‘What makes Clint Eastwood, a middle-aged actor
who has played with a chimp, think he could
have a future in politics?’ – Ronald Reagan
Everybody should have a dream. What’s yours?
In the past when the going got tough, I dreamt an idyllic existence of being an author, writing books to help people, travelling the world, and looking out of my study window at a rose garden while I courted the muse with my laptop. Well, guess what?
The scale of the dream does not matter but you have to want it. Organising a village fête or boot sale; getting married; rowing up the Amazon. Hitler polished off a whole box of chocolates and then invaded Russia (wish he’d stuck to the painting). There are dreamers who only dream, then there are the Dreamweavers who dominate their dream, refine, interrogate, nurture and nourish it, shepherd it onward to its restless, uncontainable fulfilment.
Take care what you dream for, you may get it.
Dreamweavers cannot help but try to turn their dreams into reality. Writers cannot help writing. Artists cannot help creating. Nurses cannot help serving. Politicians cannot help blowing hot air. We’re too busy, so there’s no depression if the dream inspires us. We have a goal — our engine, that thing that drives us — our passion, motivation, the drop-down, drag-out desire to move from where we are now to where we want to be in the future.
- Do you have a dream you have a chance of fulfilling?
- What’s stopping you?
- Is that really the reason?
- Are you frightened of failing?
- Are you inspired?
As already covered, what everyone ultimately strives for is a state. An emotion. Desiring physical possessions is all very well but it’s what these possessions do for us that’s the salient factor. Dreams are states wherein the outcome can already be observed, if not partially experienced.
- What state are you yearning for?
- Peace? Excitement? Stability? Pride? Revenge? Frustration?
- Are you materially driven?
- What do you expect your dreams to do for you?
Understanding the state you’re striving for is the lynch-pin. Dreams are goals. In daring a dream, you are selling yourself on a course of action, a future wherein the dream is reality and the state fully potentised. Is the state you are seeking a noble one, or will it produce nocebic emotions such as anger, hate and frustration?
It’s worth doing the following exercise to find out what your dreams are and what states you expect from them.
- I dream of a louder exhaust on my car than all the other kids on the block. Pride. Revenge.
- I dream of marrying Jennifer Connelly. Pride — It’s what JC can do for you. You don’t even know her
- I dream of becoming rich. Pride. Sloth. Revenge. Stability. Peace
- I dream of winning the London Marathon. Achievement. Pride. Excitement. Contentment
- I dream of visiting Egypt. Excitement. Wonder. Happiness. Fulfilment
- I dream of having three kids, a whippet, an Aston Martin, Eminem rapping at my wedding, a hot-tub in the back yard, yadda, yadda, yadda –
- See? Dreams sell states you might want to invest in
- The software/emotional state the dream fulfils is what you’re ultimately seeking
- Wholesome states are more fulfilling than torrid ones
- Set aside time each day to cast your mind to roamin’
- Ask yourself: What do I really want?
- Then ask yourself: Why do I want it?
Only you –
…know what motivates you. As a dreamweaver you can add purpose and context to your life. No goals equals no context to your existence, which can provoke the helpless, ‘What’s the point of it all?’ Dreamweavers never fall victim. You dared the dream. The dream gives you pleasure. The project is responsible and worthy. It sparked you up in the first place, remember?
What have I learned?
- I must not fear to dream, it is only dreaming
- Dreams I enjoy bring me pleasure
- I will dwell on the dreams I am passionate about
- I can choose what I want out of life from my desires (the scale does not matter)
- What talents do I have which I really enjoy using?
- What really motivates me?
- Am I restless to achieve what motivates me?
- Will my desires and goals bring meaning to my life?
Excerpted from Simple Changes by Phillip Day
Copyright © Phillip Day 2008