How Do You Sustain A Dream?

by Jermaine

What is a dream?

How do you craft one? Many of us can confidently imagine a different existence than the one we currently have. That is elementary. It is as simple as letting your mind drift for a moment or two to another reality. Most of the people I interact with regularly tell me that it has become second nature to mentally drift into other potential careers; some are paths they have left, others are paths they have yet to start. The question of “what if” is one that the unfulfilled soul enjoys trying to answer. So dreaming, in this regard, is simple. Just by acting on one of these waves a person can begin to move out of the mundane (if for nothing more than a few seconds). Yet, it takes more than a few seconds or hours or days for a real dream to come to past.

So, you ask, how do you sustain a dream?

What steps must be taken for a dream to not grow cold and die and icy death? This can only be discovered as one begins to express what composes a “healthy dream” and what parts of our makeup that works to establish (or destroy) a dream.

Will, Knowledge, & Emotions

In dreaming we must establish a balance between these three areas of our lives. I’ll be honest, will is generally not a dreamer’s problem. It doesn’t take long for a person to realize that there is something that they want to do for the rest of their life -and- there are a whole lot of other things that they don’t EVER want to do again. That’s the easy part. To set your path toward making that happens get complicated because of those other two areas: knowledge, and emotion.

KNOWLEDGE

A lack of knowledge is a hard issue to overcome. Many of us don’t want to study. We don’t want to be taught or apprenticed either. Therefore, we end up trying to recreate the wheel. Most of the paths that we can imagine from entrepreneurship, to early retirement, to interior designer, to full time preacher, to even fulltime mom -have been done before. If you are to see your dream realized without the heartache and headache of ignorance then you’ll have to humble yourself and get some schooling and/or mentoring. For all those that have degrees in what you love and work in positions that pay well but, are the total opposite of what you desire to do, it’s time to change course!  Cross your fingers and hope you haven’t forgotten everything that you’ve learned.

On the other hand, knowledge can work against you.

You may be one of those that already has a degree, licenses, or a skilled trade but some place in the midst of attaining it, or even post graduation; it became evident that this path wasn’t for you. Yet, since you had invested the time and the job opportunity was there, you took the money. You couldn’t ignore the fact that the immediate rewards seemed a lot more logical than changing lanes quickly and trying to find something else you wanted to do. Now you’ve built your life around this knowledge you hold and your financial picture doesn’t look like it has the room for you to risk moving.

Still, your heart dreams of another life which appears galaxies away. You don’t even know what you WOULD be doing you just know that your current position isn’t “it.” Your knowledge and success has cornered you and you feel tied to a life not yet passed. If this is your position, it’s time to take a risk!

EMOTIONS

An even larger number of people struggle with their emotions. They just can’t seem to manage them and this inevitably becomes their shackle. It is the bind that holds them down in the mire while their willing spirit begs to escape. They ride the wave of how I feel today and never press through their current distress to build up any momentum to get anywhere. They start and stop, and start… and stop… all through the course of their life. They can’t seem to grab a hold of anything for longer than a few days even though it seems a million different things grab a hold of them every moment.

If this is you, you already know what I’m talking about. If it is not, then you probably think I’m writing foolishness. Analytical thinkers never really understand people who are led by their emotions (compulsive). The reality is there are more people who live out of feeling then there are people who live out of knowledge and I can prove it.

Why do you think people quit their jobs without having another one to transition to? Why do you think people find careers they love but quit them and settle for something else once they realize that it will take more hard work to stay the course and finish? How do you think personal problems: bills, parental opinions, peer pressure, doubt, and significant others steer countless individuals away from their dreams every day? I can tell you. By pushing emotional buttons that cause the potential dreamer to quench what their inner-self is whispering. The loud bellows of stress, confusion, and “this is too hard, I don’t have time” drown out the hope of tomorrow found in the possible realization of the dream.

So what happens when we are led by our emotions?

We suppress our will. It gets covered up with a million other worries, fears, responsibilities, and complaints. It only comes to us in moments between lying down and sleeping, while shaving or showering, or driving in the car between songs. And when it surfaces we just wince at it and push it a little further down so we can keep “getting by” dealing with our present distress. The sad part of this existence is that though your physical being is maintaining, your spirit is suffering daily. These feelings are draining the dream right out of you.

CONCLUSION

With much unsaid on these topics, we can still conclude that these are the skeletons in our closets that await any true transitions. These are the monsters under our beds that scare us and keep us from attaining true satisfaction in life. Until we can get the knowledge we need and the emotional stability we need then we are doomed to a cyclical experience of either doing what we’ve always done -or- starting and stopping over and over again on the avenue that appears to lead to rebirth.

Sustain your Dream through Unity

Personally, I’ve learned that the most powerful moments that any soul ever experiences is when their knowledge, will, and emotions are all interlocked like a braid. The whittling of one is much harder if the other two are there as support (instead of as a source of competition). The three together are a powerful force that can withstand the challenges of peers, parents, debt, and life. They will generate the needed flame to ensure that your dreams are not lost and your life is not left barren and frozen into a dreadful repetition.

Hold Fast To Dreams For If Dreams go, Life is a barren field frozen with snow.

-Lanston Hughes