From a young age we are encouraged to dream, to have imagination, to consider anything to be possible. Then as we grow up, something apparently changes in our lives and we’re brought “back to reality”. Phrases such as “you’re such a dreamer” or “that’s very imaginative” take on a new, less encouraging meaning.
Each day when talking to our children, I hear imaginative stories from them. They talk of what they want to be when they grow up. They are excited about dreams of family holidays, theme parks, seeing wonders of the world, and other opportunities we have suggested to them.
As an adult, living in “the world of reality”, it’s hard not to “bring them back to earth” in what they are saying and dreaming about as this is what we know from our own experiences.
In a recent conversation, I asked someone how things are going for them, as you do. “Living the dream” was their answer. There’s nothing extraordinary about this in itself, but on this occasion, their answer really got me thinking. It wasn’t as though I had never heard these words said before or even the tone used to say them. What struck me most was how what they were actually saying was the complete opposite to what these words mean.
This got me thinking about how often we “settle” in life. In our early years we dream of what we can be, and what we can do. Then comes adult “responsibility”. Sure, life is forever evolving, but should “maturing” steal away our heart’s deepest desires? Should our current circumstances stop us from dreaming of more, of being more, of achieving more?
As I recently read in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey:
It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.Stephen R. Covey
Whatever the circumstances, nothing can take away your dreams. Whether you achieve them or not, comes down to the only two things in your control; your actions and your attitude.
It’s easy to make excuses, blame others for the circumstances we find ourselves in, or complain about what has happened to us to justify why we’re not achieving our goals and dreams. Or, we can respond to life’s events. We can look at what the masses are doing, the results they are getting, and do the opposite. We can seek out people who are driven, who are taking action to take control of their lives, who are truly “living the dream”, and who are willing to guide us to do as they have done.
So… what are your dreams, and what are you doing to achieve them?