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If You Can Dream It You Can Be It?? Really?

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Love the blog and all the comments. Did I write this blog, or did you write it for me? In any case, I can so relate to this and I something within me needed to hear it this right now. Thanks so much for sharing your truth. Agree that the slogan is really kind of silly, and even sillier as one gets older. I am also almost 65.
    1433 days ago
    yep yep yep

    1435 days ago
    1435 days ago
    Great blog, "liked" it . . .

    As I sometimes say (as kindly as possible) to clients, "A wish is not a plan."

    And dreaming impossibly big (such that realistically the dream is impossible to achieve) so often serves to excuse any discipline necessary to reach the smaller achievable goals.
    1443 days ago
    Perfect is when we can see ourselves for who we are and accept it, truly be okay with it.

    To me, that is perfection!

    Fuggedaboud all that stuff on the tube (TV? wuzzat...? lol), billboards, 'net and magazines.

    WE are what's real and that is all right!

    1443 days ago
    I so enjoyed this blog! At one point in time, I could relate to parts of it.

    I like being where I am today, with my dream firmly centered on being the best "Ima" that I can be --- with all glory for success in that area going to my Creator.

    My whole lookout on life changed when I finally realized that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" & "Marvelous are Your works" --- His works includes the creation of "Ima Vision" --- therefore, I am marvelously made". Amen! Amen!

    I can quite truthfully say that there is no one on planet Earth that I rather be than myself! \o/ I praise & thank God for the truth of that statement! \o/

    God bless!


    P.S. The quotes are from Psalm 139:14 (NKJV).

    1444 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/7/2014 3:22:35 PM
    Great insights in your blog and in the comments. The only thing I might add is this: that the saturation of advertising usurps our own dreams. For example: do I care in the least to look like the latest model?
    The dream that matters is the one that comes from within.
    1447 days ago
    1451 days ago
    Love it!

    I remember sitting in a meeting where the Speaker was gushing about "We can be ANYTHING we want to be!" The 5-foot-2 60-something year-old man sitting next to me muttered, "I wanna be a college basketball star."

    Let's hear it for realism! emoticon
    1451 days ago
    1451 days ago
    I agree with you, Nell. Striving for perfection only brings on more stress. I think that's why I embraced idea of achieving small goals and rewarding them, much as you felt rewarded by having a perfect day.

    Recently a friend posted on Facebook, "I think there are things we believe only because we want them to be true." One example she gave was "what goes around, comes around." We'd like to believe people who hurt us will get their comeuppance, but the truth is, mostly they don't. Another totally arrogant saying I saw in one of the FB responses was, "I believe GOD is on my side."
    1451 days ago
    Nell, I certainly agree with your blog. We are who we are. We can make some differences with determination and a realistic purpose.

    1451 days ago
    You may a good point. Dreaming alone won't cut it, that's for sure!
    1451 days ago
    You are right on, Nell.

    Dreaming in absolutes, as you point out, is seldom achievable. However, we can, and should, aspire (maybe dream) to improve our situation. With effort MOST of us can achieve that aspiration.
    1451 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon our world has morphed into something I am not proud of. Entitlements, no integrity and arrogance...none of which I wish for. Have you noticed that the new "key word" in advertisements is "deserve"?
    1451 days ago
    I think your dreams are rock solid!
    1451 days ago
    Totally agree with your thinking. No one is perfect just getting through a day might be all the perfection we can handle. Thanks for your blog.
    1452 days ago
    1452 days ago
    We have changed in this country -- from thinking we need to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps into thinking we are entitled to everything without effort. This slogan is not unlike every kid being an honor student in high school but needing remedial classes at the community college; every kid on the team receiving a trophy so no one feels left out...our local middle school has an awards ceremony EVERY SIX WEEKS!

    Dreams are just wishes & hopes if they aren't followed by planning, effort, and just plain old hard work.

    I like to think that I accept myself where I am now and am simply trying to be the best I can be. I do wish I would have appreciated the looks & body I had at age 25-30 instead of obsessing over those 5 pounds.....

    1452 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1452 days ago
    I thought I was the only one who had a problem with that slogan.
    If you can dream it, you can achieve it? Really?

    While I can improve myself in most areas, no amount of practice or effort would ever have made me a professional singer, basketball player, concert pianist or a gymnast.

    We have to know our strengths and how to make the best of the talents we have been given, but we must be honest with ourselves.

    Our dreams must be realistic. Perhaps that's assumed in the slogan.
    1452 days ago
    I love your pragmatic voice, Nell. You tell it like it is, without all the ridiculous sugar coating and fluff that often hides the real, mundane, everyday effort that adds up to achievement.

    Life isn't a fantasy or a fairytale. It often involves a lot of hard work consistently applied. And the more realistic we can be about our situations, the more genuinely satisfied we can be. Instead of living in a parallel fantasy universe, disconnected from reality.

    1452 days ago
  • MM11113
    I agree with you. Every day that we stay on plan, we are better than we were. May not show on the outside, but inside, we know that with effort, we can do it.

    I, am 65, and I don't think I can ever get back to my 'playing weight', but that is my dream. And, since I haven't played anything in 25 years, maybe, I have lost some muscle weight, and I might get there, just won't have that same shape!

    So be it. I will be healthier than I was last week! And, way healthier than I was last August when I started.

    1452 days ago
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