Learning to dream again


I had a very long conversation with my wife tonight about dreaming, the reason being that I’ve become really bad at it. Or I think so anyway. I have a billion thoughts, ideas ,wishes, hopes and yes, dreams, a week, but I defer them or intentionally put them on the back burner. The reasons vary.

Sometimes I think my dreams and hopes are selfish, but mostly it comes down to my fear of failure. I feel like if I I’ve verbalised a dream, I have to do something to make it happen or else I’m just a big mouth that talks a lot but does very little. But if I verbalise the dream and try to do something about it, the imminent failure could be too painful. So I just tell myself, “Ah, that probably won’t work anyway” and move onto something else. Most of the time I do this without realising it, but after a little while I look back and think, “Huh, I missed something there” or just get that feeling like something’s missing.

So that’s what I told my wife while we sat on the porch and spoke about our Monday. She is brilliant at getting stuff out of people and I mean that in the best way possible. She somehow gets at the stuff that people didn’t know they were suppressing, but once they get it out, they feel lighter and encouraged. So she got out her journal sat down and dared me to share any and every dream that popped into my head. This is challenging because, like I said, I put every dream through the “Can I do that now?” and “How much will it hurt” filters. So I switched those off and just allowed myself to think of what would make me feel alive. I’m not expecting these things to make me happy forever. I just started picturing scenarios, people and places that excite me. I didn’t try to figure out the details, I just tried to see myself there. I don’t know the last time I did that. So this is some of what came out.

I want to:

  • Play drums again and become better than I’ve ever been before
  • Find a new passion that surprises me
  • Live in a place where the environment, people and culture surprise me every day
  • Camp and hike in places that are totally random to me
  • Work more and more on the human side of branding. I’ll find whatever resources I can and learn as much as I can about it.
  • Never let my age define me and what I can do (i.e. Never think “I can’t do that now, I’m already XX years old”).
  • Become and expert in my children’s passions (e.g. if my daughter does ballet I’ll learn the names of all the biggest prima ballerinas from the last 50 years).

After writing all this down my wife asked me to google the definition of the word “Adventure”. This is what we got:

  1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
  2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
  3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
  4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.


“Some people see things as they are and say why?  I dream things that never were and say, why not?”

George Bernard Shaw


My wife looked at me and said, “You see, your dreams are all of those things.” I always thought my dreams were lame and safe and to some people they may be just that. But I’m excited. It’s amazing what can happen when you allow that kid inside of you to come every once in a while. It also makes it a lot easier to see God as your loving dad who dreams with you. And so instead of being a grumpy old man who starts the day with concerns about the day ahead, I can start with, “What would happen if..?”.


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