Have you ever had a dream die? Most all of us have at some time or another. Perhaps it was the dream of being a professional athlete and that dream crumbled under a college knee injury or more likely from a sudden realization that you simply were not—and would never be—good enough.
Perhaps it was the dream of a life to be spent with that perfect someone that you had finally just met, only to see that dream shattered when you find that your perfect mate doesn’t see you in the same light.
Perhaps it was the dream of building that business you always saw yourself owning , that business that was destined to set the world on its ear and sit up and take notice. Only that dream died, like the others, for any number of possible reasons.
Dreams come in a million different colors and variations and they die in an equally staggering number of different ways.
That a dream we possess struggles and dies a terrible death is not necessarily a tragedy. If we dare to dream we face the likely reality of the death of that dream. The tragedy, however, is to live the rest of our life in mourning that dream, a mourning which robs us of any possibility of dreaming other dreams. And sometimes those dreams will be even greater, even grander, evern more profoundly impacting, than any dream we have previously dreamed.
There are several things us prospective dreamers need to remember.
First, if you are afraid of pain, don’t dream. If you can’t face the possibility of seeing your dream die, don’t dream in the first place. The more you dream, the more likely you are to see your dreams die. That is the reality. Face it. Deal with it.
Second, if and when you experience the death of a dream, don’t let the pain of the moment rob you of the invaluable lessons that can be learned in those moments. Stay alert. Keep a clear eye.
Third, mourn, but only for a set period of time. The loss of a dream, like the loss of any person or possession that we love and value, must be mourned. We must go through the process of letting go. Allow yourself that time. Mourn. Cry. Scream in anger, if necessary. Shout at God a bit. (he understand, by the way).
Then, get up. Pick up the pieces. Clean up. Put a smile on your face. Move on.
Finally, dream the next dream. Songwriter Larry Gatlin penned a wonderful song titled “One Dream Per Customer” in which he asked the question; “Is life a simple matter of one dream per customer, or are we allowed all we dare to dream”. When we are in the midst of dreaming and planning our big dream—THE dream—it is hard for us to imagine and believe that there are more dreams where that came from. There are. Dream again. Yes, you might face another death if you do, but that’s ok. Dream anyway. Never let the death of one dream cause you to abort other dreams that are growing within you.
Dream on, dreamer.