DREAMS ARE EVERYWHERE
The Disney Renaissance era was a good time to be a kid. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. Every movie was an event. Toys and tie-in products would pop everywhere. I remember getting a new Tarzan sticker in every pack of noodles my mother bought and seeing t-shirts and backpacks printed with Disney characters in malls. The films didn't only have appeal to children. Parents loved them too. I remembered my father and mother more excited than me in watching Aladdin in the theatre.
Reading the history of Walt Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company, would put you more in awe of the background of the film company. From being told he wasn't creative enough when he was a cartoonist to leaving a great legacy after his death, Walt is one of the most recognisable and inspirational people in history. When you watch a Disney film, you're not just watching a film. You're watching a manifestation. You're watching a dream that came true. It may be hard for you to look at the films as dreams but the fact is that they are indeed dreams. Dreams can come to life, you know.
Whatever device you're reading this article from, whether it's a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, or a desktop computer, that device is a manifestation of a dream. Somebody dreamed of creating a computer and brought it to life. Somebody dreamed of creating a smartphone and brought it to life too. Right at the tip of your fingertips or in the palm of your hand is a dream.
In fact everywhere you go something's there to remind you that dreams are real. Your house, your car, the company you work for, the city you live in, the recreational parks in the city, the roads - all of these are dreams come true to life. If you look beyond the physical things, you'll find further more evidence of dreams that came true to life - freedom of speech, independence, the right to choose a religion. Dreams are everywhere. You just need to open your eyes to see them. But the most important dream is the dream that lies inside you, the one that's aching to be brought to life like those smartphones, roads, and independence we mentioned.
Like you, I am a dreamer too. I dreamed long enough to learn an important thing about being a dreamer - we should be and should not be a dreamer.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE A DREAMER
DREAMING WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IN LIFE
If you do not know what you want to achieve in life, or what you want to become in life, or why you were put on this Earth, look no further than your dreams. The world's great philosophers have always said that the answers lie within. Since our dreams reside deep in our heart and our soul, then they hold the key in our lives' important questions.
Have you been dreaming of traveling the world since you were a teenager? Then step away from your office desk and explore the world. Have you been dreaming of inventing time-travel even if your peers had been calling you crazy? Then by all means, pursue it. It might be the big reason you were born on this Earth. Have you been dreaming of a world free of bigotry, racism, sexism, and ageism? That must be the challenge meant for you - making our world a much better place. If you don't know what to do with your life, you now have a reason to start dreaming.
DREAMING IS WHERE THE FUTURE IS BORN
Automobiles. Bridges that connect cities. The electric bulb. The smartphone. The movie you just watched. The freedom of speech you sometimes take for granted. All of these are manifestations of our forefathers' and ancestors' dreams. What other people of their time thought impossible or ludicrous, they dreamed for the future. What they dreamed about, they devoted their lives to the achievement of it. The dreams they achieved shaped history and defined the future which is now our present. Just like theirs, our dreams can be the future too. Our dreams can be the next defining moment of history that will serve generations after generations of mankind. If you want to take control of your future, you now have a reason to start dreaming.
DREAMING EXERCISES THE IMAGINATION
Our mind is like a muscle. When you exercise it by thinking, it gets stronger and better. When you dream, you put your mind to work. Dreaming triggers one ability of the mind - imagination. If you make a habit of dreaming, you strengthen it and your dreams evolve. The picture of a lovely house with a backyard one day becomes a two-level house with a rose garden in front the following day. Then your dream becomes bigger it could no longer fit two levels. The house eventually becomes a three-story one with a balcony on the rooftop where you can gaze at the stars. If you want to improve your imagination, you now have a reason to start dreaming.
DREAMING IS A DAILY REMINDER
What we dream about can hold the key to what we should be doing in life. When you're finally taking actions to pursue your dream, that's good. When you do, you will not stop dreaming. In fact, you'll continue to dream more as your mind expands itself and you begin to see possibilities you didn't see before. You will be dreaming daily and this is a good thing! Your daily dreaming is a reminder. It's a reminder of the path you should be on. It's a reminder that you should be doing things that will lead you closer to the fulfilment of your dream. Think of it as the Muses nudging you to get back on track, whispering to you to reclaim your focus and avoid the distractions and unnecessary things on this Earth. If you want someone or something to serve as a guide in your life, you now have a reason to start dreaming.
DREAMING IS A VIRTUE
With technology today bringing to "life" a lot of things in video games, movies, and gadgets, what happens to good old imagination. How much is our children still involved in the act of cultivating their imagination? Do the tablets and video games at their disposal block the veins carrying imagination? What about our teenagers and young adults? Has their inner children bound to imagination survived? Can we say the same thing with our adults? A lot of the things we have in this world right now are products of our forefathers' and ancestors' dreaming. If they didn't dream about it, we wouldn't have it in the first place. What if the dreamers stop dreaming? Is the evolution of the world going to stop too? Are we going to be stuck? We should keep the act of dreaming alive. Just like hope, love, and goodness, let dreaming be a virtue that shall be kept alive from generation to generation starting with you. If you want to keep the torch of dreaming burning and alive, you now have a reason to start dreaming.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BE A DREAMER
DREAMING CAN BE A TRAP
Dreamland is so good and so inviting it will keep you coming back for more. Being in it gives you a good feeling, a temporary euphoria. The dreamland tricks the brain into believing the dream is already achieved when the reality is that it's still not. The more you stay in dreamland, the more you become addicted to the euphoria it gives. Some people choose to remain in dreamland and never get out of it. If you are not mindful, you will fall into this trap. Look at the world and see the faces of people whose dreams went unrealised. They fell into this trap. Go to a cemetery and walk around. Most of the coffins underground contain dreams unrealised too. They were all victims too. If you don't want to join them, you now have a reason to not be a dreamer.
DREAMING CAN BE USED AS A BAD EXCUSE
Since dreaming can give you good feeling, a temporary euphoria, it can be used as an excuse for procrastination, to avoid action. "Oh, the plan is not complete yet so I shall go back to dreaming it", "Oh, some tweaks need to be made so I shall go back to dreaming", "Oh, I'm not ready yet so I shall go back to dreaming", "Oh..." Imagine the millions more excuses one can come up with to avoid action and go back to dreaming. Remember that your dreams can evolve along the way while you're taking actions already. It doesn't have to be "perfect" before you can take action. If you don't want to be remembered as a person full of excuses, you now have a reason to not be a dreamer.
ACTION > DREAMING
Playing out your dreams in your head is not bad but it is not equivalent to the attainment of it. This is the part where most people get stuck on. They dreamed, and dreamed, and dreamed. Alas, they only dreamed. In the end, after their time here on Earth was all spent, their dream never saw the daylight or, worse, not even given an iota of a chance. You don't want to end up like this. You don't want to be the dreamer who only kept on dreaming and never took a single step to make the dream happen. Action trumps over dreaming every time. If you don't want to waste your dreams, you now have a reason to not be a dreamer.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE A DREAMER?
Dreaming is good. Being a dreamer is a good trait to possess. If it wasn't for the dreamers of the past, we wouldn't have the world as it is now: technology, the good things about the education system, infrastructure, health, freedom, and independence to name a few. You need to be a dreamer too, if not the entire world's sake, then for your own sake.
Many people chase happiness with all the wrong reasons and with all the wrong ways to go about it. They key to your happiness and fulfilment is in your dream. Be a dreamer! You only have one life. Don't waste it. But don't fall into the trap of the dreamland also. Don't be a dreamer who never evolved beyond dreaming. Be a doer as well.
For almost a decade I dreamed of being a writer but I didn't write. I just kept on dreaming and dreaming. In the back of my mind I had the wish that one day I would wake up to find out that my dream had eventually come true. I was a fool. While the dreamland is beautiful and promising, getting stuck there was painful. I am glad I had woken up and stepped outside dreamland. Am I still a dreamer? Yes, I am. But I am no longer THAT KIND of dreamer.
Remember that actions will always matter more than intent. For the true dreamers, the ones we recognise as THE dreamers, are those who made their dreams come true. To make your dreams true, you need to do two things: be the dreamer (the visionary) and not to be the dreamer (the doer).
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