Today’s post is more theoretical than some of my others, although it definitely has some basis in practice.
Once again, this is another filler post while I am in Japan, so it may or may not get updated with news (IE about how the necklace went over). We’ll be back on the 19th, so the 20th may be a fresh post.
Today I want to talk about dreambuilding. Many of us in our single lives and throughout the course of growing up reach a point at which we stop dreaming. The world gets us down, or we’re disappointed often enough that we start to buy in to the idea that we’re never going to get the things that we envisioned for ourselves as small children. This causes a couple of problems later in life. The first is that we start to fear failure. And the second is that we pass that fear on to our children.
Jamie and I have made a promise to keep an eye on each other and not let negative world views crush our daughter’s dreams before she has a chance to discover the world for herself. That promise would not have been possible, except that in 2007 we met a wonderful group of people who have helped us dream big ourselves.
It’s easy to wish for things. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” is a nice thing to say when you know you’re never really going to try for it. Or worse, you might charge up all the credit cards to go after it and find yourself living in the insanity of trying to make ends meet.
But dreams are bigger than wishes. I disagree with the Disney song “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” In my mind, a dream is a goal, written down, with passion and action applied to the steps required to make it happen. That process is the reason we have a beautiful daughter today, the reason we’re buying a house together, and the reason we are currently in Japan having the time of our lives.
Dreams are the backbone of human accomplishment. Media and peer pressure kill our dreams when we give in to the negative-skew that the average person can never accomplish more than the government wants them to accomplish. But dreams are about being bigger than our circumstances.
How is this a relationship post? Because dreaming together, and creating a plan of action together, are some of the most important moments of time you will ever spend with a lifetime partner. And you need to create more than travel goals. Create dreams of your relationship, dreams of your home, your family, what your travel looks like. After you craft this picture of who you want to be together, write it down and read it often. Goals and dreams are 1000% more powerful when you write them down. You make those things a contract for your subconscious mind. There’s an amazing chapter of the Compound Effect that talks about collaborating with your spouse to grade your performance weekly. It’s a tough action, but one worth taking.
Just to be clear, for dreams to work properly, you can’t use them as an all-or-nothing approach. “If we don’t accomplish this, I’m leaving you.” However, it’s important to know what your driving dreams and goals are, so that if you are considering a new long term relationship, you know where you are coming from. If your lifelong dream is to be a parent, and your partner would rather die than have kids–maybe that’s not the most compatible situation for you. Think about your dreams. Put them on paper. Then make them happen. When the “why” is big enough, the how will fall into place.