When you tell someone: I want to graduate from X University and become a doctor, what is the usual reaction? Well, unless the person in question is not fit for being doctor as he or she enjoys spending time poisoning the local neighbourhood dogs for fun, there is a good chance of healthy support or any other sort of appreciation coming their way. You know, being a doctor is a grand dream to aspire to. It helps people and all. Even if it is out of our reach, it may be classified as crazy or absurd, yet it will most likely be understood by the people around us. But what about the silly dreams?
We all have them. Dreams we do not share out loud with others as we are embarrassed to be laughed at. Dreams that just do not seem worthy enough to follow. Dreams that could make us happy but instead they just get covered up by layers and layers of dust in the very bottom shelves of our memories.
I am a great fan of silly dreams – and I hope I can convert you to a silly-believer too. Just make yourself a nice cup of tea, sit comfortably and join me on this step-by-step journey to the land of fulfilling silly dreams.
Step 1: Write down a list of all the irrelevant things you want
Don’t think about benefits. Don’t think about others. Just focus on moments you always wanted to live through. You, not everybody else. Things you never told anyone about. Things that always fell down your priority list, because they just were never important enough.
Now cross off all the things that are actually… well… understandable. Socially acceptable, maybe. Going to the States and seeing the Grand Canyon is not practical, but it is a big dream. Buying a fancy dress that costs two of your salaries may be frowned upon, but somehow it is more of an unreasonable dream than a silly ones. Imagine you are actually telling someone about your dreams and for a moment focus only on those ones that you are too embarrassed to share even with the made up voice in your head.
I need an example? One of the silliest dreams I have ever had was to touch a bunny. Yes, me with my bunny obsession had never actually… you know, touched one. When my boyfriend heard it for the first time, he almost died laughing (and he still cannot believe it). It was neither a dream worth aspiring to nor a dream many would understand, I know that, it was a silly whim that no one was ready to support me achieving.
But once I realized that is indeed what my life was – believe it or not – lacking, no one could have stopped me.
Step 2: Forgive yourself
This is the hardest step on this journey and one many will struggle with. One I often struggle with and I will probably never ever fully free myself from. Guilt.
Shouldn’t I be doing something productive? Shouldn’t I be doing something less selfish? Shouldn’t I be a responsible adult with a responsible goal list? Am I just wasting my life away?
Yes, it escalates pretty quickly. One moment you think about going to a mini zoo to pet a little rabbit, and the next thing you realize you could be building an infinite power source for the good of society and there is simply no way of escaping that. Maybe there are people out there who have good ways of dealing with it, but for most of us doing things for ourselves – especially if society would deem them useless – is a real guilt trip.
We could be useful. We could be achieving greatness. At the very least we should be cleaning the house. And yet we decide to waste time and strength on silliness.
The only real way to overcome it is forgiveness. One could of course try being rational: overthinking wastes more time than actually going and doing something together with: I could be done with this way before I will be finished with my moaning session, but rational thoughts hardly ever work with paranoia. It is forgiveness that sets us free.
And there is no one else that can forgive us other than ourselves.
Step 3: Do not seek support
You may be surrounded by fantastic people ready to jump into a fire with you and prepared for all the silly gibberish of your life. But chances are that the majority will not look kindly on your new idea. And can there be anything more disheartening than someone else’s disapproval?
Of course, it is nice to have someone believe in our dream, no matter how small or silly it is; and we should not reject a friendly hand if one is offered. However, we should be prepared to face this challenge alone. Silly dreams are not epic adventures for glory and greatness. Silly dreams are often hard to explain and not at all worth the effort of anyone but us.
Silly dreams are ours and ours alone.
Step 4: Acknowledge your dreams are worth the price
Silly dreams very rarely come with a price tag – and yet it is crucial to understand why we want them and accept the potential consequences. No magic is free, you know, it will cost you.
The most common price to pay is, of course, embarrassment. I mentioned it a few times already as it plays a crucial role in stopping us from reaching for what we want. If you are a little girl, you may get away with a few more things than other people, but even the littlest girls face cruel judgement and people calling one stupid or even crazy is not a pleasant thing to hear.
That is why it is so important to understand why we want these silly dreams to be fulfilled. Why we are ready to reach for them. This knowledge will give us the strength to get through all the obstacles thrown our way.
And although these obstacles may be less impressive than these thrown at us by Grand Ambitions, they can be equally painful. I am sure we all have tripped over a few in our lifetimes.
Step 5: Learn to cherish the small things
At the end of the day, silly dreams can teach us a valuable lesson – on how to love the little joys of everyday life.
Often we are so focused on the ambitious goals that we create for ourselves, we forget about what’s already around us. And it is the little things and brief moments that constitute our lives, but often get dismissed and forgotten.
Focusing on silly dreams can help us shift the weight of our happiness and enjoyment (as this is something that bothers so many of us) from the vague things of the future to the touchable things of the now.
They make us who we are, no matter how much we may try to hide it.
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