“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it – as long as you really believe it a hundred percent.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
– Albert Einstein
“Why?” Always “Why?” You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?
– George Bernard Shaw
As humans, it is natural for us to dream and hold desires. We are blessed with the power of imagination and learn to use it at an early age.
As children, we were not afraid to dream and dream big. In our imagination, we made up stories about all the great and wonderful things we would do in life. Some of us were superheroes saving the day and some of us, daring explorers – boldly going where no one else had gone before. Not only did we hold these visions in our minds, we also did our best to actively live them out in our day to day lives – well as much as we could get away with, anyway.
Our dreams as children have a lot more to do with fun, passion and excitement than things like career-path and earning potential. It was the things that spoke to our hearts and our imaginations that got us all fired up and excited.
By the time we reach our teens, we have learned to be ‘realistic’ and this is often reflected in the dreams we hold – we now want to be doctors or teachers or something like that. At this stage, our dreams have a lot more to do with making a living than anything else, yet we are still hopeful and optimistic about what we could do with our lives.
By the time we reach adulthood, most of our dreams have been conditioned out of us. We now possess strong thinking skills – ironically these skills often work against us, instantly killing off most of our dreams. Instead of being able to envision a life that thrills and excites us, we are now adept at thinking up all the reasons as to why we can’t have what we want. And we wonder why so many of us are unhappy. I understand that I am generalising with all of this, but I’m sure that at least some of you can relate to this pattern.
I don’t know about you, but to me, when I have a powerful desire or a longing (just other words I like to use in place of ‘dream’), it makes me feel excited and alive. But then, when I talk myself out of it or tell myself why it probably won’t happen, it brings me down. It’s like a little part of me died in that process. So I have come to realise that it is important for me to keep my dreams alive if I really wanted to be happy in life.
And here’s the funny thing:
Near enough every time I have dared to dream and keep that dream alive, it has actually come true!!!
Whether it was winning a place among the 230 that were selected to enter the Sri Lanka Law College (through a competitive exam taken by over 6,000 hopefuls – and with my ‘dismal’ academic track-record) or marrying the girl of my dreams – who just happened to live on another continent (we met very briefly while she was on holiday in Sri Lanka), these dreams came true.
And it wasn’t difficult or a struggle in any way … in fact I had a lot of fun in the process of realising most of my dreams.
When I think back at those dreams that did come true, I can see that the only great difference between them and the ones that didn’t, is that I went with them, instead of giving up on them. I was willing to go there in my mind – to entertain the thought that it could happen and that I could do it. If I did this just long enough for the idea to take root, then things would take off. Slowly but surely, one step at a time, the dream began to take shape in my reality.
This has now given me the confidence to dream much more – and to dream bigger and bolder at that. It has also made it easier for me to believe in myself a little more.
I now choose to believe in possibility. This means that I am willing to entertain my dreams – no matter how ‘far-fetched’ they may seem. It also means that I don’t allow myself to be held back by conventional wisdom or the opinions of others. I know from my own life-experience that one person’s experience of something may not necessarily be another person’s experience of the same thing.
If something excites me and it hurts too much to think it’s not going to happen, then I know it is something that matters to me. I now take this as a sign that it is something I would want to entertain seriously. Logic and reason have a role to play in our lives, but I strongly believe that our dreams and the way we feel about something or someone, matters a whole lot more – at least to me.
Lately, I have also begun to understand that my ‘inner world’ (thoughts, feelings and beliefs) creates my ‘outer world’ and my experience of it. So for my part, I plan to continue with my ‘delusional-thinking’ – and I will live the life of my dreams in the process!!! I invite you to do the same.
I will leave you with this uplifting and heart-warming video. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I also hope that it will help re-kindle your dreams…