Those that know me will tell you
that I am a dreamer. In part, that explains one of the reasons that Don
Quixote is one of my mentors. I will dream impossible dreams, which
causes some to diss my drive to dream. Whether my dreams are personal in
nature or dreams that are beyond personal matters, dreaming is central to my
Case in point. I have
written many articles about attempting to interview the Lady, Aung San Suu
Kyi. I traveled to Myanmar during Christmas break from teaching a couple
years ago in an attempt to realize that dream. Prior to going to Myanmar, I
spent months sending emails to people here and in Myanmar. To say that I
was disappointed with not being able even to contact the Lady would be an
understatement. That is a global dream of mine. However, I have
loads of lesser dreams that move me forward in life.
However, I'm old enough to know
that dreaming dreams and working hard to achieve them does not necessarily
assure success. Therefore, I have had to wrestle with my coping skills
when my dreams are dashed...at least dashed for a while. These are a half
dozen my means of dealing with my dreams, especially those that failed.
Realize reality. All dreams
won't be realized. That is a given about life. Nevertheless, there
is no way to determine which dreams will be realized and which will fail.
When the dashed dreams confront you, don't sit in a corner and complain that
life is unfair.
Continue to dream.
Regardless of what you feel having lost some of your dreams, continue to dream
seemingly impossible dreams. In reality, some of those dreams will come
true...because you are still working at achieving them. Stopping dreaming
and working at obtaining your dreams will stop any possibility of reaching your
Be honest. When determining
your list of dreams, be honest. Don't dream things that others tell you
are beneficial. You decide which is important...to you. Merely going
with the flow doesn't necessarily mean that that river of life is going in the
potentiality. Running into brick walls can be helpful. Randy Pausch
said, "The brick walls are there for
a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are
there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the
brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough.
They're there to stop the other people." When walls are in your way,
think about a way around the wall. Complaining about walls won't change a
Legacy issue. I have danced
with death twice. I understand the legacy issue far better that I did
prior to doing the dances. Since facing death, the word legacy appears in
front of me in caps: LEGACY. What will you pass down to your family and
the world when you no longer can lead death on the dance floor of life?
Shakespeare reminds us all, "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The
valiant never taste of death but once." Pass on a legacy of determination
Dare greatly. Teddy
Roosevelt, Man in the Arena speech,
said that "if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place
shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor
defeat." Fight the good fight, but sometimes, you will fail.
Nonetheless, daring greatly is a better option than being a timid soul who
dreams nothing. Randy Pausch echoed Roosevelt's comment, "It's important
to have specific dreams. Dream Big. Dream without fear." I
would rather try and fail than fail without trying.
That is the backstory.
Campbell is a dreamer, and he is happy as a dreamer. So what? The
question that you should be asking is about you and your dreams and
dreaming. Fernando Pessoa wrote, "The superiority of the dreamer is
that dreaming is much more practical than living, and that the dreamer extracts
from life a much vaster and varied pleasure than the action man. In better and
more direct words, the dreamer is the real action man."