Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The slogan is on posters and T-shirts, and I don't get it.
I dream of being the Best In Class, standing at the top of a skill surveying all the lesser mortals beneath me. That is what a dream is, isn't it?
But that demeans the work of people who have been working for years, for decades, on a skill. There is no way I can accumulate decades of experience in a few years, no matter how hard I work or how badly I want it.
There is an arrogance in thinking that with just some effort and willpower, I am special enough and different enough that I can overcome the years, and be as skilled as those who have been working all those years. I have to be realistic in my dreams if I want to be realistic in my goals. There is a difference. I get this feeling sometimes that with enough willpower I can be Simply Perfect In Every Way. Uh, no. But I CAN be better in one or two ways today, which will make me better tomorrow.
Our advertising soaked society has us all thinking that someday we can look like (fill in name of the Beauty of the Day), but at nearly age 65, that will never be, no matter how vivid my dream. It may sound negative to say that I need to dream smaller, but from my current dreams, reality is a smaller goal.
So today I did everything on my list. I ate three planned meals including a great dinner, nothing in between. That counts as a Perfect Day. Does it get me closer to looking like Raquel Welch circa 1967? No, not even Raquel Welsh looks like that anymore. I look pretty darn good for someone about to go on Medicare, even though it falls far short of The Dream.
It sounds un-American to say "Dream Smaller", but for those of us subject to unrealistic dreams, it's easier to be a success when the dreams are realistic. And I know what realistic is, even though I don't want to admit it. As long as the Dream is a fun, private entertainment rather than an impossible goal, I can enjoy it, then pursue the possible with a big smile.