The Nature of Dreams

Beyond all of the noise around us – and this year there has certainly been a lot – there’s also the noise within us, persistent and momentous, that asks us what matters, points out what doesn’t matter, and reminds us of our dreams and goals. Some days we can turn down the noise, but at some point in our lives, the noise drowns out all else. Often, that happens when we are not living up to our dreams and goals, or when we are flat out ignoring them.


At one point in our lives, we all daydreamed about what we sought a year out, five years out, a decade later. We may have dreamed about finishing high school, or buying a car, becoming a Rockstar, or doctor, or starting a family. Typically, what separates the dreams we dream from the dreams we live, is a plan. And plans tend to involve steps to achieve our goals, from plotting our finances to creating space, to adjusting our lives to accommodate our dreams. Some of us do better when we have mentors highlighting our journey, while others are self-motivated and plow ahead.  For many of us, as we evolve and grow, our dreams shift along the way, which is a reflection of our awareness and engagement with the world around us. Whatever we dream, at some point we make a conscious decision as to whether or not we will pursue our dream. And like with all plans, life intercepts. How we react to those side steps often determines our course – to live our dream, or dream about our dream?

Reality check

The part of our lives that we don’t tend to spend time talking about is the hours each week we devote to doing mundane tasks. These tasks may be work-related, or personal endeavors. Often, we write these hours off as “part of our jobs” or “our responsibilities.” But when we spend time week after week doing things that do not matter to us, a funny thing happens: we start wondering when there will be time for the things that do matter to us, and what if we used all this “empty time” pursuing what we really wanted to be doing? Or, how about when you run into an old friend who you used to dream with – about writing a book or creating a farm for rescued animals or becoming a pilot – and that friend actually did it, while you pursued a route that wasn’t your dream? Do you wonder how your life went so off course? Or do you thank your lucky stars you abandoned your dream? There’s no right or wrong. But, if you feel like your life is slipping away and your dreams are going with it, then some self-reflection and an action plan may be next on your agenda.

Now what

We all have now what moments, days, years when we acknowledge that we have gone off course, that we are not listening to the voice within us that is propelling us towards something that is meaningful and important to us. Now, what do I do? Where do I go? How do I get there? Sometimes life asks us to wait, but often, life asks us to find our purpose, carve our path, and get started. Many of us know what it feels like to witness our thoughts, ideas, dreams as someone else’s reality. We know what it feels like when we don’t live up to ourselves: hollow and off-kilter.

The silver lining is that what may seem like lost days, weeks, and years when it comes to pursuing our dreams is never really lost time as long as we’re learning and growing. Sometimes we have to wait until the meaning goes out of things until we can infuse meaning back into things. When it comes to life, we have the power to shift, change, grow. We are all continuously evolving and fine-tuning who we are and our purpose. Growing into ourselves is our life journey, and as we grow into ourselves, our dreams evolve and take shape. During these haphazard times, the nature of our dreams and our decisions to pursue them matters. Perhaps this is the season to delve into your reason for being and to live it. Perhaps this is the time to nurture your dreams, create plans to achieve them, and ultimately, ground who and what you aspire to in reality.

If you like this article, check out:https://www.harnessmagazine.com/finding-a-new-rhythm/

by Jodiweiss

Jodi Weiss is the author of several published short stories, as well as academic books published by Random House/The Princeton Review. Her articles are currently featured in The Huffington Post, Linked In Pulse, and Ultrarunning Magazine. Her first stint in publishing was at the New Yorker Magazine, where she was an intern for the education program. Following that, she spent ten years in academic publishing at McGraw-Hill, Golden Books, and The Princeton Review, during which time she held titles including Managing Editor, Director of Business Development & Creative Planning, and Editorial Director.

For over a decade, Jodi has led the Nonprofit and Higher Education Practice at Korn Ferry, the world's leading executive search firm. She founded EverythingSmart, which helps college students to executives cultivate career paths in early 2016. Away from the office, Jodi is a professor of literature, composition, and creative writing;  she has taught at various colleges and universities in New York City and Florida.  In her free time, Jodi is a devoted yogi and avid ultra-runner with over 75 ultramarathon-distance races completed, thirty-five at the 100-mile or more distance, to include Badwater 135 and Brazil 135.

Jodi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York; a Master of Arts degree in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College. Her first novel, From Comfortable Distances, is available via Amazon.


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