Are you brave enough to be a Dreamer? November 10, 2014 09:00
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” –Harriet TubmanDreams.
We all have them, but so many of us are pressured to scoff at them. Shame them. Abandon them. Why?
Because today's world has masterfully likened the dream and the Dreamer to a lazy, delusional, unrealistic, unproductive, head-up-in-the-clouds, fame-obsessed member of society. A pitiable being who wants all the glory without putting in the work. You know what they say: "Be a Doer, not a Dreamer" and "Dreaming is a waste of time."
And that's the real shame.
I get it. We need someone (the Dreamer) to be the bad guy to teach people the value of getting shit done and taking ownership of their lives. And trust me, I'm all about getting things done.
But it's a confusing shame that we start by encouraging our youth to "never stop dreaming," "make a difference," and believe that they "can be and do anything." And then suddenly, upon entering young adulthood, the dialogue takes a "practical" turn where we spew variations of how important it is to "wake up and face reality" and "be realistic" in order to survive the "real world."
It's like a euphemism for "Who the hell do you think you are to believe you can do anything great? Sit the fuck down."
So, what does this "real world" need anyway?
"The only way we really create change is to enter any situation with the humility to listen and to recognize the world as it is, and then the audacity to dream what it could be, to have the patience to start and let the work teach you, to be willing to lead when you need to lead, and to listen."–Jacqueline NovogratzYes, the world needs people to show up and take action every day. But it also needs people who aren't afraid to dream up what's never been done, to be bold enough to challenge the status quo, and to be brave enough to believe that their ideas can make a difference. All of this contributes to our collective survival, don't you think?
In the end, dreams are a vital seed that leads to breakthroughs and innovations.
But how can we keep taking action on bringing our world to unknown heights if we increasingly smother the human desire to dream in favor of "being practical"? Heck, we were born with the gift of curiosity, creativity, and imagination. If we push down the practice of dreaming, then we are throwing away these gifts.
Every great innovation that has led to our modern day society came from minds that were largely condemned for having dreams once considered "unimaginable" and even "absurd." Think back to visionaries like Harriet Tubman, Ludwig van Beethoven,The Wright Brothers, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon, Gloria Steinem...
Or in our present day, look at Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Chris Hadfield, Jacqueline Novogratz...
If they all took the advice to "be realistic," where do you think they'd be today? Where would we be today? It's only human to want to believe in dreams because dreams are what gives us hope. And hope is what gives us reason to believe we could create a better future. And if we want to keep building brighter futures, we need Dreamers who are daring enough to dream up what could be possible.
"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." –Gloria Steinem
The point is that it's time to change how we talk about Dreamers and stop using the Dreamer as a putdown and scapegoat definition for the unproductive and the lazy. It's time to reclaim the Dreamer within each of us, break free from living monotonously, and free ourselves from being afraid to fight for our dreams.
And no one should be afraid to dream about what's possible. Deep down, dreams are just goals instilled with optimism and hope. And right now, more than ever, the world needs Dreamers to believe they can make real what's still unreal.
We need Dreamers to believe they can make a difference.
In a constantly evolving world, we need ideas that can make change. If we open our minds, Dreamers can change the world. It all begins when we start believing in our dreams. And there's nothing lazy about that.
Are you brave enough to be a Dreamer?
What do you think? Did any of this resonate with you? If so, can you do me a small favor? Send this post to someone you think would benefit from this and ask them to read it. We need to find the Dreamers among us. So, please spread the word. Thank you.