The dream is EVERYTHING! Now before you start quoting myself back to me from last month’s newsletter and start accusing me of contradicting myself, hear me out. Firstly, although it is generally accepted and far more promoted that ATTITUDE is everything, I must go on record as to having never said and meant this myself. I believe, and always have, that the DREAM is everything. Logically, if we consider it, if one has a big dream, a huge goal, a big-balled objective, a massive mission, a ridiculously oversized reason, often we will adjust our attitude if necessary in order to reach it. So, in retrospect, which comes first? First the dream and then the attitude.
So, the DREAM is everything! We all have to have one! In fact we all have to have at least one. Preferably we should have many, although I don’t believe too many is essentially better. Sometimes more is not always better. If we have too many dreams we are pursuing, we cannot be fully focussed and passionate enough about any one. Which probably brings me to have to discuss the definition of dream.
The Mirriam Webster dictionary separates this word into a number of different meanings the most pertinent of which says, “a strongly desired goal or purpose”. Although I’m not sure that this alone does justice to the concept of a real dream. You see, anyone who has ever had a real dream will know that it is something that you can taste. It is something you can see, and you can see it so clearly that it is already real before the fact. It is a done deal, it’s just a question of time. A real dream is a burning desire that borders on an obsession. In fact, in my opinion, there is a hairline difference between a dream and an obsession. In fact, if you are completely dedicated and committed to your dream, and I mean sold out to it, people will only label your dream as an obsession if they do not agree with your final outcome OR if you seem to make their dedication diminished in the light of your passion. This makes for an interesting thought to consider.
Hold the Phone! Now that we mention it, it is amazing how much “bad” we associate to the dream. I recall teachers admonishing me for being a dreamer, as if it was something to be ashamed of. “Stop being such a dreamer! Be realistic”, “Stop dreaming and wake up!”, “you are living in a dream world”, are all phrases that my weakening memory seem to recall being spat at me by red-faced educators, office colleague nemeses across boardroom tables, and distant loser relatives. Well, I won’t! I’ll hang on to my dreams not “as if” my life depends on it, but because my life depends on it. I would never have achieved anything of importance to me if I’d taken the advice of the dreamless. I’d have been just another brick in the wall, and so would you have.
When we were young we could really dream! I mean, we had it down to a fine art. I have lived so many adventures with both feet firmly planted in a dream world. I wanted to be a cowboy, and I truly fought off tribes of marauding Indians with my primary school friends. I lived in the jungle like Tarzan with a trusted panther as my right hand friend. I’ve wrestled crocodiles in the local pool with absolutely nothing for the worldly eye to see in my arms. There were even a few life guards who were convinced I was having a fit. I brought them right out of their boring dream world, that’s for sure, but was unable to draw the ruffled rescuer into mine. I wanted to be the next Bruce Lee, with lightning fast reactions and so much power in my fists that each blow sounded like it could have killed an ox. Heck, I think I had bruises in more places than I care to disclose from a pair of nun chukkas, and due to back yard practicing and obscure training programs that I designed for myself. Today I wonder if my childhood dreaming was any different to that of the pre-pubescent Bruce Lee himself. He probably had exactly the same dream – to be the next Bruce Lee, except he stuck to it for longer than I did.
But we got it knocked out of us. We were embarrassed and made to be ashamed that we were not realistic enough. We had the dream knocked out of us just as fast as we had fears knocked into us. I pray that I will never be like that to my son. I pray that I will never be so small-minded as to discourage him from the biggest dreams he can dream. One day I want to see him fly. I’ll have a tear in my eye as I let him go, but I will cheer him on with every stroke of his wings.
Movers & Shakers are privileged to touch so many people living their lives in the corporate world and we are so grateful for the opportunities we have had to come alongside you. Yet we are saddened sometimes to meet those people who look at their world through sunken hollow eyes where the monthly pay cheque is their only reason for living. More people than you may realise have succumbed to the overwhelming pressure of reality. Some have been crushed my bone shattering circumstances in their lives, some have been strangled by the social pressure of debt and others have taken more hits from the demon of failure than they were able to withstand. But, also, so many didn’t stop dreaming. They settled it in their mind once and for all.
What was the difference? Simply, choice. They chose not to give up the dream. They decided to keep chasing their dream. They determined to grit their teeth just one more time. They resolved that no obstacle was too high or too wide to stand between them and their dream. You’ve got the same choice, no matter what your circumstance, no matter what is your history or your past. You can get up from your PC right now and go and do something to work on your dream. Right now.
OK, I know most of you won’t. But you could. That’s a choice too.
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