Should Your Dreams Be Realistic?

Life has taught me that you can’t always get what you want. There is even a very popular song that states just that. Most of the time we can get what we need, as the song continues, but the yearnings of our hearts often go unanswered. Many of us spend a large portion of our lives pursuing things that will never happen, and we can become frustrated and defeated when those things we want so badly always seem out of reach.

For myself, I’ve always had dreams that are outside of what is conventionally desirable by most people. I’ve never been a big fan of doing what everyone else is doing. This is partly because I have a creative streak that makes me want to do things that just aren’t normal compared to the general public, but also because doing things that most other people aren’t interested in ensures that I’m not crowded when I’m doing them. There’s a bit of solitude when your hobbies are unusual, and I like that sometimes.

One of these is sailing around the world. My major dream at the moment is figuring out how to get into a sailboat large enough for me and my family to set sail and see the world. This requires two things: the right boat and a job that allows me to freely move around. Each of these by themselves is a tall order, but put together they are quite a big deal to figure out. At this early stage it feels like it will be nearly impossible to make both happen in such a way that allows me to get out on the water and see the world the way I’m hoping to.

The point of dreams isn’t the fulfillment of those dreams, however, but the hope that we glean from pursuing those dreams. It is by default a hopeful spirit who has a vision for their future in which they have developed a goal and a potential plan to get there. Regardless of whether the plan works or not, simply having a dream at all is what drives us forward through life. If we didn’t dream, there would be no reason left to continue breathing. It is the future that calls us; the potential of what might be.

Unrealistic dreams are the reason why our world is the way that it is today. At one point it seemed ludicrous that we would be able to fly around the world in less than a day, but many people came together behind the unrealistic dream of flight and made it happen. We moved into space the same way, dreaming of putting men in orbit and on the moon and beyond. One of the biggest milestones of human development will be nuclear fusion power, which we have recently learned may be commercially viable by 2030. The list is endless.

Human beings need a sense of hope nearly as much as we need to breathe. It is that hope that gives us the will to get out of bed every day, looking forward to a time when we achieve something we’ve been working toward for a long time. The completion of long term goals is far more rewarding than the rapid fire satiation of random whims, and the joy that stems from it is far greater than we can experience through the daily grind that most of us live through.

My hope is to escape the cookie cutter pattern that my life has been shaped into and break free from the daily grind that most of us accept as necessary. I believe there is a set of circumstances that will allow me to attain the lifestyle I hope to move into, and all it requires is following the dream and being willing to accept the costs that come with it. In the end, all we can do is what we can do, but it is never unreasonable to continue hoping for those things that will give us joy.

What do you think about dreams? Do you ignore them in favor of more realistic goals, or do you pursue them with all your energy? How do you get from where you are today into the dream you’ve always kept? Dreaming may be one of the most important things that human beings do, and if we can hold onto those dreams and make solid plans to get there, more of us can find the joy we’ve been missing.

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