Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dreams As Fuel For Your Fire

By Lon S. Cohen

I want to talk about your dreams. I never have the types of dreams that make sense. They’re usually a kind of esoteric, broken up, strange mish-mash of people, dialogue and events that is way too complicated or even too embarrassing to talk about out loud. It’s rare that I have a narrative, logical dream that I can then breakdown and analyze.

I think that’s just how my mind works, never able to just stick to one theme unless I’m concentrating really hard. Otherwise a jumble of thoughts, tangents and threads fly around my head. But it’s like a spider web, there is a pattern forming, I just can’t see it until it’s all done and I reflect on it.

But those are not the types of dreams I want to talk about. I don’t want to talk about the dreams we have in our heads at night, but the ones that we keep in our hearts by day. I woke up the other morning thinking about this. (Usually I wake up feeling like my inner dialogue has been going full steam without or with a random song in my head or both.)

In this economy it’s tough to hold onto the dreams in our hearts. When “they” say that these are the times that try men’s souls, right now, is what they mean.

It may be human nature to give up on our dreams, put them aside or think of them as unachievable because it’s so hard nowadays. You may even think that it’s silly to hold onto the dreams in your heart when you’re struggling to make ends meet. External forces can crush a person’s dreams if they’re not careful. Maybe your dream is falling apart right now. The bank is foreclosing on your dream home. Or your job search is stalled and you are facing the prospect of enduring another year at your dead-end job because the companies in your dream field of work aren’t hiring.

Don’t give up. Now is the time to cultivate your dreams. Do the things you need to do to save them, not give up on them. People start to panic. Understandably, they forsake what they think is superfluous and make a series of short-term decisions because the intensity of the situation calls for it. Try to resist putting aside dreams. Do what you need to do. Cut back on the extras, but your dreams, they don’t cost anything. You can afford to imagine a time when you are back on your dream track again because, well, it’s free to dream. It is the one thing that will keep you going when perhaps you’re burnt out, and feel that this thing is never going to turn around.

But whatever you do, continue to work a little on your dreams. Be creative about it. So many organizations are looking for someone who has the skills you’re developing right now. It may not be the perfect place or the perfect situation but it will keep you moving forward. Someone, somewhere is looking for someone like you and their goals might run parallel to your dreams so seek out opportunities everywhere.

Now more than ever it’s easy to connect with thousands of people on Social Networking websites. Many will also have local groups that meet in real life where you can meet and talk to people who share your dreams. There’s nothing wrong commiserating with others over the sorry state of the world. At least it offers an outlet for frustration and shows you are not alone. You will find that everyone harbors a secret dream that they one day hope to achieve but have to put them off for a while. Even in the best of times, life situations cause people to set their dreams aside for the sake of survival.

Never give up. You don’t know what’s out there. Perhaps you can even make a difference.

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