Inspiration & Thoughts

The Luxury of Not Knowing Your Dream

I am doing housekeeping for my 6 external harddisks and happened to chance by a file name:  The Luxury of Not Knowing Your Dream.doc.

Read through the content and realised it fits my current situation perfectly, thus, decided to share here with my dear readers:

Some of you may not know yet what your dream is. You may sit silently while your friends go on at length about their plans to start a heli-skiing company in the Andes. You may change the subject when asked directly about your life plans. And you may brood about the fact that you’re just not finding “that thing” and be paralyzed by not knowing what you want.

Well, I say take heart if you don’t know what your dream is yet; you are actually in rich, fertile territory. Furthermore, you have less of a problem that you think you do.

We live in a culture if doers – people with big plans and ambitions, and 401(k)s set up to feed every minute of those dreams. So woe be to those who can’t get right out there and start pushing their own personal agenda. And herein lies the problem. We’ve been conditioned to think that it’s bad when we do not know what our dreams are and we’re wrong not to be hard at work already. We think that if we don’t know exactly what we want to do in life., we’re doomed to failure. A thick overlay of shame obscures the simple truth, for better or for worst; we just don’t know what we want to do yet.

If we can drop the histrionics and self-criticism for a while and allow ourselves to explore, we can indeed locate those dreams. And we might even have some fun in the process.

In truth, there is no Perfect Dream. There are only impulses – some that lead to major discoveries and successes, others leads to nothing, and still others that may only become important later in life. Furthermore, we are the ones who choose to act on those impulses and craft dreams from them. To do that, you have to give yourself the freedom to explore them with an open heart.

If we feel stuck without a dream, the question we must ask ourselves is, What are we not letting ourselves explore? And why won’t we let ourselves explore it? What is it about the adventure of trying new things that has us so frozen? Is it that we’re afraid we won’t be brilliant? Or that we’re afraid we will be brilliant? Are we worried that if we choose a dream, it won’t be the “right” one? Or are we afraid of all those questioning voices around us that demand updates, specifics, and status reports? Do we believe our own harsh critiques, and feel we must look “together”, polished, and professional all the time? Or can we just be authentic and look like the messy explorers that we are for a while?

To find your dream, you must begin the search, regardless of where it will take you or how it will strike anyone else. You don’t necessarily have to move across the country, nor do you have to quit your job. But you must begin to probe and explore, for yourself and yourself alone. This is the true luxury of not knowing your dream: you begin stripped naked, with no expectations to meet, no mettle to prove, and no agenda to work from. And so you get to bask in the freshness of creative undertaking. And you feel how that the project fits inside you own skin. If things work and your projects ignite, then congratulations. If they don’t, then you get to sit back and ponder what might be a better fit. And you get to try again.

Your pursuit is not necessarily to find the “dream” but to track down, step by step, that which feeds your soul and fill your heart. Your mission is to locate that very food you’ve been hungry for so long. Once you have tasted even a small bite of it, you will be nurturing yourself as God intended, which always brings a marvelous sense of fullness.

Permission is critical. Can you give yourself permission to fool around with some dreams and see what happen? Can you give yourself the chance to just try something… anything?

Can you give yourself the opportunity, to live life as “the real you”?

— How much joy can you stand?
Suzanne Halter-Barns

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