Killing dreams

In an earlier post on the subject of dreams, I quoted Yeats:

“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”

I applied it to myself and to our TEDxExeter speakers as we offer our writings and ideas to the wider world, but it could apply to anyone with an idea or creativity or love to give.

In the spirit of the Golden Rule

“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” — Confucius

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” — Matthew 7:12

…do our responses to others consider that they might be offering us their dreams? Tread softly because you might be treading on others’ dreams. If we don’t want them to trample on our dreams, we need to be attentive so we don’t trample on their dreams either. It is so easy to kill dreams.

We don’t even need others to kill our dreams. In a humourous take on the inspirational self-help talk, Bel Pesce describes five ways we can kill our own dream projects.

Two of the ways are about others: believe someone else has the answers for you; or believe the fault is someone else’s.

Believe someone else has the answers for you:

“Constantly, people want to help out, right? All sorts of people: your family, your friends, your business partners, they all have opinions on which path you should take… But… No one else has the perfect answers for your life. And you need to keep picking those decisions, right?”

Believe the fault is someone else’s:

“If you have dreams, it’s your responsibility to make them happen. Yes, it may be hard to find talent. Yes, the market may be bad. But if no one invested in your idea, if no one bought your product, for sure, there is something there that is your fault… no one achieved their goals alone. But if you didn’t make them happen, it’s your fault and no one else’s. Be responsible for your dreams.”

The other three ways Pesce suggests we trample and kill our own dreams are: believe in overnight success; believe that when growth is guaranteed, you should settle down; believe that only the goals themselves matter.

The last is especially important:

“Life is never about the goals themselves. Life is about the journey. Yes, you should enjoy the goals themselves… But achieving a dream is a momentary sensation, and your life is not. The only way to really achieve all of your dreams is to fully enjoy every step of your journey.”

Tread softly, and happy dreaming.