Thursday, June 10, 2010

Always find your way to dreaming

Last weekend, I sat down in front of my television to unwind a bit from a busy week. I happened upon a show that was about a woman who was really struggling in her life. Her boyfriend of 26 years had passed away suddenly and she just could not pull herself out of her despair. She was asked what she was hoping for in her future. She had no answer.

If you've ever gone through a life-altering experience you probably have felt the same sensation, and life-altering does not have to mean the end of someone else's life. I look around at the news I see every day and all I can imagine is the people who are being affected. Every person that HP let go recently - they may be in a state of despair. The fishermen in the gulf and their families are in a state of despair as their entire world changes. I saw a story yesterday that this Summer may have the lowest job availability since 1970. What does that mean for this year's high school graduates who are dreaming of going to college in the Fall? It is a poor season for dreaming, it seems.

Dreaming does not mean doing

A lot of people find themselves spiraling ever downwards because they feel like dreams are a to-do list. My friends and I are entering our 30s now, and we all had dreams of what that would mean. The pressure to see all of those dreams come true is palpable. That is the way dreams are killed, though. Dreaming comes from the heart and soul. Dreaming is imagination and wishing and hoping. If you can't make a dream happen right away, you can still hope that it will happen later. But if you stop dreaming, it can be very hard to rebuild that little light that looks ahead and paints pictures for you.

A company can dream

Just as dreaming may be coming hard to individuals, companies may also be struggling to get back to a place of dreaming and hope. These are hard times, and dreaming may seem like a luxury. Who has time to dream, anyway? But for a company, dreaming is where big ideas come from. Dreaming is how you "make your own game," to quote Trust Agents. Wishing for things makes you act in new ways, which in turn can lead to newly opened doors that you didn't even know were there.

Do not despair

It's hard to uncover good news these days. I read an article in Fortune Magazine this morning that said that our unemployment rates may never bounce back to normal. Our society is going to have to readjust itself. Readjustment is hard. Change is hard. Change alters what we dreamed before, which can cause us to despair. But rather than sink into a swampy marsh of disappointment, find the path back to dreaming. Maybe there are other dreams that you haven't even thought about that you could return to. Maybe the loss of one opportunity could pave the way for a brand new, better one. Dreaming is the drumbeat we follow to the best future we can create. Dreams are our building blocks. Dreams are our foundations. Keep them coming.

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