Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are There Unrealistic Dreams?

Dreaming big.

Listening to public radio a few weeks ago, I heard a news report about a program for high schoolers in Pittsburgh to better prepare them for their life after school. “Some of them don’t know how to achieve their dreams, some don’t have dreams, and some have unrealistic dreams.”

That struck me as an oxymoron.

I think a dream doesn’t have to be realistic. If you want realism, make a plan. If you want a dream, keep it unrealistic. Shoot for something amazing!

I’m not interested in being the parent that tells my kids to aim low. My skinny seven year old thinks he’s going to be a running back in the NFL. When he retires, he wants to work construction. That is his dream! He mentions it frequently. But he’s seven. It’s likely to change several times before adulthood, and do I really need to be the mom that beats him down and crushes his hopes?

An old friend and I were debating this issue the other night because her stepson recently made the decision not to attend a great city school. He has dreams of playing football like his older cousins but also isn’t the physical ideal for the sport. They are dealing with a 13 year old who is making decisions about his future based on dreams.

The same week these thoughts ran around my brain I picked Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist. Coehlo writes:

“When they are young, everyone knows what their Personal Legend is. As that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.” 
And then finally, one of my favorite blogging writers posted about how Felix Baumgartner's Space Jump inspired her to keep chasing her dreams.

Thanks Universe, I get the message. I'm going to hang on to my unrealistic dreams forever!