When we are children we have big dreams and goals. We have zero understanding of finance, or economics, or world anything. All we know is that we want it all. Sports cars, space ships, a team of racing camels, a mansion in the clouds; all while being both a rock star and the king of Norway. Of course some of those things are possible, some are dependent greatly on your bloodline, and some are ridiculous and frivolous. But that’s okay, you’re a kid and it’s your dream.
The real danger is when you are an adult, or at least old enough to understand a little bit about how the world works. It’s dangerous to develop a dream at that point later in life. Because when those dreams die it kills what’s left of the child inside you; which is another way of saying it pushes you that much closer to death.
Do you have a dream that you’ve given up on?
It may not have been a big, honking, audacious dream.Maybe you just wanted to complete your doctorate. Be a full-time spouse or parent. Travel to Israel and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Be able to support your parents in their old age. One of these things leapt into your heart one day as more than just a “oh, that would be nice if…” but rather as a “I will, I shall, I must one day…”
But if it’s something that you were passionate about at one point, then you have to ask yourself, “How did it die?”
Was it murder? Did someone kill your dream? Either someone in a position of authority that forced you to abandon it. Or someone intimately close to you that made you choose between your dream and your life together.
Was it disease? Perhaps something in your environment killed it. Usually the number one environmental cause of the death of a dream is ridicule. If enough people around you make fun of you for having a dream, it can get slowly whittled away.
Was it attrition? Did your dream just starve to death? A great slayer of dreams is “busy.” Busy keeps us from accomplishing so much in the way of personal relationships and achievements, because it keeps us focused on now, focused on a survival mindset. We neglect our dream and it wastes away.
Did it just die of old age? Procrastination kills more dreams every day than any other enemy, we just don’t realize it because it started killing them years ago. We delay, we put off, we hesitate, until finally it just makes more sense to not think about it anymore.
I want to give you two insights about dreams.
Babies are vulnerable and fragile. You can’t set it aside in the woods for a few hours and just hope that a pack of wolves doesn’t find it. You need to protect it from the wolves. Nothing is as fragile as a newborn dream. People will attack your dream for one of two reasons. A friend may push you to test your resolve. Someone else may push you just because they’re a jerk. Either way, don’t expose your dream to anyone unless you’re prepared and willing to fight for it.
Babies require care and nourishment and warmth and love. You need to think about your dream, talk about your dream, be emotional about your dream. As you feed your dream, it becomes stronger. It’s immune system gets stronger and it becomes more resistant to disease. You don’t have to keep your dream swaddled forever, eventually you can start sharing your dream with others. Some of those people will be good for your dream and they will help guide and nurture it. Some people will hate the fact that you have a dream and you should never bring your dream around them again.
- Second, dreams can be resurrected.
Dreams are like a metaphorical baby not an actual one. A dream that has died can be brought back to life. Usually this involves removing the source of what killed it in the first place. That’s why the dreamicide post-mortem is so important. If your dream was murdered, then lock away or banish the murderer. If it was diseased, then change your environment to a healthier one. If it was attrition then start spending time and effort on the act of dreaming again; take 15 minutes to write down all of your dreams and goals. If it died of old age… well, I hate to say it, but some dreams do have an expiration date. For instance, I always thought that I would be married and have started my family before I turned thirty. I still dream about a wife and children, the time frame just has to be adjusted because I waited so long.
So if you have a dream: Protect it. Nourish it. And make it a Priority in your life. Treat your dreams like they are a matter of life or death; because in reality they are.