A friend called me a few weeks ago. She wanted to meet. I know her well enough so I realised what she was really asking for. Time to talk. Whenever something serious or important happens in her life, she immediately reaches out to find if we can meet. Of course “asap”.
Sharing is powerful. Time to speak to someone can bring a new realisations and fresh perspective. Being listened to means also a strong sense of connection with another human being.
With this friend, our chats will usually turn into a deep conversation, it will take a good few hours, tasty dinner and a bottle of wine. That’s fine. I am glad she sees me as a friend and I am happy to be her “go – to” person whenever she is looking for a meaningful support.
This time it wasn’t any different. Our conversation wasn’t just a quick opportunity to catch up. My friend needed to share with someone her new discoveries and realisations. In the last couple of months her life changed dramatically. It seems absolutely natural that at that point in time, she needed some quiet moment for reflection and a good company of another analytical person.
So we met on Saturday evening in one of our favourite restaurants. I listened actively to really hear her, understand her flow of thoughts and challenges. “I am not there yet” – she said – “But one day I will be. My life right now is not the way I want it to be. I have to make changes. I know where I’m going and I know what I want. I can see it clearly. I am telling you. One day I will have life full of joy and fulfilment. One day…”
I can no longer remember how many time she repeated the phrase “One day…” but it stayed with me and I can still hear the sound of it in my head. The future focused somewhat vague promise of something better awaiting.
Meeting her made me think – I think I’ve heard some of those before. Here are a few examples of the “One day… “ statements that I’ve heard from my friends, family, they are thoughts that clients shared or I simply caught myself thinking:
“One day… I will have a very fulfilling career, my dream job. I’ll be working with creative people who inspire me. I will have those great leadership skills I read so much about. I’ll be a part of a team that enjoys working together and making things happen.”
“One day… I will have a wonderful family. I can see us living in a lovely house outside the city. We will go on a fantastic holiday every year, somewhere we have never been before. Somewhere exotic.”
“One day I will be satisfied with who I have become. I will be motivated, will never procrastinate again and will be the most reliable person. Things will turn out ok. I will finally feel self-confident and proud of what I have achieved. Me and my partner will have this great circle of friends that we will meet every so often to share our hobbies with. We will do stuff together.”
I love these thoughts, they are dreams that flow like the most beautiful fairy tales. They feed imagination and they allow us to crave more and expect more from life. Sometimes we all think this way holding on to the vision of something greater coming our way.
I am the same. Some of those thoughts are mine. This future perspective lacks details. It’s general but pleasant to think about. Recently they came back. I felt a strong sense of hope and excitement as my imagination showed me pictures of my life when “One day… I will be fully content with myself, my achievements and really pleased with how my life turned out. I am sure one day I will be living with a sense of lasting fulfilment. I will have time to slow down and smell the roses. I will have a sense of freedom and life will be easy… “
Nice? Sure, but there was one thing that got in the way of my beautiful dream… I was lying on a beach at Maldives.
Here is what I have learnt
Dreams are nice, but they are keeping us away from facts and reality. Just like I realised that dreaming about something amazing while at Maldives can be at least described as ungrateful. We lose touch with our life today.
What’s fantastic about your life today?
What have you got already that you can be proud of?
What makes this moment in your life more amazing than any moment before?
Where can the sense of real fulfillment come from in your life today?
We maybe well on the way to achieve fantastic results and get rewards in life that we have been working towards very hard. We may be leaving the dream already but craving more all the time takes attention away from all the reasons to celebrate we already have TODAY.
Dreams are nice, but they are just dreams:
“That’s a given, having kids and a happy family. Everyone has that, right?”- my friend asked
“No”, – I said – “Nothing is guaranteed”
Dreams can help motivate and inspire us but they can never replace a real action that must happen in order for us to see real results. This month we say “A little less conversation, a lot more action”. Action is what brings about change. Hopes and wishes can be a great starting point, but they are only a starting point. Conscious planning, preparation and setting specific goals takes it to the next level and then action, action, action to make things happen.
Someone said recently that “Practice is always learning but learning is never practice”. Start now and you will learn as you go along. Dive in and experience your dream coming true. Don’t wait for things to “happen one day…” Make them happen TODAY!
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