Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. — Gloria Steinem
As a cautious idealist, I’ve had my share of heartbreak when it comes to believing that world peace can be achieved in our lifetime, and other such wildly dreamy things. Think back to your younger days when you saw the world through rose-colored lenses with very little awareness of suffering or conflict or war that we’re all so familiar with now as adults. Over time, caught between harsh realism and lofty idealism, we learn to temper our expectations so as not to be terribly disappointed when things that we see during our waking hours don’t align with the hopes and dreams that we build in our idealistic hearts and minds.
The down side of embracing reality too readily is that it can lead to negativity which can stop a dream cold dead in its tracks. In our effort to protect ourselves from getting devastatingly disappointed, we forget that, in reality, peace can be achieved, people do get along and, if I may, dreams become reality. We become more inclined to believe the worst possible scenario and literally close the door on the likelihood of something truly wonderful happening. All in the name of “just being realistic.”
When we lean to the negative, we erode our inner dreamer. We unknowingly spread negative vibes to the universe and more locally, to the people we interact with on a regular basis. Negativity breeds negativity. In time, as its power builds, it becomes more and more difficult to overcome and eventually, the inner dreamer in us dies.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. There’s hope even for the most jaded of cynics. Here are some ways to revive our inner dreamer back to life:
1. Seek inspiration. This is probably the easiest thing to do to re-awaken the inner dreamer in us. Look up an inspirational quote online. Listen for good lyrics in a song. Talk to inspirational people. Read about a non-fiction character who has overcome incredible atrocities in life.
2. Get excited. Think about what your passions are and give yourself permission to follow them. If life doesn’t excite you, you’re probably not following your passion. Infuse your life with passions big and small and dreaming becomes second nature.
Get excited and enthusiastic about you own dream. This excitement is like a forest fire – you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away. — Denis Waitley
3. Stop saying negative things. Maybe you have dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, growing your business and creating jobs to help the ailing economy. Instead of saying, “I can’t do this. Businesses fail all the time.” Try: “Of couse I can do this. It’ll require a lot of hard work, but so many others have done this before me”.
All negativity is an illusion created by the limited mind to protect and defend itself. — Ambika Wauters
4. Stop thinking negative thoughts. You check your portfolio at the end of the day and notice that your stocks have been losing money for a few consecutive days. Instead of thinking, “I should’ve spent that money on a real vacation,” Try: “Stocks go up and down. No big deal!”
5. Don’t assume the worst before you know the whole story. We think we’re so smart and logical and, based on past experiences, because we’ve seen a pattern forming, we can assume the worst about a bad situation. For example, we’ve all been a victim of terrible customer service. We’ve been burned so many times it’s safe to assume it’s dead. But instead of assuming that a shipping company bungled delivery of your order for the nth time, try to be open to the possibility that maybe, you typed in your shipping address wrong, and this is why your order hasn’t arrived.
The least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable. — Paul Broca
6. Surround yourself with positive people. Positive people give off positive energy. They smile more and laugh more than negative people. If they’re faced with adversity, they find a way to overcome it or at least see an opportunity to learn. Negative people complain and can suck you dry. Who would you rather spend time with?
7. Make a conscious decision to opt for the positive. After you’ve been negative for a long time, it will take a while to re-learn to be positive. Here are some baby steps to start being positive again:
- Smile. At the most physiological level, smiling releases endorphins that make us feel good. On an emotional level, we connect no matter how fleeting, with whomever receives a smile from us.
- Acknowledge one good thing about yourself.
- Acknowledge one good thing about the outside world.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. — Harriet Tubman
Image by jillallyn