— Teaspoon of Happy

To Dream or Not to Dream?

How do you decide whether or not you should pursue a flickering dream in your life: something that’s lingering in your heart, that you have passion for, but it’s just never practical and therefore feels unrealistic? A dream can be hard to measure because it’s so far away, so sometimes they become almost intangible to us: do we really want this thing or was it just a half-hearted fancy we had long ago? We also dismiss dreams when there isn’t a clear path to them in our current lives: we don’t have time and no opportunities seem to present themselves that would allow us to even try. And with all the regular responsibilities in life, it can be daunting to think about adding something else to your plate, especially something that doesn’t pay you for your time.

If you feel like you sorta have a dream but it lacks any kind of concrete detail (or maybe you have a couple of them and none of them feel like they’re your “true calling”), it could be because the rational you has dedicated all of your time to things like work and fixing the car, among other things.  Or perhaps your dreams are so far off that they’re simply abstract. Stop for a moment and ask yourself honestly: “Am I happy?” Think about if you would live your life differently if money or the expectations of others were not factors.  Examine whether or not you are truly leading the life that fulfills you or if you might be neglecting a part of yourself.  A yearning or an instinct that comes from deep down, that seems impractical but oh-so fun. Well, here’s something to help you understand what’s important to you in your life – it’s a little interview with yourself to enlighten and inspire a shift of focus toward what you value most.

Grab a pencil and your journal or a piece of paper. This set of questions is worth answering, if not just to become more aware of yourself and what guides you. It’s a process from this book about time management.

What are your governing values? Write a list. Maybe there are five, maybe there are fifteen. It’s different for everyone. What do you value as the most important in your life? Family and love might be on that list, as well as physical health and balance. Whatever they are, write them down and describe what they mean in a few sentences.

Now look at that list. What has the most importance? What you would risk your life to have? In other words, what makes your life worth living? Probably family and love, health and balance. Now ask yourself: Are there values of high importance that are not being fulfilled in your life currently?  If so, you should consider a shift.  Nothing dramatic, but just a reorientation of your eyeballs toward the stars.

Consider for a moment: What if you could do something to change that and fulfill this other part of your life?  Who would you become and what do you yearn to do? Don’t worry about the details of why that’s not possible right now or why it’s highly impractical.  Just dwell on that dream.  Savor how happy it makes you to think about it – what it brings out in you, how fun it is, how quickly a day would fly by.

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