Monday, September 29, 2014

Dreams


“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.”

Anais Nin
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

Jesse Owens

“All men of action are dreamers.”

James Huneker



Dreams.  How important are they?  We all have them.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a dream.  Unfortunately I know plenty of people who do not pursue their dreams or have given them up altogether.  The problem with dreams is that they aren’t real.  In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have a dream.”  It was a good one and things have improved in race relations, but it wasn’t because he had a dream.  It was because he, and millions of others, took action.
Dreams are for people who sleep.  Action is for those who are…well…active.   In The Pledge, author Michael Masterson explains the difference between a dream and a goal and says he prefers to not even use the word “dream.”
Still, a dream can be a good starting place.  Sometimes in literal dreams we have ideas or messages from our subconscious.  For example, John Lennon came up with the inspiration for the song Instant Karma through a combination of conversations and a literal dream.  Upon waking from the dream, Lennon quickly put a group together (including fellow Beatle George Harrison) and recorded the song.  Ten days later it was released, “making it one of the fastest released songs in pop-music history.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_Karma!) What started as a dream became a reality. 
What made it a reality?  What makes a dream come true?
Action.
That’s it. 
Constant, consistent, planned action.  Nothing else. 
At this very moment I’m filled with doubt that what I’m saying is any good.  I worry about being clichéd and unoriginal.  Am I really helping anyone?  Will I be seen as Hamlet’s busybody Polonius, spouting clichés and feel-good words, without changing my own life?  Even that argument doesn’t matter.  All that matters is action.  All that matters is that we do our work.  It’s possible that I will delete this entire piece when I am done.  It’s possible that no one will read it.  It still doesn’t matter.  If it’s bad, but I keep working, I will learn how to make it good. 
Self-doubt is a difficulty, but it may be just another way to keep us from working and reaching our goals.  If I were to give into my own self-doubts, where would it lead me?  I’d stop writing.  I’d tell myself it was a phase and that it served its purpose, but it was just something for a little while and that I’ve gone on to other things. 
It’s possible that my self-doubt is also a way of my unconscious telling me to work even harder, to study, and to learn more.  Perhaps it is even a gift, telling me I’ve reached a new level, and now it’s time to move forward.  Perhaps it’s telling me I’ve done a good job and I can do even more. 
Whatever it is, a curse, a gift, or a little of both, self-doubt can only be overcome by self-discipline.
How important is self-discipline?  It is the engine that drives Purpose.  The trick is to set goals and then work towards them.  This includes goals for time management and the quantity of work each of us is committed to.  In this way we make our dreams come true.  The following questions might be helpful:
·      How much time do we want to give each day?
·      What are we willing to give up?
·      How long will we persist?
·      What will we do if we don’t see results soon, or even later?
·      What will we do when we feel afraid, unmotivated, or doubtful?
·      Why are we doing this?

The last question is the most important and it one that each of us has to answer alone.  I’m doing this because, despite fear, procrastination, distractions, and self-doubt, I see no other way to reach my dreams than by doing that which has already changed my life.  In other words, it’s worked so far, and it’s the course I’ve chosen, and may even be the course chosen for me.  I Get Started and Keep Going.  That’s how I make my dreams come true.