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".