When you ask someone, “What’s your dream?”you will likely get a surprised look. Think about it. How often are we asked that question? How often do we truly let ourselves dream? Most of us rarely, if ever, spend time thinking about our dreams. When we do, we tell ourselves, it’s just that — a dream. We assume if it’s a dream, it can’t happen. We don’t tell people about our dreams unless we have courage. I believe few people are ever encouraged to dream, and dream big.
At work, we talk about dreams. Last year some of us were fortunate to attend our parent organization’s national conference. The keynote speaker, Matthew Kelly, is the author of the book, “Dream Manager.” His premise is simple: your dreams can come true. Written to help people identify their dreams and then put plans together to help them achieve their dreams, he believes in the power of dreams. We read his book before the conference. We were inspired by his speech. We committed to helping people in our organization achieve their dreams. And, we are working to help make the commitment a reality.
But what of my dream work in my personal life? What about my husband’s dreams? My children’s dreams? The dreams of my other family members and close friends? I wish that I had spent more time asking my children about their dreams when they were younger. Like most of us, I always told them, “you can be whatever and whoever you want to be,” but did I really listen and watch; did I encourage them to take risks? My children are thriving; still I’ve begun to wonder about their dreams.
Earlier this evening, we visited my son, his wife and my daughter and her husband. My toddler granddaughter took me upstairs to show me her new room. Mommy (my daughter) came with us. You see, my granddaughter is moving to a new room to make room for her new brother or sister, expected to be born in April, who will be the new “occupant” of the nursery.
I looked around the beautiful room. My daughter is talented. She is artistic. She is creative. The room is filled with decor that she hand-crafted, built or painted. When she was a teenager, she used to pull pages from magazines and keep a “file” with all her ideas for decorating. A dream come true? Maybe.
Later, as we all sat in the family room, I listened to my Missy (my nickname for her) talk about her ambivalence about her job and having more time with her children. It’s a tough situation for (mostly) women. She loves her career. She is a teacher and a good one at that. She loves being a mom. SHE LOVES BEING A MOM. Enough said.
I watched and listened from across the room and then I decided to put it out there. So I asked her, “What is your dream?” She looked a bit taken aback, so I said, “Complete the sentence, “If I could do anything, or change anything, I would _________.” She thought for a moment and then talked about a couple of dreams. Then I asked my son, and we went around the room. It prompted some wonderful conversation. It may get them thinking about their dreams. I hope. I’m happy I asked, and I want to do it more often — with my kids, my family and my friends, and my co-workers.
I’m going to make a dream list. I’m going to close my eyes more often and say it until I do something about it. D-R-E-A-M.
I leave you with Cinderella’s words and song. Happy dreaming!
A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep,
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing,
The dream that you wish will come true