The Nature of Dreaming

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Whether you’re graduating from high school or college and just stepping into adulthood, the truth is there’s something left unsaid in commencement speeches. Among all the books, laughs, nostalgic thoughts only the optimistic future is openly addressed. How about those of us those are still lost? Regardless of the level of optimism we begin adulthood with, we will soon learn what ‘day in, day out’ truly means to the average individual. Routine, frustration, exhaustion. It is one thing to dream big but has anyone ever told you about the pure anger and disappointment before the day they found success? The journey to success is the process of living, not just the remainder of your life after becoming a millionaire.

We’ve been misguided to believe that dreams are supposed to be lived and carried out a certain way.

As people with dreams and ambitions we encompass pieces of passion, dedication and patience. We claim to others that we are destined for said dreams, yet seek how-to’s in hopes of validation that such ambitions are worthwhile in their eyes. Truth be told, satisfaction comes in many forms and the idea of unfulfilled dreams should not be a sufficient reason for anyone to stop trying.

In our world, there will forever be a more abundant supply of talent than demand for them. Talented so many of us are, but talent again, is not immune to rejection and failure. What we envisioned our lives to be in our youth is not the ‘be all end all’. Seeking a day job that falls beyond the scope of our original passions doesn’t equate to having no ambition. Why? Because inherently, we’re chasing the idealized concept of dreams to find happiness and satisfaction.

My idea of a dream is to travel, write, and develop my own business all in a day’s work. Naturally most people would assume I’ve enjoyed writing since I could pick up a pencil — that being published is what all writers envision to be success. But the desire to write never occurred to me until a little over a year ago. It made me realize that we don’t have to continue having unconscious dreams to which we have seemingly no control over. We have the power to make a conscious decision and desire dreams beyond visions of our youth. Our dreams can be selected.

True passion cannot be defined by any one individual and ‘day in, day out’ is just the cherry on top of our conceptualized dreams. Assumptions are always made involving giving up on dreams because it makes for a realistic future. If we’d only realize sooner that dreams aren’t fluffy clouds we land on, but more of a flower bed of thorns — beautiful on the outside, potentially harmful on the inside.

So let us realize one thing: the grueling days will still exist regardless of whether we choose to make a conscious decision to hold onto the dreams or not. And whether you realize it or not, you like me, we all have futures ahead of us. The dream isn’t to be measured by the number of outlandish things accomplished. Contentment isn’t to settle. Dreams have a cost.

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Why You Should Travel

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Let me start off by saying that I’ve always been the scrimping-to-save-every-last-penny type of person.

That being said, I’m no stranger to being told that I should travel and do the things I want while I’m young and have the chance.

I’m working on a happy medium here.

Day after day, we are bombarded with the idea of quitting our jobs now in order to pursue a life of carefree travels  –why we should travel. For whatever reason, those that are only taking their annual 3-week vacations are deemed to be restricting themselves to unfulfilled lives.

From the very beginning we’ve had misconceptions over what the ideal career would look like. Having the most fulfilling jobs that are best fit for each individual never meant that it wouldn’t come with pain and frustration. The concept of ‘loving every moment’ of our work is simply too abstract for our complex lives.

Feeling hesitant to pack up your bags and jump into an unknown world doesn’t mean you’re fearful of living on a budget or even clinging onto a stable life for fear of change. You see, life isn’t defined by whether you leave your cubicle to travel; it’s a matter of bringing Paris, New York and Rome all to a warm and fuzzy place you call home.

The only time we can truly grasp onto is now. We scrimp every last penny to go on what we’ve labelled once-in-a-lifetime trips. On these days or even weeks if we’re lucky, we neglect all our e-mails and even the internet because we’ve come to understand that perhaps we’ll never visit this geographical spot again.

Now allow me to suggest that you were never able to go on this once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Instead you were home with the people you love the most. Certainly being with these people is once-in-a-lifetime.

Why is it that we don’t jump upon these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to spend time with the ones we supposedly care about the most? Instead, many of us can be found purging on television shows and internet fads as if being home makes time a limitless commodity.

We’ve forgotten that home –like Paris, New York and Rome –is also, once-in-a-lifetime.

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The Difference Between Stories and Experiences

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“Those who tell the stories rule society.” –Plato

When I began to post my thoughts publicly just six months ago, I had to make a good effort to get over how self-conscious I was when it came to talking about my experiences. While I had no readers at the time, I felt incredibly disorientated with my words and paralyzed when it came to storytelling or lack of. Yet at the same time, when I heard the everyday stories of others trudging, navigating, and skipping their way through the world I was completely intrigued by experiences that could have been my own.

The more I learned from the stories of others, the more I learned about myself and how I wanted to avoid pitfalls, take risks and travel through life. It seems to me that despite how great the world appears to be, all our stories are worth telling if only you’re willing to share them. Now when you can be entirely honest, ask yourself: What makes their story better than your experience? The only difference between your experience and their story is that you never had the courage to tell it to make it a story.

Perhaps the single biggest mistake we make is considering ourselves to be individuals that possess independent experiences and isolated thoughts that aren’t relevant to the people in the world around us. Such fallacies demean the value of not only our experiences but also our own abilities to express what we know. Being confident enough to tell stories from your own experiences doesn’t make you self-absorbed but rather, open to sharing with others.

Remember that article you read? How about the incredible story a friend told you about from their adventures abroad? Those stories resonated with you and left its mark in your memory like your own experiences. Fact of the matter is those people reached out and made a connection with you that day using their story and you can do the same.

Maybe you’re still not convinced your experiences are worth “story-status”.

Why not think of it like your social network? Enough people in the same Facebook group or Twitter list make for a community. The connections made through stories are the same. They create not only connections but build communities, create successful initiatives and drive power.

Storytelling is power.

In fact, the power of storytelling is so great that over the course of human history the ability has both produced influential leaders and shunned those going against popular opinion. To stop a story from touching the lives of others is to stop the story from ever being told again.

Not all stories have resonated with you (which are most of them) and this will likely be the case with the stories you end up telling but it doesn’t make your story any less valuable. Just recall the stories that once touched you with their words and how you would be a different person without them.

Return the favour, stop keeping the experiences to yourself and share stories.

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