You have a right to have more than one dream. Honest. We grew up with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And, admittedly, throughout the years the answers may have changed. Yet, they all had a common theme, the answer was usually one thing.
“I want to be a doctor, a teacher, an artist.”
The answer for many of us was never,
“I want to be a teacher who creates art as a side-project.”
Growing up we were encouraged to pursue our dreams, but along the way the “s” was removed and it turned into pursuing our one dream. As adults, we frequently dedicate all of our time and energy to achieving that one dream we love, which can be undoubtedly fulfilling. Here, tunnel vision is motivating because through this approach we learn to focus our attention on one thing we really desire. But, we tend to forget that we can widen the tunnel and apply this same idea to other avenues in life, too.
In a New York Times’ article on fundraising and volunteering, the author wrote: “When people give their time or money to a cause they believe in, they become problem solvers. Problem solvers are happier than bystanders and victims of circumstance.” By moving away from a tunnel vision approach we allow ourselves to become problem solvers in other aspects of our lives. This can include volunteering with an organization that champions your favorite cause or by joining a book club to uncover a new interest. If given the chance, pursuing different passions opens us up to a wonderful middle ground where anything is possible.
So, we need to dare each other to dream in plural. Making reflection a part of our daily routine can help us pinpoint what provides the most joy or how we can fill holes in our day with something we truly love — which can be more than one thing. Looking around at friends who are pursuing multiple dreams is a viable source of inspiration.
For me, inspiration was found in one of my closest friends. She has a nine-to-five job she loves, but this doesn’t stop her from auditioning for plays afterhours. She loves her dreams wholeheartedly and has decided to live a life filled with them. Her plays may never pay the bills, but who says all dreams need to have a dollar sign attached to them? Maybe the return-on-investment we need is the knowledge that we pursued and enjoyed something we loved.
Do you have multiple dreams? What are they?
Image via Sarah Maizland