After I left the my job at a big company, I have always looked for activities and relationships that make sense with what I understand to be my life’s purpose. I began to reassess the value of things and try, whenever possible, to reflect whether I should invest my health in certain problems or not.
As part of this life movement, another constant reflection, very close to my purpose, is related to my dreams, but first, let me explain what is a dream for me.
I do not like to confuse dreams with goals. Goals are objectives that you set and must be achieved for some reason. And that’s it. You may have to reach some goals to fulfill a dream, but I don’t like the idea of looking at life as a journey of goals. A dream has an emotional nature that no goal in life will compensate. I may be using some unorthodox definitions, but what I mean is that a dream is not an obligation, It’s about desire and fulfillment.
When I reflect about my dreams, a lot of ideas come to my head. One of them is that we are influenced all the time to crave things that sometimes are not really related to us. It is what I call canned dreams.
Just as people create stereotypes and expect certain behaviors, they also expect us to have certain dreams. And the problem is that we can be so influenced to the point of going to the shelf and buy a dream that is not really ours.
Recently, I witnessed a curious conversation between longtime friends. One of them said to the other, with some fear, he had decided to buy an apartment because he wanted to start a family. The dreamer friend, knowing what would be the reaction of the other, began his sentence jokingly saying: “I’ll tell you something and I hope you do not stop being my friend …”
The comic reaction of the other, as expected, was to say he had itching of that sort of thing and he was disappointed because the dreamer friend have given up the plans of traveling the world.
Perhaps it was the participation in this conversation that made me write this text. I realized that we should not be ashamed of what we long for, even if it is going in the opposite direction of what people expect from us. It takes conviction. And also the acceptance that a successful executive may want to drop the career to take care of his children. Or a punk rock singer can dream of a traditional wedding, using veil and wreath.
We should not stereotype dreams. They should be free, in the same way as dreamers.
When reflecting about your dreams, let the negativity aside and imagine that there are no obstacles. Your mind is a free space and nobody can criticize your thoughts. Allow yourself to think about the unreachable. It is with these daydreams you will feed the will to go after what makes you happy, and maybe even begin to think they are possible.
If you can, verbalize your dreams. You don’t need to tell someone, but say it aloud or write in a piece of paper. This process of taking something outside your head makes it all becomes more real.
And finally, do not worry about having more than a dream or give up an exchange it for another. Our purpose in life changes when we least expect it and it is a natural movement. Making a dream a social obligation is the only thing that does not work.
Photo credits: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/Sgarton