Next Avenue: Dreams delayed or dashed by the pandemic? You can bounce back—here’s how.

This article is reprinted by permission from

Have your hopes and dreams been suspended during the pandemic? Even if you stayed physically healthy, it’s commonly recognized COVID-19 took an emotional toll on all of us. Part of the price of the pandemic is its theft of so many dreams.

Perhaps like me, you were forced to back-burner your long-range dreams and aspirations, while you focused on staying alive.

Perhaps you postponed smaller, short-term dreams and plans; I had just joined a gym when the coronavirus struck, and it closed the next week. Maybe your new weekly social group was just getting rolling and then was canceled. Big and little, long-term and short, many of us put plans on hold.

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It’s difficult to keep our passions alive when we’re unsure about basic issues such as health, depressed moods, loneliness, loss of jobs, income and housing uncertainty.

The pandemic and me

I’m still spinning from shock over the effect of the pandemic on my mood, career and weight. I, too, added the COVID 15 to my waistline and I, too, was depressed. How could I not be? I like to be around people and I’ve been a motivational speaker with no live audiences.

However, I had my past to lean on, and I have experience holding on to my dreams for a long time before they became reality. By sharing my story, I hope to instill the confidence that you, too, can resurrect your grandest dreams.

Larry Jacobson

I first stepped foot into a tiny sailboat when I was 13, and shortly thereafter loudly declared I was going to sail my own boat around the world. That was easy to say as a kid but making the dream a reality, from 2001 through 2007, actually took 33 years.

What took so long? Life happened. I built a career and a business, bought a home with my partner and had built a nice comfort zone. My passion for sailing around the world had to be deep-rooted to make me even consider giving up such a comfortable life. It was that powerful, so when I finally saw the chance to make my dream come true, I took it.

My partner and I sold the company, I bought a boat, and embarked on a path of total commitment driven by my passion.

Also read: Are your retirement savings falling short? Here’s what to do.

Making my dreams come true

Recalling the steps I took to make my dreams come true back then reminds me that I can do it again, and so can you. Are you ready to let go of some of your comfort zone? Here’s my advice:

First of all, you have to know what you want to achieve it. I had to turn my dream into a specific vision of what I wanted, including the size and type of boat, who would be my crew, and a timeline.

Next, breaking your big dream into smaller actionable steps is crucial to preventing getting overwhelmed by what goes with transforming your grand vision into reality. When I added up the achievement of these smaller goals, the sum was my dream coming true.  

After that, you need to identify the areas in which you need help and get that help. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance; generally, people like to help each other.

Leaving your comfort zone behind is scary, as is the unknown path ahead. The subject of my first TEDx talk was learning to manage fear and using it to your advantage. Once you are comfortable with your fears, the world is your oyster.

Remember, it’s your long-term vision that drives you through short-term obstacles. There were plenty of hurdles in my way, but keeping my eyes on the long-term vision kept me going.

It’s important to believe you are going to succeed in achieving your dreams. Whether it’s sailing around the world, opening a corner coffee shop or volunteering for your favorite charity, believing in your dreams is important.

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Be your own support team

Finally, be your own support team. Commit to your plan and don’t let setbacks be more than temporary bumps in the road. When you commit to an idea, your brain believes you and gets in line with the plan.

I learned to persevere through tough times, knowing that tenacity is a trait best learned from practice.

See: How will we make the most of an extra 30 years of life?

Many of us have seen our dreams delayed by nearly two years, but it’s time to put all that behind us. If your dreams and hopes were temporarily pushed aside, it’s time to find them again. Reach deep into your heart, grab your dreams and begin living again.

Larry Jacobson is a certified dream coach, retirement, and leadership coach, and understands from his own experience what it takes to make your dreams come true. You can learn more about his self-guided video programs and personal coaching at

This article is reprinted by permission from, © 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

More from Next Avenue:

Sailing Into a Reinvented Life

Coping With the Stress of Pandemic 2.0

Combating Cave Syndrome After COVID-19

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