A short while back, Amanda Linehan wrote a post for her blog "Look Far" entitled; "Reflection: Keeping Your Dreams Alive In The Face of Reality". Basically, she asked the question, "is it possible to hold onto a dream while still accepting reality?"
I have to wonder how many times we hear in our life to "just follow your dreams". Sounds easy enough. If I follow my dreams, I will be happy. There it is. My work is finished.
If it were only so easy! Most of our lives do not include a lot of chances to follow every dream we may have. Situations, responsibilities and other limitations prevent us from going off on a wild tear each time a new fantasy pops into our minds. While it may sound good, deeper reflection may show us that this is not necessarily a bad thing. For us to function in this world, there has to be trade offs between dreams and reality.
Should we just give up on our dreams and accept the cold reality that most of them will go unrealized? I certainly hope not! Our dreams have a much deeper purpose than we often realize. Dreams give us hope when we despair. They enable us to go places we physically will never be able to go. Dreams spawn creativity that logical thought is not capable of. What may begin as a fantasy can even lead us to new possibilities that we would have missed otherwise.
Maintaining a healthy perspective concerning our dreams is key to maintaining a balanced life. Sometimes, we have to consider the impact that chasing our dreams may have on those close to us. We also have to consider the long term impact we may place on ourselves. Quitting our job with the hope of landing a leading role in a movie may sound great until we find ourselves without a home or money for food. It becomes an issue of choosing which dreams are possible and which ones are not.
Even if a dream is realistic, it still may require a good deal of planning to make it happen. Very few of us are born with the resources to do everything we want without a plan. On a side note, most of the people I have met who have these resources are no more happy with their life than those of us who do not. Working hard to achieve a dream gives us so much more than the things in our life that come easy.
Use your dreams to your advantage. Chase those you can, providing they will benefit you in the long run. Let your dreams carry you through the dark times of your life. Dream as big as you wish but always return to the present moment. It is this moment that true happiness resides.
As someone commented on the "Look Far" post; "Keep your head in the clouds but your feet on the ground".
Sunday, March 8, 2009
How many times in your life have you spent days or even months worrying about something that never happened? We tangle our minds in a web of "What If's". "What might she think" or "What might he do". This is the trap of placing expectations on the future.
The ego lures us into the future at the expense of the present moment. So not to be caught off guard and find ourselves in an embarrassing or weak position, we run through a myriad of possible scenarios, making sure we have all the bases covered. Since we can never know what truly will happen, we spend immense energy focused only on the possibilities. More often than not, these fantasies are far worse than what eventually comes to be.
Understanding that fear of what “might” happen, is just fear, frees us to just let the future take care of itself. Often, we even feel a sense of relief following the event, saying things like; “I’m glad “that” didn’t happen.” or "What was I so worried about?" These are experiences we can learn from.
The future is yet unwritten. For us to find peace we need to stay focused in the here and now. The energy we now spend planning, fretting and worrying can be used for so much more. Let us open to this moment and breathe in the beauty that is right in front of us. We can never really know if tomorrow will come, let alone what it will bring.