Dreams are the source of the belief in something better. Dreams and visions might save us when we feel we have reached the bottom. Dreams and reality are not always compatible, and the challenge is how to find a good balance between reality and dreams in relation to important choices in life.
Each of us comes to this lifetime with intrinsic capabilities. Identifying what we want to do and finding the way to go about it is an onerous task. We may have the skill but lack the will to follow an arduous route, we may be hardworking but unable to find something we like or we may have a background that focuses on pure survival rather than skill development. We may be comfortable in our realities or may be in search of that elusive better choice. Our dreams are but a response to the need we have within.
Many are caught up by the visible signs of success that the media continuously flashes on our screens. The public life with its fame and wealth creates a sense of perfection about the perfection of famous people’s lives. A person who runs for presidency or any other public office does so because of the opportunity to be involved in larger good.
An overweight youngster might decide to follow a dream of a career on the catwalk. The glitter of lucre, a happy life of parties and freedom might seem the better choice over a seemingly frumpy academic career. The youngster shows signs of commitment and does everything possible to look right and learn the necessary skills. Once all that has to be done has been done, the youngster tries to make a foray into the fashion world and fails to gain acceptance. Rejected by most agencies, the youngster is soon depressed and desperate. Dreams that have been nurtured over the years are often shattered by the realities of business.
If the dream is laughed off as a frivolous choice, the individual is likely to find a more receptive listener. Youngsters must be made aware of the work and life behind the scenes and how people are chosen. They must be made to scientifically understand the effect of their choices on the body and mind and continuously helped along a route towards good health. An understanding of the limitations of public life should be clear and the person should weigh the gains and losses of the career choice in mind. The most important aspect to stress is the presence of choices when all else fails. Healthy choices must be encouraged. If the person possesses the necessary qualifications to follow a dream – in this case, the physical aspect, facial features and attitude – the choice might be right but if the path starts to look unattractive on closer inspection, the individual must have the inner strength to choose a better path.
So, dreams are followed with awareness that in case there is a souring of experience, life can continue with a new alternative. All that is required is the vision and willingness to choose.
A person who is moving along a chosen path may feel bitter about the choice for a variety of reasons like limited earning potential, insufficient recognition for effort, a perceived gap in skill utilization or just a sense of disappointment with the reality. Internal politics or ideology clashes or a feeling that something more is to be attained can create disillusionment with the career choice. Some people may decide to expend their energies in alternate areas like community work, social work or skill enhancement. This is an approach that accepts the reality of needing or wanting to continue in the situation for the present.
A seemingly perfect choice may lose relevance with time and force the adoption of an alternate dream. Dreams are a guiding light with suggestions of possibilities. The decision to give up an earlier dream and adopt a new one is difficult. Monetary conditions, family pressures, personal inhibitions and a host of other factors can come in the way of the choice. Realism in such a case provides a keen sense of security that the present is better than the uncertainty that change brings with it.
We continuously weigh our dreams and circumstances. Some people may feel that they have nothing. They get caught up in the runaround of everyday living. Family members keep their personal preferences at bay and live to care for others. As long as a person feels fulfilled about this choice, there is no dissonance between self-image and reality. If, however, the individual feels trapped by the situation, it is time to follow a route that allows for fulfillment of personal needs while managing the current reality.
How to dream
When we talk of dreaming, is the reference to what happens in an unconscious sleep state? On the contrary, the reference is to those feelings and thoughts that we have under different conditions. A person may look at a hoodlum in jail and feel a sense of fear while another sees this as an opportunity to add value by changing a life. A person may watch the television screen and be carried away by the personality of the presenter while another considers the information being shared and how it is prepared. Each of us has a personal preference and this forms an important aspect of the dream. One important step to formulate a dream is to recall the feelings you have had over a long period of time. You would have appreciated or disliked a number of events that went by. Of these events, were there any that led you to believe you could have made a difference?
Jane hated the idea of being mugged on the streets and chose to learn a martial art form to help her overcome the fear. Over time, she realized that she liked training others and chose a course to help her in the field. The foray led her to learning alternative forms of fitness. She now runs a gym that caters to new mothers and provides personal training and dietary advice.
The second thing to consider is the kind of person you are and your current situation. Do you like traveling to different cultures and meeting new types of people? Do you describe yourself as hardworking, physically active and involved or are you a laidback type of person who is good at executing? Are you willing and able to invest in a suitable course of study or not? Questions that gauge what you like and weighing it against what you can do will help you to find answers.
If you come to the conclusion that you know nothing about yourself and do not think you are worth much talk to a friend or parent who will give you a clue about your strengths.
There is another aspect of dream formulation. What do you do during your spare time? A music lover may choose to play over the weekends or teach despite holding a full-time demanding job.
An engineer who spent most of his life in study and hard work suddenly decided to start a food chain. He had spent a large amount of time in creating recipes and had long since decided that the field earlier chosen was not suitable. The activity that had taken up spare time became an enjoyable vocation.
If there are a number of parallel dreams under consideration – well, it is time for a dose of reality to effectively set priorities.