“I’d walk a mile over hot coals to [fill in the blank].” “I’d crawl a mile over broken glass to [fill in the blank].”

How many times have you heard statements like that? Certainly there’s a proliferation of love-related songs and sentiments that echo such lofty, self-challenging notions. But when push comes to shove, how many of us are ready to bear the real and frightening burdens of such tests? Aye, there’s the rub.

There are two schools of thought on the topic. The first comes courtesy of a gentleman with whom I used to work. He loved to say, “If you don’t have dreams, all you have is nightmares.” He was right, course. Even unfulfilled dreams sustain us in difficult times. And seemingly unreachable dreams afford us positive distractions from unpleasant realities.

The second school of thought is a little less hopeful; although, I suspect most of us have experienced enough disappointment to wonder at the power of fulfilled dreams to satisfy. In his novel, A Fan’s Notes, Fredrick Exley wonders at them, too, musing about:

how fantastically inventive life was, how terrifying really in that it sometimes does give substance to our airy dreams. And really, what good are dreams if they come true?

The contemplation, then, becomes this: What do you want? How badly do you want it? What are you willing to give or pay or sacrifice to get it?

More simply: What are you willing to do to realize your dream(s)?

Please tell us in the Comment box below. Your story will contribute to everyone’s story.