Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dreams


We all have them, to some extent.  Dreams that get us through the, sometimes, humdrum slog of everyday life.  Things we hang on to, strive for.  Work towards, setting goals along the way.  Milestones to tick off along the journey. 

For some people the dream is to fly into space.  Mr Branson is going some way to allow the more affluent amongst us to realize that dream.  For others, the dream is to have a little shed at the end of the garden that you can retreat to with a little scotch and a good book under the pretense of “doing a little work”.

But dreams are tricky to nail down.  They can often be a moving target, needing to be realigned at various times in your life.  Dreams can disappear in a flash.  A popular marketing strategy of a bank here in Australia is to portray large banks stealing your dreams.  By stealthily “robbing you” of the interest you could be earning.  But it is not just banks that steal your dreams. 

Who was it that said “life is what happens whilst you are making plans”?  This is so true.  Some events happen that we have no control over.  Or sometimes it’s a person that “steals your dreams”, leaving you ripping up the plan and starting again.  The strength you gain from this adversity makes the achievement of the dream so powerful.  The journey being the reward.

But, that’s the thing with dreams.  What do you do when you have achieved it?  What then?  Sit back and enjoy the achievement?  Bask in a warm self contented glow for a while?  Or does the achievement motivate you?  Showing you what we are capable in the short time we are here?

I had a dream of living in Australia.  You might have heard about it.  Sampling the fabled lifestyle of beaches and BBQs.  It took me a long time.  You could argue it had been a dream ever since first visiting in 1994 for a year on a working holiday visa.  But I persevered, and eventually, being granted my permanent residency visa in 2012 I upped sticks and moved here. 

This hasn’t been without its own challenges along the way, but I’m here, settled, working and enjoying the lifestyle.  

But here lies the rub.  

It was a dream that I have now realized.  Therefore, what does it become?  It is no longer there, on the horizon dragging me through another Monday morning at work.  Safe in the knowledge that the job was a means to an end.  Another day, towards another pay day, towards the travel fund, towards the dream.  In some respects, the dream has become the end.

So I have a quandary.  Do I become like the bloke who settled for his little shed at the end of the garden?  Or do I aim for space with Mr Branson, metaphorically speaking?  What becomes the new dream?  Now I look back, the years I have waited to get to this point have passed by in a flash.  I know the next few years will seem to pass at an equally frenetic pace.  So I need to make sure I am still moving forward.  Achieving something worthwhile.  The difficult question I now have to ask myself is, by maintaining the new status quo, am I developing, or stagnating?

And this stymies me.  I just don’t know.  What I do know is that I am starting to get that itch again.  And when that happens, I don’t know myself where we will end up.  Maybe it’s the curse of the unattached.  Floating and bobbing along the sea of life without the ballast of a partner to keep you grounded.  Who knows, maybe the ballast is what I am ultimately looking for.  Chi cerca trova, so goes one of my tattoos (he who seeks will find).   The search continues.

When I do take stock of my life, and start thinking about what I want to achieve in 2014, things may become a lot clearer.  

When they do, you will be the first to hear.

2 comments:

  1. Dreams are one of those things that are outcome based. It's a bit like business analysis. There's an old story about a Mexican fisherman who works 3 days a week. He is told by Accenture to go and buy a bigger boat, to work longer, to catch more fish, to hire more staff, to cut his costs... all so he could sell his business and work 3 days a week. So the dream was circular, and already realised. Some of the fantastic things you've done may not *technically* me dreams in themselves, but only stepping stones on the way to the true dream. They allowed you to see what is important and then direct your decisions accordingly. I'd call them enablers rather than dreams.
    Which is why, if you dwell on them too long, you will be unsatisfied because they were not the outcome you were after. Even going into space is not a dream because it is a single thing. Although it might be part of a dream because *the process* of going to space may involve learning new things, meeting new people, inspiring new thoughts and doing something wonderful. The real dream is an outcome, space was an enabler.
    Perhaps your dreams will find you, but only if you go out looking for them in the first place. As a wise friend told me, "Chi cerca trova".

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