Live to Dream, Live your Dream
By Jeff Skoll
Live to Dream, Live your Dream
In order to live a dream, one must have a dream. In the past, partly as a means to maintain my own perspective, I've urged people to follow their passions and to fulfill their true ambitions. Sadly, I've learned a sobering lesson - there are many people who do not have a dream. To make matters worse, it seems that a significant portion of our community does not know how to dream.
Frequently, my classmates have told me that they are planning to take one job or another simply because they do not know what else to do. Someday, they conjecture, a dream will arise and they will act upon it then. Unfortunately, life does not work like that.
Too many unenlightened beings have passed through the motions of life only to recognize the futility of such an existence upon their deathbeds. The thought of looking back at my life as shallow and empty scares me deeply. It should scare you too.
How to Dream
Why is it that dreams do not spontaneously occur for some individuals? Why do some people become visionaries while other more pedantic thinkers contribute little to their world? Basically, it is a question of self-awareness, of introspection, and a connection with the fullness and richness of the universe.
In his book, A Guide For The Perplexed, E.F. Schumacher posits that there are four levels of consciousness, or life force. At the bottom of the life scale is the "mineral" where the life force is essentially comprised of some mass or chemical composition but no more. At the next level "plants," the abilities to extract nourishment from the environment, to grow, and to reproduce are first encountered. A similar ontological discontinuity of "jump in the Level of Being," is found between plant and "animal," where animals possess consciousness, or the ability to act, to react, and to anticipate changes to the environment. Finally, at the highest level of being, resides "man." Incorporating all of the powers of the lesser life forms, man also has the ability to contemplate his own consciousness and to be aware of his own thinking.
Within each of us lies the capability to assess our place in the universe and to understand or drives and dreams. However, it is too easy to get distracted by the demands of life and to forget to take the time to be aware of our own thinking. That is why so many people claim that they do not have a dream and why this situation will not change of its own accord.
So how does one lay the foundation for dreams to arise? Dewitt Jones, a speaker in the Personality, Self-Awareness, and Leadership class, recently suggested that one needs to spend some time alone with one's thoughts in order to facilitate the process of dream awareness. Meditation, communion with nature, and an awareness of the richness of one's perceptions are all techniques by which one can gain insight into one's inner being. With such self-understanding comes inner peace, focus, and a richer life.
With Spring Break just around the corner, now is the time for the many who have not discovered their passions to spend some time alone with their thoughts. Join a meditation group, spend some time hiking in the woods, or close your eyes and contemplate your thoughts during your next plane or car trip.
Life is too short to misdirect one moment of precious time in unproductive endeavors. Find your passion and understand your desires. Then, and only then, will you begin to live your dream.