Nothing sparks imagination more than not imagining. We succumb to the visions of innermost wants and desires when they are most suppressed. It is called dreaming. It can happen day or night, asleep or awake, busy or idol. The theatre of the brain begins the film, playing to an audience of one, whether we chose to pay attention or not. Thus is the cycle of our lives. Setting forth on our daily tasks, while we aspire for something greater. Dream big, dream small….it really doesn’t matter. We dream.
This is not intended to define failures and shortcomings. That we dream of things that might have been, could have been, should have been does not incriminate our present lot. The dreams that we see (or perhaps ignore) are simply roles playing out within our subconscious. This really takes on a deeper version of “when I grow up, I wanna be a…..”! Not everyone succeeds with the path of childhood plans, but that doesn’t mean failure. If that was the case, there are billions of failed rock stars!
Our dreams can often be the release of inner genius. They may hold a secret solution that our conscious is blinded too. Dreams may show us different paths to take, or may simply be the seasoning sprinkled on our daily lives. No matter how we see them, they are the subject of speculations, the analysis of experts, and the topic among friends. We share them, spare them, and, most of all, reflect on them. It is the imagination engine that has so often pushed people to their finest hours. The ingenuity prompted by a vision from within. Yet, we also tend to push it aside, letting it falter back into our subconscious world. It is with this that we associate failure within our lives. That the solution to the problem was right there and we did not act upon it. But, are we really failing?
Regrets can be a poison that dissolves the inner soul. I said that. Those who live with the aspect of failed dreams, whether a one-time spark of genius or a passion that we have built on over the years and yet never acted upon it in the real world often swim in regret. Yet, regrets will eat you from the inside out if we let them fester. We all have regrets from one level or another. Regret missing a childs concert. Regret drinking and driving. Regret not investing in something. Regret a decision. We all have them. It’s how much we reflect on it that will determine if that regret hampers us the rest of our lives.
In each life, I believe there is a dream. Something that we feel compelled toward. But, in the grand scheme of things, sometimes those dreams don’t or won’t be allowed to play out. Life happens around us and can sweep us away from our dreams as fast as raging tide can wash away the shore. When that alters the dream, the “hindsight is 20/20” glasses are put on and we find ourselves evaluating. “If only I had….”, “I should have never…..”, “maybe I could have…..”. Then the movie continues to play. The dream is still in theater. Audience of one, no waiting.
So, forced to be reminded of the dreams gone by, we reflect. Next we regret. Let’s add some bitterness and a dash of resentment. Perhaps a daily dose of self-deprecation. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow will never come. The erosion of our life storm is in full swing. Bits and pieces of our selves disintegrate. Such a picture. A picture of humanity swimming in a sea of failure. But, wait! All this from self-determined shattered dreams? A complete demise of humanity from someone not fulfilling their rock star goals? I don’t think so.
Let’s be honest. As I said before, life happens and can sweep us away from chasing dreams. But not all dreams are meant to be chased. You might think that the stars are calling you into space, but that doesn’t clearly say you are supposed to be an astronaut. There is so many aspects of dreams that we fail to recognize. It may just be a short motivation for you in a decision. There may be some deeper definitions that tie in to other things. We all dream of being successful, but how are we defining that? Perhaps the dreams of space travel was really the motivation to be a writer? H.G. Wells certainly didn’t have NASA around to fuel his dreams, yet his dreams inspired his works. The dreams that might have been seen as unobtainable in the real world, yet they succeeded in opening minds to other possibilities in the universe.
Dreams can spark imaginations to affect many things, yet not all dreams come true. That doesn’t mean that dreams unfulfilled are dreams failed. And, when life happens to alter the course you may think you need to be on, you always have the ability to choose a different path. Over the years, I have heard stories of people who have given up things they pursued successfully and altered their paths to their dreams. Many on the outside might think this to be a waste of effort, but to the dreamers, they found inner peace. Lawyers that quit their practice to become farmers. Big city brokers that leave their 6-figure-a-year jobs to work as tour guides. This is the aspect of dreams still alive, regrets subdued, paths altered, happiness found.
No matter where you are in life, there is a means to your goals. No matter the course of life’s currents, our imaginations can take us where we need to be….even if it is later on in life. Don’t let the regrets of dreams gone by become the poison within. When we focus with clarity where we need to be, we can then start the journey with the first step. Be honest with yourself and understand that not all dreams are the clearest path, but they certainly can spark the imagination to motivate. We just have to let it happen without force, without fear, and most of all…without regret.