Why Don’t We Dream?

The happiest people operate out of their imagination and dreams, and not their histories.

Ed Mylett, The Power of One More

Is it a conscious choice or is it something that we just forget to do? Something that requires intentionality.

I think there’s a little of that. We get caught up in the whirlwind of our days and just neglect imagining better futures.

But I also think we’re scared.

If we’re honest with ourselves (link to Monday’s post about Andy Stanley’s honest with yourself sermon), we are scared.

We fear disappointment. We fear looking silly. We fear taking a hit to our ego if we allow ourselves to ‘go there’ but don’t actually get there.

So we just stick with this, “I’m fine where I am.” Or we give ourselves a little bit of credit, “I just want to make the team, get in the cast, get the middle level job, want enough money to make ends meet and every once in a while do a little something fun…. “ etc.

But we don’t go straight to, “I want to start at my position on the team.” “I want the lead role.” “I want to start my own business and generate millions in revenue.” Etc.

We fear failing.

But we also don’t have the right associations around us. We’re not surrounding ourselves with the types of people who actually dream and get after it and achieve. We are with the Netflix and Fox News crowd. The thumbing through Instagram crowd.

How can we start?

  1. Give ourselves permission: Just remind yourself that, at bare minimum, it won’t hurt. If it doesn’t change thing or encourage action, then no harm no foul. Just remember to mitigate the ego damage.
  2. Visualize: Begin the process of picturing where you want to be. This is a private exercise, so you have no fear of embarrassing yourself to picture Broadway when so far you’re still Tree #3 at the community theater. Just begin picturing yourself in those spots., Get a hold of the feelings and the tastes and the sounds and the visuals.
  3. Pray: I’m a man of faith and part of this type of thing makes me nervous at times. I don’t want to get over my skis focused on my own ‘self-actualization’ vs. promoting God’s sovereignty. But the older I get and the more I read Scripture, the more I’m convinced that God uses humans and we are NOT to wait for some final resting place in the sky. He intentionally created us with purpose. As you grow your skills and explore those things put on your heart (i.e. dream…) pray for God’s clarity.
  4. Don’t Wait: Also related to faith, while there is that one verse that says something along the lines of ‘wait upon the Lord’, I believe that 99% of the time, the command is to ‘Go’. Pursue. Get after it. Take a chance. Try out. audition. Interview. Take the class. Lace up the shoes. Pursue. Combined with the prayer, God will deliver the info we need at the right time about iterating.

To summarize….

  1. Dream.
  2. Decide on a course.
  3. Act.
  4. Iterate when new info comes into view.

But it all starts with a dream.

So dream. Do not let your past keep you from doing this. Dream but be gracious to yourself as you explore.

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