I was speaking awhile back with a woman who is very good at making her dreams happen. She said “Unfulfilled dreams are like little points of constipation in our lives”. How eloquent.
But it occurred to me that this phenomenon doesn’t always make us rush to take action. Often it just leaves us feeling, well, endlessly constipated. Ugh.
Our dreams can be uplifting things to think about or they can become dead weights. They’re often fuzzy in our heads, and fuzzier yet are the details about how to make them come true. Maybe the dream feels scary and risky. All this fuzziness is what causes the constipation; we have an impression that the dream is impossible to achieve, even though we don’t have any hard evidence. We lust after it hopelessly and kick ourselves for not being able to make it happen. What an incredible waste of energy.
Being of a practical mind, this waste bugs me. What if, instead, you were to examine what it takes to make your dream a reality? Determine what it’s really made of? What it will do for you? What its actual risks and obstacles are, and how you could overcome them? Once you’d done that, you’d know one of three things:
- Wow, I can do this thing and I’m going to start on it right now, OR
- Wow, this thing I’ve been harbouring is actually not worth it to me, considering the price I’ll have to pay in time, money, energy or whatever, OR
- This dream is great but I can’t do it right now.
The first one is what we all want to be able to say, but the second and third answers are equally liberating. They’re all answers that allow us to stop wasting energy.
If you go through this planning process and discover your position is ‘not right now’, here’s what you can do. Put your dream, with all its beautiful details, in a safe place. Pull it out again in 6 months, a year, five years – whatever makes sense – and ask is it time yet? until it is. In between those moments, ignore it. It’s not gone, it’s not dead, it’s just patiently waiting, while you spend your energies on things that are more important right now.
And you get to kiss that constipated feeling goodbye.