When I was in elementary school, my teachers used to always tell my parents that I could be a good student…if I didn’t daydream so much in class. I’d like to think as a creative person, that I was just building career skills, but my teachers and parents did not see it that way. 🙂
As I got older, I kept hearing about visualization, and how it can help you succeed in your goals. Business people use it to reach financial milestones, and athletes use it before the big game. It seems like it was something that had to be taught to most people, but to me, it actually came very naturally.
As a kid, when I’d dream, I could visualize that I wanted to be some kind of artist or creative person. I luckily followed my career “dreams” pretty closely, even if I weaved in and out of jobs or projects I didn’t like as an adult.
But I often wonder if most people have not quite tapped into their dreams as a guide of how they should be living their lives, and more importantly, how they should be spending or saving their money.
Many people I talk to who are going into their “second act of life” (for some reason I think that’s anyone 40 and older), a good majority of them are finally understanding the importance of listening to what is really going on inside their head and heart, as opposed to what society has told us is normal.
Many of those people did not pay attention to their dreams, and took the sensible or easy route when it came to their career and finances. Maybe they got the accounting job when they really wanted to be a musician, or became a lawyer and bought the fancy house in the suburbs, even though they felt a deep connection to sustainable farming, and wanted to travel the world helping developing countries.
It’s easy to let dreams fall by the wayside, and have our spending follow suit, when we don’t get quiet and let our imaginations run wild. We are constantly plugged in and almost fear silence, as if we did listen to our dreams, it might tell us we are not living in alignment with what we truly want out of life.
What if that dream said to quit that high-paying job as a lawyer, but the reality might be that you’re 40, and you’re still financing your expensive life and have years of debt to dig out of? That’s pretty frightening.
But if you are aware of the book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, you will know that one of the regrets is: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” And the longer we have lived on this Earth, the more that statement bares a heavy weight.
But, it’s never too late to change your life.
A lot of my friends like to go out to eat. As much as I want to fit in and be social with them, I know that if I listen to my own dreams, I want a life where money never has to be an issue or concern, so that means living very frugally, even if I can afford to go out to eat.
They also travel the world several times a year, and it’s sometimes difficult to see their pictures and hear their stories. But my daydreams tell me that a more simple, peaceful, and minimalistic life is way more in line with my values, and while travel is important, it might not happen with the frequency or scale as some of my friends.
All to often it’s easy to fall in the trap of being part of the herd and doing anything to feel like you belong among the sea of “normal.” But truthfully, normal does not exist, and the sooner you can break out of that mold and follow your own dreams, the happier you will be.
So, what are your dreams trying to tell you? Are you living in alignment with those dreams?