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Sit down with any six-year-old child and ask them “What do you dream of being”?

The answers will range dramatically from, ”I want to be a ballerina fighter pilot” or “I want to be a Ninja Cowboy”, to “I want to be a Cookie-decorating Marine Biologist”. At the tender age of 6 years, we consider the world of possibilities interesting and fully within our capabilities of achieving. Then “real life” sets in, and circumstances start narrowing our dreams.

In our mundane worlds of spreadsheets, clacking keyboards, busy schedules, and getting dinner on the table, have we forgotten how to dream?

This weekend we all reflected about Martin Luther King’s ability to dare to dream. We applaud his tenacity, his fierceness, and his capacity to know he had a dream worth speaking out about.

But what about you and me? Do we hide our dreams behind the concept that “there isn’t anything special about me”, driving us to overthink and doubt ourselves?

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” T.E. Lawrence

So, why should you give yourself the space and time to continue to dream as an adult? Why is it important that you don’t lose the ability to see or imagine a goal that isn’t firmly grounded in mundane reality?

  1. Dreams help keep you from becoming reactive to risk. If you keep thinking about your dream, you are excited about the possibility of achievement.
  2. Dreams make you unique. You aren’t like everyone else, so don’t become comfortable in simply “fitting in”.
  3. Dreaming takes you from being merely a spectator of life to becoming an active participant. By expanding your vision, you’ll set off a ripple effect, moving along the path of changes necessary to achieve your dream.
  4. Dreams make you look beyond the hurdle right in front of you. You will waste less time fretting about the smaller challenges you need to negotiate and will become more resilient in facing the large ones.
  5. Dreams can help you serve others through inspiration and fulfillment. If you truly start going after your dreams with all your heart, you become more focused on what you can change instead of blaming others for being in your way. You begin to institute powerful habits in your life.

Take some time today, this week, this year, to dream. Who knows what you are meant to achieve?

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