Monday, August 12, 2013

I Worked So Hard I Forgot My Dreams

by Weldon Smith

There have been many times where I have been so busy with the nitty-gritty of life that I have forgotten my dreams. It's easy to do. We certainly do need to work hard enough to be able to afford a comfortable, secure, and healthful life.

But we need to rest and dream too. It's what makes us human. Of course, animals dream when they're asleep. They may have wishes and desires. But they have little ability to realize their dreams, and their desires are simplistic.

If we humans spend all our time just staying alive, we negate a lot of what makes us human. Birds, animals, fish, and insects spend most of their time just making sure they have food to eat and somewhere to sleep. If that's essentially what we do, then we are quite animalistic.

We might have a palatial place to sleep, we might be able to eat every meal at the best restaurants, and we might have the sexiest automobile that exists in order to travel to where we get paid to afford our lives, but if we spend all our time and energy essentially acquiring food to eat and a place to sleep, and little more, we are not appreciably better than animals.

We should have dreams, desires, and expectations of getting far beyond where we are now. In fun and excitement, yes, but also in making sure that what we spend most of our waking hours doing is of value to us and to many other people. That it's worthy of a human being.

I have dreams of traveling and spending time with people I love. I also have dreams of things I want to invent, businesses I want to start, books I want to write, people I want to help. I realize that I won't realize every one of my dreams.

I am a big dreamer and I have thousands of things I would like to be successful at. I don't mind some of my dreams going to the grave with me because I have so many.

I don't mind, that is, as long as I have worked steadily at bringing some of those dreams to life, and working at it all the time. But as I say, sometimes I wake up and realize that I have lost track of my dreams.

We've all heard the stories of people on their death beds saying that they wish they had played with the children more, they wish they had had more fun.

They planned to visit Europe but never did. They wanted to start a business. They knew they would have been good at it, but things got in the way and they never did it. They wanted to spend some time helping people less fortunate than themselves but didn't do it. They spent too much time just staying alive, and little or no time being human.

People sometimes have dreams in the backs of their minds, but they usually don't bring them to the front and work on them. They don't take charge of their own lives. They don't consider the things they might do to make life better and more rewarding for many people.

I have realized at times in my life that I was working very hard for not-enough-money. I put everything I had into trying to get not-enough-money. It seemed the thing to do at the time, but in retrospect, it seems pretty dumb. I have seen that I have a lot of company.

Lots of people spend most of their time trying to get not-enough-money. Even if they have time in the evenings and on weekends to try to do something to get enough-money, they rarely do.

The more time I work at getting not-enough-money, the less time I have to realize my dreams of enough-money and lots-of-money.

I heard or read something about there being three kinds of people: those who are going to write a book some day, those who are going to start a business, and those who are going to go to law school. I wish I could remember where I read or heard that.

There may be more kinds of people, but really they are all the same kind of people. They are the kind of people who have shallow, undeveloped dreams, at best, and who more likely have vague wishes.

If a genie granted them a wish they would go for it, but otherwise it's just something they say to try to convince themselves and others that their lives are worthwhile.

So have some dreams. All the way from very practical to pie in the sky. Then go to work on them. Think of them and work on them all the time. Even if we never attain ninety-five percent of our dreams, we are better for having tried.

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