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I once wrote a piece about how my expectations can shape my beliefs about reality. (You can read it here.) I recently re-read it, and I looked at the following sentence and had to pause: “It isn’t until the curtains are opened and it is proven to me that the streets are actually dry that I realize it really isn’t raining.”
“I realize that it really isn’t raining.”
It wasn’t until I saw the word “realize” next to the word “really” that I noticed that the root of the word “realize” is the word “real.”
“Um, yeah,” you might say, “That’s pretty obvious. And your point is?”
Well, my point is that in an instant my understanding of the word “realize” shifted. I previously thought of it as a synonym for something occurring to me. To say “I realized that…” was the same as to say, “It dawned on me that…” But to say that an idea – or a dream – was made real is a much stronger idea, a much stronger statement.
When a word has “ize” at the end, it means that something has been made into something else.
So, to real-ize a dream is to turn a dream into reality.
And to real-ize an idea is to allow that idea to become a concrete thing, a real possibility, a part of my reality.
I have embarked on a path to real-ize my dream of learning to play the banjo. In the process, thanks to the support I am receiving from friends about this project, I have real-ized in a new way that people love me and want to help.
What have you real-ized lately?