How to Awaken a Dormant Dream
Have you ever had a dream so strong that you spent your waking hours toiling away as if there were no tomorrow, as if today was all you had?
Have you known a dream so alive inside your every cell that you were afraid to fall asleep lest you do not wake up feeling the same way?
Have you had a dream so firmly grounded in your mind and so permanently tugged at your heart that it was simply impossible to abandon it, even against the worst odds?
If you thought you had a dream but these questions did not resonate with you, don’t lose heart!
Your dream could just be dormant, sleeping under the surface waiting desperately to wake up.
My dreams, I shoved down so deep and so harshly for so many years that it is a miracle they did not abandon me in the way I abandoned them.
Do not abandon your dreams.
Instead, aim to awaken your dreams, gently but firmly, from their slumber. Nudge them, whisper to them, tell them your deepest desires and make them your ally in life. Encourage them, promise to guard them and enable them to blossom.
Give your dream permission to exist.
But what if you do not even know your dream? Some dreams are beyond obvious. A musician’s dream is to play music, a ballerina’s dream is dance the ballet, and an inventor’s dream is to invent. Most of us, however, live less destined lives and may have missed the cues along the way.
Listen for the cues of your dream.
In the mad rush of life, tune out the world if only for an hour or a day and listen to your heart. Listen to yours and yours alone.
What is it that you really want to do?
What is it that gives you a buzz of joy and a rush of happiness every single time?
What is it that you sorely miss when you stop doing it?
What is it that makes you sigh wishfully when you think about it?
What is it that tugs at your heart strings when you imagine yourself at it?
Seriously, what it is that you – not society’s version of you or your education’s version of you or your family’s version of you – you and you alone wants desperately to wake up to do every day?
Know exactly what you want desperately to wake up to do every day. That by itself is the beginning of knowing the dream.
How to Build a Reality around Your Dream
You don’t instantly jump into a handstand when you first start yoga. You don’t turn into a massive enterprise from a small business overnight.
Why is the concept of hard work over a long period of time so absent when we look at our role models? We see only what they have become. We see nothing of the journey. We draw an unfair conclusion that they were lucky and talented and we start to lie to ourselves about how we “can’t possibly do that!“.
Never, ever say “I can’t possibly do that.” Ever. Banish that phrase. Ban the thought of it.
Choose not to do it, fine, but stop judging your own abilities because you have no idea of how far and how high you are capable until you reach the very edge of your true potential.
Do you honestly think that you have reached the edge of your potential in life?
Instead, nurture and love that dream, bring it to existence and build it up one block at a time:
Prepare for it.
Learn about it.
Talk to others who have the same dream.
Talk to your role models who have achieved the dream.
Study how your role models achieved the dream.
Invest in it, however small and in whatever unit of time, money and effort.
Believe in it.
Protect it from naysayers.
Set time aside to do it, even if not full-time, even if one single hour a month.
Crave it, feed it, and grow it.
How to Guard Your Dreams with Vigilance
It is not enough to know our dreams, to yearn after them and to pursue them passionately. You must guard your dreams in this jaded world of countless excuses and tiresome conventions.
Your dream could be anything at all. It could be to create the most effective training program for the Alaskan huskies or to document the entire history of your generation. It could be to teach your child a foreign language or to train your parrot to learn the latest tricks. It could be to own your own business and to be your own boss.
There is no dream that is too small, too grand, too trifling or too difficult. There is, lest you forget, a limited time in life in which you can pursue your dreams.
Do not wait too long to pursue your dreams.
Do not wait until you have reached the desperation stage and until opportunity has stopped knocking. You are not invincible, you too will age and wither with time and if you do not burn that candle brightly now, you will age with regret rather than with grace.
Choose to age with grace and to leave no chance for regrets.
If your friends do not support your dream, get new friends. If your family doesn’t support your dream, tell them to get used to it. If your children do not support your dream, ask them to give up theirs for just a day. If your lifestyle does not suit your dream, well, consider changing your lifestyle first before changing your dream.
Remember that if you do not guard your dream, no one will. And there is nothing anyone – not the closest people in your life – can do for you to lessen the bitterness of regret when you have lived your whole life only to realize that you did not guard your dream because someone somewhere said something …
Guard your dreams with vigilance.
Next time someone questions your dream, ask them to question their faith. Next time someone asks you to give up your dream, ask them to consider giving up their children first. And next time someone dares tell you that you cannot reach your dream, tell them that their problem with your dream is none of your business.
Let them call you restless, agitated, unrealistic, ambitious, radical, too demanding of life and just plain crazy. I have been called all of those with the predictions that my insane drive to do these “crazy” things in my life will slow down with age. I think it is safe to say that the predictions did not pan out.
In fact, I feel rather strongly about my dreams now.
How strongly, you ask? Let me paint a picture.
I will give up my dreams the day that a mother gives up her child, the day that the lonely man across the street gives up his only companion, his dog, and the day that a tiger willingly gives up his little cub.
That is the day I will give up my dreams. When will you give up yours?