Kill Your Dreams
I’m dead serious. Kill your dreams. Because you can either have dreams or live them. And it’s high time we brought dreams back to reality.
My beef with dreams boils down to this one fact. 99.999% of dreams remain dreams. We trick ourselves into believing they are unattainable, and so we never do anything to try and attain them.
Dreams live in the the realm of “someday”. Someday I’ll go backpacking through Europe. Someday I’ll start my own cupcake decorating business. Someday.
It never happens. “Someday” is never today. Someday is far off into the future. But life is always lived in the present. Do you see the problem here? Our lives in the present never intersect with our dreams in the future. Hold up, I know what you are thinking.
“I would but I just don’t have the time.” -Standard Excuse
You don’t have time for your dreams? What could you possibly be doing that is better than the life you are dreaming of?
“I’m so broke right now” -Students Everywhere
Do you know how much your dreams actually cost? How much is a plane ticket to Paris? Or weekly scuba diving lessons?
I’m willing to bet the answer is no. How do I know? Because to you those things are just dreams. And while they remain dreams they stay distant and unattainable.
It’s ironic how we often put the least effort into obtaining the things we want most. We immediately think of our dreams as unrealistic, and throw them into the “It sounds awesome, but it’ll never happen” box. We force ourselves to “act responsible” and “play it safe”. We don’t realize how possible our dreams are because we never try to live them.
It’s time to say goodbye to your dreams. Tell them that you’ll see them on the other side. You know in that place called real life.
Going from Someday to Today
I don’t want you to stop dreaming. You need to dream. Imagine all of the things you want to do, and the places you want to be. But once you know what you want, kill the dream. Kill the dream by bringing it into reality.
It’s not a dream anymore if you are living it, and you can’t live it if it is still a dream. We need to stop viewing the things we want in life as dreams.
To move our dreams from our imagination and into reality we must start by defining them. What are your dreams? What do they look like? Is your dream car a crimson Ferrari? or a platinum Bentley? It is critical that when we are defining our dreams that we be as specific as possible.
Details give your dreams a realistic quality and clarify what living your dream will look like. Is your dream vacation a 5-star resort, or couch-surfing across Europe. Does better fitness mean being able to run 5km? or is it all about 6-pack abs? These details anchor your dream in reality. Your dream is no longer formless, it now has a definite set of characteristics.
Now for the most important part, action. It is not enough to vividly imagine your dream, that is just another form of dreaming. We must focus on living the dream. What is the first step you can take? Don’t worry about steps 10, or 100, or even step 2. What is one thing you can do to get closer to your dream?
If you want to travel, pick a destination. That’s one step. Set a departure date, that’s another step. Even if you are not traveling immediately set a non-negotiable departure date in your calendar. August 15th 2016 is a real day, “someday” isn’t.
I find that a large number of steps makes a goal overwhelming so I prefer to do things in small increments. I’ll determine my next step. Then once I’ve taken that step, I figure out the next one. This takes away the burden of planning every detail in advance and allows you to correct course as you go.
“That’s all great Matt, but how does this work in the real world?”
I really enjoy food and it has been a dream of mine to become a better chef. (Mostly so I can stuff myself with great food on a consistent basis). For over a year I had put off becoming a better chef because I thought it would be too expensive and time consuming as a student.
When I realized I should stop putting off my dreams, this felt like the perfect candidate for me to get my feet wet. So I trialled it for a week. I would cook three of my weekly meals as “Chef training”.
I haven’t looked back. All my worries about it being expensive, and my weekly grocery bill increased by a measly 5 dollars. Yep that’s it. 5 dollars a week for the luxury of learning to be a better chef.
How is this possible? Turns out that better meals don’t necessarily require expensive ingredients. There is often a cheap substitute, and letting myself get creative improved my cooking much more than following a recipe every would. I never would have realized this until I tried it. Our dreams are often much closer than we think.
A closing thought from J.K. Rowling. (Yes I’ve read Harry Potter)
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”
I would love to hear your opinion on this, or any questions you have. If you want to talk drop me a line at email@example.com