Do you ever wonder if you should dream?
Forget about having the guts to actually pursue your dreams. I am talking about the guts it takes to actually start dreaming in the first place.
This may sound like an overtly philosophical question or one with an obvious (and wishy-washy, feel-good) conclusion.
But bear with me.
I am not going to promote the idea that you quit your job and follow that dream to become a craftsman (or woman) on a Caribbean island.
I am talking about re-conceptualizing the very idea of what it means to dream in the first place.
I remember in the 90’s the ‘pipe dream’ was often thrown around. People who wanted to be in the creative industry – the ones who wanted to be singers, actors, writers, woodworkers etc – were considered as having a ‘pipe dream’ or an unattainable and ‘crazy’ dream that would in all likeliness never happen. These pipe dreams were perceived to be foolish, The right and smart thing to do was to be a lawyer, banker, engineer or computer scientist.
Fast forward to the post-2008 economy. Law grads are under intense debt, are often under-paid and are finding it very hard to find work. Scores of those in the financial sector have been laid off. Similarly engineers aren’t in demand in the West as they once were.
The fate that was seen to await those who dared to dream – financial uncertainty and unemployment – is now a reality for those who followed the safe and straight path.
Now is the time to dream.
In this new economy it is smart to have two or even three sources of potential income and have a diversified career. It’s a good idea for an IT Specialist to also sell their wood-craft pieces on Etsy and very practical for an office manager to start a side career as a holistic nutritionist.
Now in 2015 it doesn’t hurt to dream.
Living in a big city you get exposed to a wide variety of extraordinary people who are walking an interesting path in life. Last week alone I went to a lecture from a National Geographic photographer, a talk from Alfonso Cuaron director of Gravity, a Harry Potter film, Great Expectations and much more, a panel with four published female writers and an AGO exhibition of revolutionary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The photographer Pete McBride maxed out his credit cards to take a plane over Cairo to take his first photo series on the hope that they would be bought by National Geographic and Alfonso Cuaron used to stage scenes with his friends and ‘film’ them before he could afford actual film.
These people are where they are because of their hard work and talent, yes. But it all started with a dream, or rather the courage to dream. And look at where it has lead them.
You may fail. But if you do you will learn from it and use that to go on another venture that could change your life forever. And then again you may not fail. And then what? What may your life be then?
For me there is not excuse to not dream in today’s world. Living in Toronto I routinely encounter people who are in the process of making their dreams come to reality. It is inspiring and also something that makes me want to spur into action and pursue my own dreams.
What if I am left out? Left behind when others go forward, stuck standing and watching on the sidelines as others attain glory.
It all begins with a dream.
Try to find yours and do something everyday to pursue it.
You probably won’t regret it.