Big Dreams


Today’s Topic: Dream Big

Dreams – the kind that originate from the conscious state of mind – can come in many varied forms. We can dream of self-gratifying pursuits such as fame, fortune, adventure, or romance, or we can dream of more virtuous desires such as living in a world that accommodates differing opinions without bloodshed or that sees famine and thirst eradicated. Dreams can be momentary escapes that take us to comforting, safe, private places where every imaginary detail happens according to our desires. Dreams can be abstract ideas or theories that manifest into actual invention or discovery. Dreams can be hazy destinations that we somehow attempt to drift towards over the distant horizons of our paths of life. Dreams can be simple wishes, like desiring a moment’s peace in a storm of chaos or hoping for the perfect fulfillment of a craving for a late night sweet or the longing for one more touch of a friend who has passed on.

I was talking with my son the other day.

“I wish I could be frozen and wake up in 200 years,” he said, “so that I can see what world changing inventions have occurred that we currently have no idea will happen. Things like the car, electricity or the Internet.”

“Somebody’s dreaming up those next things right now.” I said.

And it’s true, people are dreaming that big. What are your big dreams? I’ve got a few. They are more along the lines of selfish, hoped-for destinations in my own life’s journey, but they’re big nonetheless. Some people have “bucket lists”; some have a few ultimate desires; still others have a sole aspiration. No matter the depth of the list of dreams, there comes a time when you have to start taking action, when you have to put yourself in motion, when you have to take one step – or one more step – in a direction that will empower you to make your dreams become actualities.

I read earlier today about a man who ran his first 50K race and then decided that he wanted to run much longer. He thought about running across his native Australia, but decided to dream bigger. He settled on the idea of running around the world – and not just running 16,000+ miles, but trying to break the record for the fastest run around the world. That’s a big dream (which, incidentally, he accomplished shortly after dreaming it up.)

I think we all tend to keep our biggest dreams somewhat private, as they may seem audacious, arrogant, frivolous or self-indulgent to us. Or, maybe taking the action necessary to achieve them scares us into keeping our dreams under lock and key. Passivity, disregard, fear – anything that defers or obstructs our desire to take action that can lead to the possible realization of our big dreams is a regrettable, and ultimately heartbreaking condition.

Maybe a cure for inaction – or better yet, a remedy for putting off that that is most personal and important to us – is to simply talk about our biggest dreams. The first step along the path of our most meaningful voyages may start with simply announcing that we intend to have our big dreams come into being.

What are your big dreams? I’ve got a few that are about to see light.

With that, here are a few movie quotes to drive the point:

“You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” –Tom Hardy in Inception

“Imagine what you will be, and it will be so.” –Russell Crowe in Gladiator

“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.” –Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

“I have vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals.” –Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid