For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. – Vincent Van Gogh
What does that mean?
What do you know with certainty? Have you checked with Socrates about that? (that’s a joke – if you don’t get it, I’ll get around to it shortly) More importantly, what makes you dream? What fills your mind with wonder, with possibility, with flights of fancy?
Staring at the stars? Staring at posters of your favorite people, favorite vacation destination, or dream job? I would have loved to play football, but a childhood injury dashed that dream, so I dreamed some more and came up with other dreams to pursue.
Why is dreaming and wonder important?
I wonder why you would ask that question. Seriously. How dull would life be if we were always serious, never wondering, never dreaming? For those old enough to have seen some of the classic movies about dystopias, you can probably imagine how dull it would be.
For those who haven’t seen them, here are some classic dystopian movies : Metropolis, Things to Come, The Trial, 1984, THX-1138, Harrison Bergeron and so many more. Most are about how boring life is without dreaming, without wonder. The society is without hope, without color.
The people have no future, no options. A person in this dream-less, wonder-less mindset sees no hope, no bright future, no satisfying options. Dull and dreary, all day, every day, for the rest of their lives. Doesn’t sound like a compelling future, does it?
Is your job is dreary, dull, dismal and depressing, with little to no chance for advancement. That’s OK (if you’re fine with it, I won’t argue with you). However, what about the rest of your life? Are your evenings and weekends similarly dull, or do you allow your dreams to light up the other parts of your life? Do you have ambitions for a better job, nicer car, house? What about your next vacation? You do know what a vacation is, you’re not that far gone, right?
Where can I apply this in my life?
Dreaming is about possibilities. If we don’t dream, where will we get ideas from? TV? Movies? Perhaps, but they aren’t as personal and tailored to your likes as your own dreams and ideas. Once you realize there are possibilities, you can start looking at how to accomplish some of them.
If you want to go to an exotic tropical island for a month, perhaps a weekend at the beach is a bit closer to your budget. Once you’ve gone, you can adjust the dream. Was it all you hoped for, or is there new clarity in your dream? Perhaps you liked it so much you decided to really dig deep and start saving for a better trip, perhaps to a better beach, or a more accessible and affordable island.
Perhaps you dream of skiing at a famous resort. Find someplace closer to home to hone your skills. When you get good enough, you can assess your skills, your equipment and your bank account and start working on the next step of your dream.
If you just want someone to share your “down time” with, perhaps you should start dreaming about that. No, not like that, real dreaming (sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it?). Start with: what do they absolutely have to have? What will you not put up with, under any circumstances? Then add the things you’d like to have or not have.
Now, realize the dream. You’re on a safari, and you’re looking for a very specific animal. Does anybody go on a photo safari to Africa and say “I just want some pictures of some animals, that would be nice.”? Where does that creature live, where would you find it? If you want a polar bear, would you look on a tropical island? Keep dreaming as you find different people. How does each change the would-be-nice-if and gotta list? Adjust your dream, and try again.
If you want to change jobs, what would your ideal job look like? Dream about it. Then do your research. What do you need to be able to do to be the person who could land that job, create that job or do that job? Talk to people who have jobs as close to that as possible and get more ideas for your dream. Again, adjust the dream and keep trying.
The common thread? Keep on dreaming, and keep a sense of wonder. Try things, adjust, and move forward. If it takes staring at stars to get the juices flowing, stare away. Perhaps some dreams won’t come true. Perhaps others will. If you don’t dream, will any of them happen? One thing I do know for certain: that this blog started as a dream for me.
From: Twitter, undocumented feed (my bad)
confirmed at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/v/vincentvan385867.html
Photo by Gurney5