The dreams we have when we’re sleeping are out of our control and we are mere spectators or pawns in their production. But each one of us has dreams while we are awake. We all have a conscious desire to live a meaningful life and it is in that meaning that we dance with happiness.
What is a dream?
It is too easy to identify our dreams as this or that. You want to be a rockstar or a gourmet chef. Or perhaps you want to marry the person of your dreams, or vacation barefooted in the Caribbean somewhere, having the best, dirtiest sex of your life.
It’s easy to turn dreams into a to do list. A set of variable wants and needs we wish would happen. Desires we want fulfilled, but I don’t think that gives us a complete picture.
I don’t think dreams are static. They are not tangible although they do have some tangible qualities about them. If you’re in Hollywood for example, I don’t think a golden statue for your performance, that will end up sitting on a shelf somewhere is the dream. After all, that Oscar will be visited and seen by a very small number of people. Your film, the daring expression of something beautiful will instead by seen by millions and millions of people.
Dreams are not static and we don’t just have one but many. We have no idea how talented or how much we have to share with each other until we are able to suspend our disbelief in our own greatness and act according to our nature.
You have many dreams and you will have many more.
Some dreams last but a moment. They are the gift of holding a parent’s hand and giving them a kiss on the forehead, one more time, before they die, and you will never be able to do that again. Not in this life anyway. Dreams can be really really small and there is nothing wrong with that.
They can also be grandiose in stature. So big that it will take you years upon years to build, and some are so all encompassing that it will take a few generations of like minded people to bring to fruition.
You have dreams and you have a responsibility to identify them. If you don’t recognize or think about what you want in life, you’ll simply follow and do what everyone else is doing. You will do what you are told to do instead of living what you want to be.
Dreams are wonderful and they are already here. You need to awaken them. The small one and the big ones. Awaken them all, but work on only one of them at a time. It never works out well when we eat all the candy we sequestered at Halloween all in one sitting. We are far better of sorting and enjoying those sweets in batches and clumps.
So what is a dream? An invitation to live a more meaningful life. An invitation to start today, and continue until you are unable to continue any longer.
Dust off that invitation. Spend more time contemplating and dreaming about the life you’re going to have. Make it a daily chore and not the passing fancy during a long summer day.
Consider yourself invited. Dream a little. Do something about it and learn to dream a lot.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Benjamin Sow.