How to Stop Killing Dreams
You may be goal oriented, very friendly and even a dreamer but chances are, despite having all of these great qualities, you are a dream killer. You might kill your child’s dreams, your lover’s dreams and the worst offense of all, you kill your own dreams. Instead of feeding your dreams, you shut them up with fear and dismissal.
It is not really surprising that you squash dreams on a regular basis. You grew up with people killing your dreams. You may not have recognized that your parents, and other people that loved you, were killing your dreams, because they led you to believe that they supported your every whim. They told you you could be whatever you wanted to be. They told you, that when you grew up you could do what you wanted and be the person you dreamed about.
When you expressed your dream of being an astronaut or an actress on Broadway, you may have noticed some strange looks, a raise of an eyebrow or pursed lips. Maybe it was a heavy sigh or even a quizzical, “Oh Really?”. That was the beginning of the mass murders of your dreams.
The ironic part, is that while your parents were killing your dreams, they only wanted the best for you. They started planting seeds about what would be best early on. Of course, you could do and be what you want, but it is probably better to play sports, get good grades, go to a good school, get a good job, wife, house, kids, dog, 401K, WHOA! By the time you come up for air, and by the time you said WHOA, you were knee deep in debt, working extra hours to keep up, surrounded by a big house full of stuff you don’t want, not sleeping great, and all because you are living the dream. Who’s dream was this anyway?
While your parents wanted the best for you, it is very possible that their definition of “best” was a little twisted. It is even more possible that they only had one definition of “best” You see, they wanted you to have MORE than them. More house, more stuff, more money, more travel, more, more more. Before your parents showed you the way, their parents showed them. After all that brainwashing (with the best intentions) you may not know what’s best either. If you go from “It would be great to…” to “but in reality…” or “I would love it if I could….” to “What am I thinking? I don’t have time for that”, Then you my friend, are a dream killer too.
Like most everything, transitioning from a dream killer to a dream maker starts with awareness. You have to be aware of where you are, where you want to be and why you’ve never taken the steps to get there. If you plan on staying in a bad relationship, bad work environment, a house that you can’t afford or a life that exhausts you, then you have forgotten how to dream. It’s hard to say what’s worse, killing dreams or not dreaming at all. The good news is that it is never to late to dream and dead dreams, can be revived.
Three easy steps to start dreaming again:
- Write it down. Make a list of all of your dreams. Do not censor this list. Go crazy! Dreams can include easy stuff like, “I want to have a short funky haircut” or “I want to grow an herb garden in my kitchen” to “I want to move to Spain and work for myself” and everything in between. If you can’t fill an entire piece of paper, than your life is perfect or you need inspiration and permission to dream. Here is your permission: Do it. It is your responsibility to define what “best” means to you and go after it. Do not waste your life living a life that you did not intend to live. For inspiration, go for a walk, lay down in the grass and look up, draw a picture, cook a beautiful meal. Connect with dream makers (see my list below). Do something different.
- Make a dream come true. Circle three things on your list that you can accomplish in the next week, and do them.
- Pick a big dream. Use the momentum from living three of your dreams, and circle three big ones. Yes, even that one that you think you can never bring to life. Now that you have three big dreams, here comes the tough part. Choose one. Choose the one that makes your heart smile. Write it down on a separate piece of paper and tape it to your mirror in the bathroom, or somewhere you can see it everyday.
That’s it. With those three steps, you have started the transition. We will start bringing your big dream to life soon. (and then the one after that and the one after that). In the meantime, when you start to dream or hear someone else dreaming, instead of jumping to the objections, revel in the possibility.
For more inspiration, check out these amazing dream makers. Their dreams may be different than yours, but their actions will inspire you to move forward. Read their blogs, follow them on twitter, learn from them. I do!
Dan Goodwin – A Big Creative Yes @coachcreative
Genny Ross-Barons – The Roatan Vortex @roatanvortex
Mary Jaksch – Goodlife Zen @Mary_Jaksch
Chris Guillebeau – The Art of Non-Conformity @chrisguillebeau
Tammy Strobel – Rowdy Kittens @RowdyKittens
Karol Gajda -Ridiculously Extraordinary @KarolGajda
Raam Dev – Raam Dev @raamdev
Everett Bogue - Far Beyond The Stars @evbogue
Leo Babauta – Zen Habits @zen_habits
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