What’s in your dreams?

May 21, 2014

“Dreams are the mirages of hope” – as seen in the Graffiti comic strip.

When I saw that on the comics page of the paper, I thought “how profound”; then I looked up the term mirage and thought some more about it. Dreams may be mental mirages – mere illusions that our sub-conscience plays out in our unguarded moments of sleep.

However, dreams can also be a fantasy achievement of our hopes; and as such they are not so much an illusion, butman daydreaming may be a road map concocted in our imagination to show us how to achieving those hopes. Dreams allow the constraints that we place upon ourselves to drop away. Fears that hold us back while we are awake can magically disappear in our dreams.

The term “mirage” is actually a well understood naturally occurring phenomenon that involves seeing things in the distance that aren’t really in the places that they appear. It is in most cases and optical illusion, but the key thing is that it does involve real objects somewhere.

women dreamingA dream based upon hope is sort of like that, too. It is not all just made up; it involves real goals and aspirations that you have and hope to achieve. So perhaps dreams, like mirages, allow us a closer view of a distant object (or hope). If so, that’s not a bad thing.

Do you have dreams based upon your hopes? Do they help keep those hopes alive? If so, they’ve served a good purpose.

Perhaps Aristotle had it more right when he said – “Hope is a waking dream.” 

Three little words that can change your life… in your dreams.

April 17, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences or phrases (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence or phrase that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

Today’s three little words are a phrase, rather than a complete sentence. Like a few other recent examples it can and has been used is a derogatory manner from time to time to discourage people from hoping for something or trying something; but, I’d rather take a different, hopefully more positive look at it.

I watched the Masters Golf Tournament last weekend, as I’m sure millions did, and was happy to see Bubba Watson win again. He’s a pleasant enough fellow; and, who doesn’t like a golfer named Bubba? One of the things I took note of was a report by one of the key TV commentators who had interviewed Bubba two years ago when he first won. He said that he asked Bubba in the interview after his win if actually winning the Masters was everything that he dreamed it would be. Bubba answered, “I don’t know, I never got that far in my dreams.” How telling was that about Bubba -the humble, and likeable young man who dreamed of getting to the Masters but never had dreamed of actually winning it? How far do you get in your dreams?

women dreamingDreams are important to us as humans. They allow the subconscious mind to explore things that it cannot explore when under control or the rationale, conscious mind. Dreams can take you places that you’d otherwise never get to see and experience things that you conscious mind would never let you do. Dreams have been credited with inspiring some of man’s greatest discoveries and inventions, as well as some of greatest works of art. Dreams can be wild and crazy, sometimes to the point of becoming nightmares; or they can be pleasant and satisfying. Most people have only vague recollections of the dreams that they had while asleep, while others may be able to describe in vivid detail what they were dreaming about. Think about the things and people and places that are in your dreams.

Many people day-dream; and, that is how some of the greatest inventors of all time “dreamed up” man daydreamingtheir inventions. Creative people often report having dreamed about something – a picture that they would later paint, or a jingle or song, maybe a play or movie or perhaps the idea for a new gadget. Letting the mind wander, often off into dreams from time to time is a great creative exercise. When your mind wanders during the day, what’s in your dreams?

The other aspect of having dreams revolves around those that we think up while awake. They are sometimes also called aspirations or hopes; but they are things that we dream about. Sometimes there are people that we may dream about; about meeting them, befriending them or more. Young girls may dream about meeting their favorite teen singing idol and certainly young boys fantasize and dream about meeting whatever good looking girl is popular at the moment. As long as those dreams don’t turn into obsessions that’s OK, too. Who turns up in your dreams?

woman catching starAs adults we may have dreams about our future and the futures of our children and maybe grandchildren. We may dream about what it would be like to own a specific car or boat or whatever; or we may dream about a vacation we’d love to take. Some may dream about getting a better job or retiring someday. Most of us probably dream about things that we understand or that exist; however, some dream about things that they don’t understand or that don’t exist and that’s where great discoveries and new inventions come from. There may be great adventures, exciting new jobs and wonderful inventions in your dreams.

In that first interview, Bubba didn’t have any frame of reference to dream about what it would be like to win; but, in interviews this year; he admitted that he’d dreamed of winning again and getting another green jacket. Bubba expanded the horizon of his dreams and you should, too. Rather than just dream about that next small raise at work, dream about the next few promotions and becoming the person giving the raises. Instead of dreaming about doing a little better in the sport that you play, man reaching for stardream about being the best in that sport. People like Justin Verlander in baseball or LeBron James in basketball or Tom Brady in football didn’t dream about being a good player in their sport, they dreamed of being the dominant player in their sport. Instead of just dreaming about that person that you’d like to meet, dream about going out with them and beyond. Dreaming is your sub-conscious way of visualizing and visualizing is a proven step towards achieving. Take those first steps in your dreams.

Make your dreams come true – share them…

January 22, 2014

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together is reality.”  (John Lennon)

Lennon was a dreamer and his song Imagine became the anthem of his time. It is true that a dream not shared seldom becomes more than a dream. A dream shared with others can quickly becomes an idea or a goal and a commitment to reach that goal. It turns into a project, with milestones and measurable and one can quickly become accountable for making that dream come true. It becomes real.

dreamsSo the lesson here is to share your dreams, maybe with your life partner or maybe with workers or members of an organization. Turn it from an abstract notion into something that can be discussed and refined and debated. Embrace your dreams as aspirations, a part of your bucket list. According to the power of positive thinking theories, once you turn your dreams into goals and plans, your subconscious mind will start working to help you achieve those goals. Good things will start to happen, because you will now believe that you can accomplish your dreams and that you are on a mission to do that.

So why is it important to share your dreams? Because it is all too easy to suppress your subconscious mind by keeping your dreams in and a secret. You can convince yourself that it’s all just a silly dream and that’s there’s no way you can ever accomplish it. That’s the pessimist in you coming out. History is full of great inventions, great novels and plays, great works of art and other great accomplishments that began as someone’s dream. In many cases those dreamers had to endure initial ridicule when they first shared their dream, but eventually they found others who believed and persevered until they made that dream come true.

Many dreams are very personal and are really only meant to be shared between life partners; but, what better support system could you have than the sharing and support of your dream with the one that you love?  Sometimes achieving a dream means sacrifice and suffering on the front end, in order to get to the goal at the end. Who better to share the pain than the one who has perhaps already pledged to stick with you through good times and bad and through sickness and in health, in this case, not until death do you part, but until your dreams come true.

So, dream it, share it and make it a reality. It’s your dream; don’t dream it alone.