Getting Prolific, Day 5: When Creative Dreams Change Direction
How do you improve your circumstances going forward?
America’s brand, as a country, is being this wonderful place where dreams are had and followed.
History has proven time and time again our dreams really can take material form in the world, if we’re willing to first assume the feeling of their reality inside our heads and hearts.
Here’s my favorite example of a dream that’s been credited for causing an important invention.
Howe, a seventeenth century engineer, famously had a dream that he was building an apparatus for a savage king in a strange country. As the legend goes, he dreamt that the monarch gave him twenty four hours in which to complete a mechanism for crafting textiles. If not finished in that time death was to be the punishment.
In the dream, he was taken out to be executed, and noticed that the warriors carried spears that were pierced near the head. He suddenly realized that the secret was placing the eye of the needle near the point, rather than the traditional eye at the heel.
The engineer awoke before dawn, jumped out of bed, ran to his workshop, and by nine, the very first sewing machine had been crudely modeled.
Of course, one country doesn’t have a monopoly on dreaming. But it’s called the land of opportunity for a reason. Millions of immigrants have left their home countries to find something here not readily available in their own. A chance to succeed.
A freedom to bring forth their own future from nothing.
Now that’s a dream worth having.
The challenge is, with so many available opportunities, how does one know which dream really belongs to them? Because what if it’s the wrong one? Or what if someone finds themselves living in the future they always dreamed of, only to discover that it’s their own private hell?
This does happen. People’s priorities are sometimes dictated by external cues, rather than internal cravings. And they unknowingly sacrifice their whole lives being somebody else’s dream machine.
Also, sometimes people’s aspirations evolve to reflect their changing needs and priorities. They’re different people from the ones who started years ago. But they keep following their obsolete dream to preserve some sense of consistency, or because they simply don’t have the energy to start over.
Are you struggling with some variation of this disappointing reality?
If so, you’re not alone. Being human lends itself to this kind of imperfection. The secret is to forgive yourself for making the choice you did, not thinking of it as good or bad or right or wrong, and to figure out how to improve your circumstances going forward.
Yes, this may mean you’ll have to change the direction of your dreams, but so what? How many times have you been driving in the car and abruptly realized you were going the wrong way? Did you keep cruising for ten miles while calling yourself the worst names imaginable?
Of course not. You pulled over, recalibrated and changed your direction.
Look, dreams are living, breathing, fickle things. We can’t always be sure if they’re guiding us towards our ideal future.
There was a recent news story where a woman was accused of stabbing her sleeping husband early after she had a dream that he had been cheating on her.
According to investigators, she woke up, went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and attacked him, stabbing him multiple times in the back. The husband suffered multiple stab wounds and underwent surgery, with a hopeful recovery.
The sheriff’s department said the woman was charged with domestic aggravated assault, with bail set at ten thousand dollars.
Clearly, not every dream is meant to be acted upon.
Point being, if you’re fortunate enough to live in a place where dreams are had and followed, try answering the call. Assume the reality of that aspiration inside your head and heart.
Give your dream a chance to grow into material form in the world.
Thread your desires through the eye of that needle.
And try not to stab anyone along the way.
Have you codified all the available methods to achieve your dreams?
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