What are the dreams of most people?
Many years ago back in my corporate days, I attended a series of interactive training sessions for professionals that ran for one day a week for 7 weeks. It was a great course that I took away many lessons from. The presenter himself was fulfilling one of his dreams of being a facilitator of such training courses and so he was a good example – practicing what he preached in other words.
The other attendees at the course were all well known to me as most of us had worked for the same employer for many years. It was a good and positive work environment and that was reflected in the level of participation in this particular 7 week course.
At the end of the seventh session, the presenter summed up the overall content of the teachings and then asked each of us to reflect upon the experience. Finally, once we were all feeling very positive about ourselves, he asked the group a series of questions, the answers to which were to be written down and shared with others only if we chose to.
The last question, which I remember in particular, was, “what one great thing, something that you have always dreamed about doing, would you dare to attempt, if you KNEW that you could not fail? You knew beforehand that you will succeed.”
He repeated the question quietly, providing encouragement for us to write whatever we could possibly imagine achieving , doing or having in life.
Then the course came to an end and we had some time together to chat and go over the experience.
I like to ask questions, as answers from people are always optional and always illuminating. So I asked a couple of colleagues what did they answer to the question about what one great thing would they dare to do if they knew they could not fail.
I respected both people that I asked, which is why I was interested in their answers, and interested to know if they would share their answer. I told them beforehand that I wrote, “to be Prime Minister of New Zealand.”
This was back in the days when I thought politics and political parties mattered. That has all changed now, for I now think the opposite, but back then, that was a goal I thought I could achieve if I dared to persue it.
I was slightly surprised when one person told me their greatest dream was to take their family on holiday to the United States. The other person said, their greatest dream was to be a senior manager.
I acknowledged their replies and was grateful that they shared them.
But ever since, I am left wondering what are the greatest dreams of most people? Honestly, I was taken aback that two well respected senior staff in a corporate environment had dreams that were alot more modest than mine. (as I thought anyway). Especially, the one about taking the family to Disneyland etc.
That could be done anytime I thought – if you really wanted it enough. Even if you had to borrow money, which I assumed this person would not have had to do, you could achieve that dream in no time at all and without much effort.
Now that I have lived my life in a decidedly “forwards” direction, and having learnt more about people and the world, I can appreciate perhaps how many people have difficulty opening themselves up to the opportunities of the world. How little it is that many people expect from life.
Let us say there is a bit of truth to this notion – the next question would be why is that?
Why is it that so many people have limited dreams in life? Lack of opportunity? Poor education? Low expectations in their upbringing? Religion? Not wanting to look silly?
Who really knows.
How big are your dreams? Do you have any?
It has been a long time since I did that excercise actually – stop and re-evaluate my life.
I wish I had a hammock.
Thanks for being here.