‘Way down deep inside, I’ve got a dream‘ — sings Rapunzel (in Tangled) with all the thugs, ruffians and thieves who seem to go all warm and fuzzy when she asks them in all her spirited innocence — ‘Don’t any of you have a dream?!‘
Some of us grow up knowing exactly what we want to do or what we want to be — the ballerina, the revolutionary, the sportsman, the figure skater, the michelin star chef, or the bestselling author. On the other end of the spectrum, lie the silent dreamers — the ones that are good at most things, and excel at nothing. They are the dormant volcanoes— bubbling within, serene on the surface — satisfied with being a tourist’s attraction, rather than the centre of it. This is us.
We were the teenagers living in our own lost worlds — we knew we would fare square in our circles, but we never found our real calling — our soul’s drug, our true life force. We were naive, fragile, carefree, and almost too happy with our ‘above average‘ opening acts in all facets of early adulthood — studies, love, jobs, life. But in the shadows, lay still, the dreams that were never dreamt, the opportunities that didn’t come our way, the exposure that we couldn’t experience, the inspiration that we couldn’t find, and the heroes inside us that we couldn’t recognize.
Nobody knows all along what their one big dream will look like. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you have all your ducks in a row from the very beginning. But sometimes, that dream decides to show up when you’ve finally got everything under control — and wish only to lie on a bed of green grass and gaze at the stars, patting yourself on your back, for you made a good life out of what was offered to you. ‘But, wait a second‘ — says the universe. ‘I’m not done yet.’
Suddenly, the dream is here in all its eloquence – to consume you, derail you, question your sanity and rip you apart. And yet, it’s everything you are made up of — it’s every cell of your body, every thought in your mind, every chemical in your blood, and every grain of your soul. And just like that, you know what the great people were talking about when they said ‘I’ve got a dream’. Just like Phil Knight says in his memoir – Shoedog — ‘It didn’t even look like an idea. It looked like a place. It looked like a person, or like some life force that existed long before I did, separate from me but also part of me. Waiting for me, but also hiding from me.’ Yes, dreams can feel so vivid, so real — it all depends on how you assemble it, frame it, work it – it all depends on how you sell it to yourself.
Dreams don’t often become a reality. When I wake up each morning, that’s the one thought I fight. The one thought I never want to believe in, to give power to, or to succumb under. Some may call it stupid, some may say I shall be unprepared to deal with the real world at some point, some may even snigger at my gullible outlook. But way down deep inside, I know that I can attract all that I’ll ever need to make my dreams my new truth. If I fail, I’ll know that I didn’t want it bad enough to be able to abolish all negativity with regard to its fulfilment. I am the only pawn in the game — and how I fare is always in my control — one way or another.
The world is full of triggers that may confine you to your swamp of a life — holding you back, chaining you to the rails, unleashing the mind games, sending you on guilt-ridden trips, and filling your brandy mug with a whole lot of clean juice. Don’t let it get to you. Because, Haruki Murakami always makes the best analogies, and this one is no exception; he says — life is like a box of assorted chocolates — where you eat your favourite ones first and leave the others behind, not wanting to eat them at all. But in order to get to the next box of chocolates, you need to finish the ones you don’t like. You need to deal with digesting bad energy. You need to accept being judged for your choices, blamed for your indulgence in yourself, and questioned about the future that you don’t hold in your hands. But all through this, remember to keep the hero inside you singing your favourite songs, dancing in the rain, and believing in magic. Let your soul live in its neverland where rules exist only to be broken, where reality becomes a dream and where you breathe music, eat fire and spew love. In other words, stay lost, stay sane.
At the very same time, grasp the entirety of the equation — confide in a friend, observe the competition, look deep inside your framework, ask the right questions. Are you wired to do this? Do you have the unmatched passion and potential? Is your illusory castle sitting on a hollow base of assumptions? In being so lost, are you walking under the sea all alone? Are your blueprints strong enough to win a firefight? So on and so forth. Be honest with yourself and let healthy criticism be the one you go to bed with.
But, once you know you’ve got all your ducks in a row (or all your squirrels in a rave – as a close friend always says), go all guns blazing. Don’t look over your shoulder, and don’t look beyond the horizon. Keep your gaze fixed on this day. This moment. Do it better, faster, nicer. Fish out rabbits from hats and flower bouquets from blazer cuffs. Give it every waking nanosecond, shut out everything else. Call it inception — plant an idea in your own head — call it what you will. Do it all long enough, and tell me you don’t actually believe in the only obvious truth – that your dreams are your only, absolute reality.
As crazy as most of it sounds, we are nothing but flesh and bones without some hope, some dreams and some love.
So, let the hero inside you run wild, chasing dreams, meeting strangers, making history and creating magic. Don’t be scared to run, be scared to stop.
In Mariah Carey’s words –
“And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you“
Until next time, XOXO