Dreams have always been an important part of the human experience. Some of our earliest experiences as tiny babies involves responding to bright colors, shiny objects, movement of all kinds. Are these babies having dreams? We don’t know, but the responses to these stimuli seems to evoke pleasant responses. Playing simple games like “peek a boo” appears to elicit dream like responses.
Later, as children play independently and then in groups, the focus of the play takes on the characteristics of acting out dreams. This play simulates real life activities that the children see going on around them. Playing house, school, store and other observed adult activities helps children dream about the possibilities that lie ahead for them.
The dreams that start at this point in life further develop dreams about what we will do as we grow up. These dreams not only help shape our goals for the future, they also help solidify our beliefs and values. It is exciting as a child to begin to discover interests and talents and to dream about how these can be woven into the fabric of our lives.
Some extreme examples of this involve children whose abilities are recognized and honed in the hopes of achieving mastery of a physical, mental, musical skill. Every two years, in Olympic competition, we see young people whose dreams have been cultivated in the context of extreme discipline, all focused on a particular goal. It takes a lot to sustain that discipline and focus while holding on to the dream that motivated it.
We will never know how many people have the dream of being an entertainer and go through an equally demand process of seeking fulfillment in living out the dream. Again, there is no way to really know how many people start with those dreams of stardom and realize a somewhat different outcome.
The fact is most of us start life with those childhood dreams that had no boundaries. Sometimes the limits in our lives lead us to live out our dreams in other ways. I have had several dreams about the direction my life would take. At the root of all my dreams has been a desire to help people become the best they can. Several dreams were not possible or at least not practical because of certain abilities I simply do not possess. Pursuing our dreams does not always mean we will be appreciated. I have had people who were part of the reason for acting on a particular dream who have not appreciated the effort and who have even rejected me. None of these things take away from the dreams I have.
As we move forward, I ask you to join me in thinking about some of the dreams in your life. What dreams do you recall from earlier in your life, and what dreams are part of your life today? Before you are tempted to say you do have any dreams, answer this question, ”What would you do if time, money or any circumstance didn’t hold you back?” That may be one of your dreams.
Your dreams may find expression in the relationships you have, your hobbies or outside interests. As we move forward, let’s rekindle our forgotten dreams. Whatever we do, let us determine to never give up our dreams. They help make us the best person we can be. Our world needs that. Our world needs our dreams.
–David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.
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