The Journey to our dreams often is not on the course we have plotted. We often have an idealistic course that avoids pit stops and detours. If our course is not idealistic, we tend to envision a pessimistic one. The reality is that our course to our dreams is just our course and we attach strong expectations of what that should be based on our belief systems. Let us look at the dangers of how we plot the journey to our dreams.
The path of least resistance
When many of us dream our little dreams we have the tendency to overemphasize the ease of which they will be achieved. While it is good to be optimistic being unrealistic expectations of what we will encounter on the road to the lives we want can intensify our misery when things don’t go as we planned. If we go on vacation and have largely regimented plans we miss what I perceive to be a crucial element of any journey. The little nuances of the now, the off the path places we stumble upon and those experiences that can only come from having unexpected occurrences lead to places better than we could have imagined. It is better if we have a rough outline of what our dreams are and allow the path to our dreams reveal themselves as they are without the glossy trappings of a tourist trap.
The path of least enjoyment
The other common mentality towards the journey to our dreams is one of complete misery. We will never make it, the road will be too difficult, we aren’t prepared for the journey ahead. Pessimism is a horrible fuel for this kind of journey, it’s volatile and could end up combusting, igniting and ultimately exploding leaving the chariot to our dreams in fractured unrecognizable pieces. If you were planning a trip somewhere and you had the mentality that you were going to get a flat tire, several speeding tickets, stuck in a traffic jam for hours, food poisoning from a roadside dinner, have an argument with your travel companion and bit by a snake on a hike, would you want to go? The journey won’t be all sunshine and rainbows but have a negative opinion about it, before you ever even begin doesn’t achieve anything. You are using some of the fuel for your dreams, your imagination, to think of everything that can go wrong. What then when something that you couldn’t foresee goes wrong? It will feel like fate itself is against you at every twist and turn on the road. If your travel itinerary is one of incessant obstacles you may want to find another route.
The path of the unexpected
This is the least traveled on the journey to our dreams, it’s unpredictable, unknowable and undefinable. If you noticed, the previous two examples offered the illusion of what to expect, even though in reality, we can’t know the best or the worst things we may encounter until we begin to travel. If we plan for the entire journey to have certain experiences good or bad, we negate the other half of the equation, which is reality. No journey is entirely idealistic or entirely doom and gloom. What makes these experiences one way or the other is our attitudes towards what we are experiencing. When we plot a course and we expect everything to be a certain way we set ourselves up to experience what we think we should but we may miss what those experiences actually are. The path of the unexpected allows us to hope for the best and plan for the worse. It means we bring our swimming trunks and a poncho, always bring a poncho, we bring a tent and the rainfly. We are able to fluidly transition between the experiences. It’s better to have supplies and not need them than need supplies and not have them.
The Neverending Journey
Something we may not realize when we initially begin the journey to our dreams is they always lay on the horizon. They are not something that you can ever grasp because, in order to be following your dreams, you have to keep dreaming them. As you arrive towards one of your dreams, you notice another that lies just beyond that one, and so on. A map for our dreams serves little purpose because it reduces reality to tangible terms that ultimately aid in only encouraging a false sense of security or anxiety. To dream is to live, to follow your dreams in your daily life is the act of living. Somedays everything will be as you expect and others it will seem like everything that can go wrong is, regardless keep going. You may cling to the hope of your dreams by a thread but they will be there, encouraging you onward. So as we prepare to chase our dreams, lose the map, expect the unexpected and don’t forget a poncho. You can’t have a rainbow without the rain.
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