GOB!G Quote of the Day

Friday, June 22, 2007

The moment we stop dreaming, we stop living

At some points I stop trying to onslaught my bad habits and going for the big kill at my goals and dreams. And every time I stop, a day wouldn’t go by without misery of having lost some part of my reason for living. I believe our goals are the thread that holds the fabric of our souls closely contacted to our minds and the world. That our dreams are the green (read: growth) blood in us that give us hope and meaning to our lives. So why stop dreaming and, in fact, setting and acting on daily goals that get us closer to that dream.

Because, at least for me, like a damned human, I’m taught to have my cake and not eat it all – and I live out that small truth in a big way believing things to be impossible.

I’m reminded of some passages in two books that I read yesterday before bed. In Tom Peters’ intriguing Re-imagine, he quotes what Robin Sharma (of The Greatness Guide international bestseller fame I reviewed here) also adores quoting: “There’s no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe in impossible things.” She lamented.

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Those are the insightful words from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. The Queen didn’t miss the mark a bit. I’ve been missing it just like Alice. And like Alice, I’ll take the Queen’s advice and believe in my goals and dreams.

Richard Branson in Screw it, let’s do it in a chapter labeled ‘Challenge yourself’ says, “Everyone needs something to aim for. You can call it a challenge, or you can call it a goal. It is what makes us human. It was challenges that took us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars.

“If you challenge yourself, you will grow. Your life will change. Your outlook will be positive. It’s not always easy to reach your goals but that’s no reason to stop. Never say die. Say to yourself, ‘I can do it. I’ll keep on trying until I win’.

Dreams, and their goals are beautiful things, but nasty to stick to or achieve. At the same time, the reason we keep, I keep, having them or creating them is that we need them. ‘They make us human’, the big dreaming billionaire Branson says. That’s why we can’t be separated from our dreams. By the same token, that’s why on many occasion we are so sad and miserable, left feeling that something is missing. That there’s a void.

For me, that void is created by the lack of action and drive I don’t put behind my goals and dreams. It’s that whole personal integrity dilemma thing again.

Ever really been hard on yourself? The result is that you become miserable that very instant. And the main reasons we get hard one on poor us is because we didn’t stick to that goal of losing some weight off our bodies. That we didn’t visit that such and such we’d been planning to visit. That we didn’t say that daily prayer we been meaning to say or didn’t go to church as planned. We didn’t kick that bad bad smoking habit in the butt. We didn’t forgive our parent, or whoever else, for something we made a big deal out of. That we didn’t make that phone call we put on hold for long. We keep postponing that important project. We didn’t take that trip/holiday we always promised ourselves. That we didn’t do this one thing and that other as we had wished and planned to. Not so ironic, when we do just even a small bit towards our goals and dreams, we become happy that instant.

The music and the dance are different – no jelling together. Then misery abounds. It beholds. It takes over. And, well, like me, on occasion – I’m being modest here – I’m happy on the outside, but miserable from within (in respect of my personal development). And it’s about time one took a stand. Aluta continua!

"Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire


Szavanna said...

This reminds me again of the posts on education - because I feel - once I entered the "system" I stopped dreaming.

Primary school, secondary school, university - I feel I was just doing things because - everyone was doing it.

I don't know how you guys feel - but my feeling is that the current educational system - (and the "system" in general) - is not designed to live our dreams - and that is wrong - instead we are treated like sheep.

I think education should be centered around teaching everyone how to live his/her dreams - but instead we spend about 16 years to "unlearn" all the things that was so natural when we were small kids. 16 years can do a lot a damage - and most people never regain the curiosity we all had when we were kids.

I almost graduated from university - and a few weeks before submitting that paper - I flew away to Africa - and that is when I got back to living my dreams. To me - education is free - becuase it is not about going to school - it is about deciding on a plan and following through with it (and learning a lot in the process)- how long it takes - it doesn't matter - for me projects are never done - there is always place for improvement .

Steli Efti of Supercool school says that going to school can ruin your life - (http://supercoolschool.typepad.com/blog/2007/04/7lessons_you_le.html)

I think it's important to rethink and redefine the word "education".

The OpenCafe is our way of experimenting with and coming up with new ways of learning - and there are many similar initiatives.

I think most important is to look for good examples and figure out how they did it - be it Mark Shuttleworth, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, or Gandhi - and "just do it".

Izz said...

You're right Szvanna. A good part of our shortfalls on dreams and goals is due to our education system. Less entrepreneurial skills are taught. And that system, which has never changed in many decades although the business, social and general world landscape has, ensures that we take comfort in mediocrity, which has been normalised to not look like mediocrity.

Szavanna said...

The most part of what we do at school is memorising text and then complete a questionnaire (for 16 years or more)...not so? :-). In what way will this help us learn all that is necessary skills to survive later on, to figure out how to live our dreams, solve relationship problems, raise a family, overcome a medical emergency etc.Most of the useful knowledge I have comes from my family, friends, from trying new things, from travelling. I think it is really important to talk about this topic - because if we look around and think of the people see every day - most of them are probably not living their dreams and this is the cause of a lot of unhappiness in families, between friends etc.

Richard Branson's book is really great - we have it and I hear a lot of people mentioning it - if teachers would make it compulsory reading - it could make a big difference in schools - hm this is just an idea - but we read parts of the book to our kids - they really enjoyed it.

I'd love to hear what Ishtar has to say about this topic. She seems to be following a path that most of us would never even consider. It'd be great to hear about her reasons for choosing the path she is on.

Izz said...

I'd like to hear such from Ishtar too. For I found myself last week trying to understand that how come a path lest liked be chosen by one who could have all the confort elsewhere.

You're right. Our education system mostly prepares us for 'nothing', except for demonstrating that others can memorise text more than the others, and those (with other talents by the way) get labeled failures, for straight 16 years by the kind of mark downs given by teachers. And that conditions(conditioned) us to fear failure and duck whenever it faces us -as you say, the source of our current adult life unhappinesses.

I wish different for my kids, Talia and Tinyiko.