you have to give. There are times when we will give our absolute best, we will play at 500% and we will still fail. I can tell you from my own personal experience, regarding this tiny little mission that we have taken on to revolutionize global education, starting with just one tiny pilot school in Phoenix, Arizona. No joke it is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I’ve built three different businesses.  I’ve moved across the world. I have gone through a divorce, two miscarriages, and financial devastation. I have completely unplugged myself from social programming and conditioning that no longer aligned with my value systems.  And, all of those things combined are not as hard as trying to revolutionize the education system and trying to wake people up to what is wrong with education today. 

I actually can’t believe how hard it is. You know this month marks exactly one year since I gave up my Mercedes to pursue this mission and it sounds so shallow when I say it out loud, but I can’t even tell you how hard it was to do. I haven’t been without a car since I was 15 years old and one year ago we hit a wall. We hit a point where we had given everything we’ve got into funding this mission ourselves. My husband and single-handedly funded the operation as far as we could take it. We put in almost a million dollars of our own money, everything we had cleaned out our savings, cleaned out our investments, everything that we had to give our best to make this thing work. And then we had a few friends and family come together with us and also start investing in seeing what we were doing and investing in the mission and believing in it alongside of us. 

We moved back to the States from Australia two years ago and we bought a house that I had planned to renovate, and shortly after we moved into the house is when we decided to start a pilot school. And we really decided that we have to do something about education. And we got to the point where we realized that it was, you know, the old saying we’re going to need a bigger boat. And we realized that’s where we were holding. And we realized also that was taking a lot longer to get funding. It was taking a lot longer to get people on board than what we ever imagined that it would take even, you know, despite all of the budget and forecasting, the planning, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, everything was just taking longer and becoming harder than we had ever imagined that it would be. 

So we had to make a few critical decisions. There were a few forks in the road that every time we came to those forks we would say, “okay, are we going to fold? Or, are we going to keep going?” So right now, two years later, my house actually still has a hole in the wall because we stopped the renovation project midway to give every last penny we have to this mission. And it’s not easy. I still walk around my house and every day it drives me nuts. But you know, I know there will always be another opportunity for me to go back and buy another fancy car. There will always be an opportunity for me to renovate or redesign a house. And this is an opportunity that I know is only going to come once. And really, I think it’s just a test for me. Am I willing to withstand the heat? Am I willing to withstand the discomfort – way beyond what I thought I was willing and able to handle. I really love beautiful things and I really love being comfortable and I tried really, really hard just to be a consumer in life. And I guess it’s just the way that God creates the world…that some people are consumers and some people are creators. And while I did my best at being a consumer, I just felt empty on the inside.

And right now, even though I’m giving it everything I’ve got, like I told you, every single day I wake up and I hit the ground running and I give it all. I’ve got giving five a hundred percent of my energy and my ability and the vast majority of days I still go to bed feeling like I’m failing, knowing that I’m failing, knowing that we are not hitting our marks of our goals, of where we want to be with this mission in any direction. And the more we try, the harder it gets. It’s like ever since we started this mission, every single thing around us just started exploding or falling or deteriorating. And God is just testing us beyond, beyond, beyond. And I feel like it’s a question for us of how much do we believe, you know, it’s easy to believe when things are going well. 

It’s easy to be a pioneer when people are watching and when you’ve got the glory.  It’s not so easy when your life is just crumbling left and right. And you have to ask yourself, look in the mirror and say, am I doing this for my ego? So that I don’t have to say I failed. Should I cash in all the chips? Should I fold up and go home or am I doing this because I believe there was no other way to live. You see, for me there definitely was a phase, probably a longer phase than I wanted to admit when it was just my ego totally wrapped up into the situation where I couldn’t bear the thought of failing, of actually having to admit that we failed …that it didn’t work.  I’m past that now., thank God.  Actually, we’ve been so broken through this whole process that my ego alone isn’t big enough and strong enough to do withstand all this pressure.  But we’re to the point now where I ask myself, what would life be like if we just folded? 

What would it be like if I just had to go back and say, “Okay, we tried. I guess there’s a not enough people that believe in transforming and revolutionizing education and there’s not enough people that believe in millennial leadership and there’s not enough people that really want to live with the mindset of the top 2% of the world. Most people just want to be status quo. Most people are okay with the mainstream. Most people are okay with just being told what to do, where to go, where to sit, how to think, what to think. When to go on vacation, when to take a bathroom break, when to go on a lunch break. Most people just want to be told what to do.”

Why can’t I be okay with that? Why can’t I be okay with allowing the next generation, our millennial kids to grow up with an education system that is over 200 years old and broken?

Why can’t I be okay with that?

Why can’t I just put my own kid in homeschool or unschool or some sort of elite program and just travel the world with him and let him learn outside the box? 

I don’t know why, but I just can’t. I can’t live in a world that we actually have no plan for the next generation. I just can’t do it. I can’t actually live in a world where I’ve completely given up on humanity and completely given up on tomorrow and I have to believe that there’s enough people out there. There must be enough people that are like-minded, entrepreneurial minded, pioneer minded, ‘out of the box’ minded that want this for their own kids.  I have to believe it.

And if I can fight just one more day, I know I’ll find them. And our job is to build a global network of likeminded men and women, parents, educators, innovators, entrepreneurs, pioneers to help build the system from the ground up.

I just can’t let go of that dream. Yes, I’m now driving my husband’s Honda pilot and my husband is driving a seven-tone, hundred-year-old minivan that somebody donated to the school. And that’s OK for now. 

It’s okay for now because this is showing me, what I’m made of and it is forcing me to dig down to the depth of my gut and find sources of strength that I didn’t know were there. And at the end of the day, it’s gonna make for a really good story.

I know we’ll make all of our money back.   I may be out of cash at the moment, but I’ll never be poor, because poor is a mindset. Poor is a choice: a reactionary, unconscious choice much of the time, but it’s still a choice.

So, what’s your dream?  And, how willing are you to fight for it?

You see these circles?  You see these bags under here? These are dreams in the making!  Yes, I know how to manage my time, and yes, I know how to be organized, and yes, I know how to delegate. 

I am the queen of delegation, organization, time management, strategic planning. This is like the string of my middle names!  But when you’re in the thick of it, and it looks like your life and your world and your dreams and your mission and everything that you’ve been fighting so hard for all around you, left and right, all of it goes out the window. And this is when everything has to collapse. And that chaos just has to almost engulf you in order for your life and your world and your dreams to reorganize themselves at a higher level. And I know that’s where we’re holding. So, there’s no way I can quit. There’s no way.

So, again… what’s your dream? How uncomfortable is it making you? How much are you being tested and how committed are you to stick it through?

As for me, I’m not finished yet.  I don’t know how this story ends. Life doesn’t always perfectly fit into a meme, but we’ll get there. I know we will. I know many of you will be joining me on this journey because many of you are also disgusted by the state of education today. You refuse to settle for it on behalf of your own kids. So, we’re going to be working on this together.

And some of you, we may not share the same dream, but we share the same mindset and the same gut, and the same gumption, and the same “never say die” mentality that’s going to carry us across the finish line.

So today I’m giving you all my love, all my strength.

We’re in it to win it.  Let’s see what the next chapter holds!

Chaya, xo

PS: If this is helpful for you in some way, please LIKE, SHARE, & COMMENT. Together, we will wage war on the mediocrity around us!

Chaya Ben-Shabat
Chaya is a mom, entrepreneur, success coach, athlete, student, dreamer, and world traveler.   She is also the founder and CEO of an up-and-coming international school system, designed to revolutionize global education.  She works with highly determined women to help them bust through their obstacles, discover and channel their inner superpowers, and master the tools and skills necessary to design and create the life of their dreams.

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