I’m posting a little bit later today as it is a Bank Holiday and you might be having a lie in. And, because many of you will have a day off today, and the sun might even shine, I want to encourage you to spend a little time dreaming.
It’s really important to dream.
I’m not talking about night dreams, the dreams we have when we are asleep (although they are important too). Nor am I talking about day dreams, those random wanderings of the mind which tend to occur when we should really be focussing on something else altogether.
The kind of dreams I am talking about might better be described as creative imagining.
The ability to imagine a potential future or to dream up a possible outcome is the first step towards change. Before we can set goals, before we can put together a plan, long before we take action, we need to dream.
We quite often start the process of change in a negative way, we are motivated to move away from something (or someone) that we don’t like. We don’t want to be under-valued or unfit or unhappy or unable to pay the bills so we start to make changes to our behaviour without asking ourselves what life will be like when we have made those changes.
Dreaming allows us to consider what we are moving towards, what life could be like if we made the best changes possible. It takes us away from fire-fighting, from solving every problem as it occurs and into a place where we can consider the bigger picture and the possibility of a more fulfilling future.
Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech was a rallying cry which brought life to the smaller, everyday changes people were fighting for.
I’m reading a book at the moment called The Feminist Utopia Project. It contains a series of essays by a truly eclectic selection of women in which they share their thoughts and ideas about what the world might look like if there was true equality, if the world was free of the fear of violence, if the world was indeed Utopian.
These women have been allowed to dream about making the world a better place for women and this gives us all something bigger, more cohesive to aim towards, rather than just away from. Fighting for equal pay or challenging everyday inequalities are important but the dream of a better future provides the motivation for the inevitable challenges women will face along the way.
You can do the same thing with your own life.
Dreaming is the “What If” of change. It doesn’t matter how big the change is. You might not want to change the world but “What If” has the power to transform your life. What if I could do a job that is truly rewarding? What if I was in a relationship that felt like a genuine partnership? What if I lived somewhere where the sun shines every day?
To make real change dreaming is not enough, you will still need to set goals, to work out the small, individual steps and the great leaps into the unknown but that all comes later.
For today, simply allow yourself to dream.