One of sins of modern society is that, while we grow old and achieve success, we slowly stop dreaming. At first it is not very noticeable. It starts with being content with who you are and what you do, it continues with not wanting to change your life and it ends with not having any new dreams and ambitions – just a comfortable routine to go through every day.
This is very common in professional services – they are full of talented people that start out with ambitions and drive, who after a few years, of often intense work, become focussed on little else. What should you do so that your dreams don’t fall asleep? Authors Ciprian and Richard share a few tips in a series of articles titled “Don’t let your dreams fall asleep”. In this first episode they will explore the reasons why we stop dreaming and having career ambitions.
Dreams are the basis for everything that’s great about us
Whatever you achieve in life, the big things and the small, start with a dream. Dreams and ambitions play a critical role in our lives and people have a tendency to underestimate their importance. This disposition to under value dreams often gets worse the more successful we are. There is that feeling that we are smart and successful. We grow satisfied with who we are and what we have achieved or, if not completely satisfied, at least satisfied enough to lose the hunger and drive to achieve more. Complacency becomes the norm. The result is that we stop growing and stop transforming.
It’s a terrible waste, as amongst the dreams you had were some that could make you happier and more fulfilled. Worst of all, if this carries on, you stop dreaming completely. You leave dreaming behind as something only for children and madmen. Sooner than you think, you will let go of your professional and personal ambitions.
Why dreams go to sleep
There are many reasons why dreams go to sleep: everyone nowadays has a busy life. There is work eating up the hours. There is commuting. There are other people’s needs we must support, especially those of our children. There are a thousand distractions that interrupt us from moving forward with the things that are important to us. Each of us gets into that mode of thinking in which our dreams and goals are constantly de-prioritised.
dreams and goals are no longer an active part of our life. They have gone to sleep without us noticing. The only time the dream is briefly re-awakened is when we hear from friends, or on the radio or TV about someone who has achieved something we value. Then we think: “I used to have a dream like that!”
You may think that you should wait for a better time, when you have less to do, to pursue your dreams. Maybe until your children grow older?
The reality is that the reasons for not pursuing our dreams are never going to go away. One set of interruptions may go away, but you will soon find another. Achieving dreams and gaols is not done when everything else is over – it must be done in spite of all of the things that get in the way. And only you can keep your dreams awake!
What does it take to keep your dreams awake?
That’s a great question. We will explore it in next week’s episode.
About the authors
Richard Newton and Ciprian Rusen are serial authors who joined together to write the book Dream It, Do It, Live It! Wonderfully illustrated, it includes both practical advice on how to get things done as well as the real life stories of 4 people who followed their approach to achieve their professional ambitions. A free sample chapter from the book can be found here. There’s also information on Facebook and YouTube.