Dreams

Dream

Photo by calydelphoto

Dreams.

Funny things they are. When we’re young we have no problem coming up with and endless supply of dreams. Astronaut, firefighter, President, soldier, doctor, princess, fairy, sailing around the world, climbing Mt. Everest, Olympic athlete… the list is endless.

Then we grow up.

The dreams fade away as “reality” buries its dream-sucking claws into our lives.

Responsibilities start to pile on.

Then we grow up.

School.
Job.
Committments.
Spouse.
Children.
House.
Career.

Before we know it years or even decades have passed and we are locked into our version of the American Dream but our dreams remain unfulfilled. Haunting us as distant memories. Memories that occasionally echo from our past into our consciousness.

Now don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that I live in the richest country and am blessed beyond belief to be in the position to complain about these kinds of things when so many people in the world would give all they had just to have a better job or the opportunity to get a better education.

This fact is part of what irritates me so much. We have chased the “American Dream” with abandon. Who decided that it was our dream any way? Why is it so important that we “own” our own house? Why is it so important that we keep up with the latest fashions, drive the newest cars, live in the best neighborhoods?

Why can’t we decide to chase a different dream? We can. That is the good news. We have the ability to decide to ignore the American Dream and chase our own dreams! I honestly believe that with all of the resources that are available to us today, just about any dream can be reached.

The bad news is that first we will have to overcome the momentum of our current lives in order to turn around and head in a different direction.

All is not lost, though.

How long will this take? How hard will it be? That depends on how much “momentum” you currently have. How much consumer debt are you servicing? How much do you owe on your house, and more importantly, how much is it worth? How much stuff do you have that is keeping you on your current track?

My family and I have a dream of selling our house along with most of its contents, buying a sailboat and exploring the world.

What is it going to take to make this dream happen? Well, first we have to get out from under a lot of consumer debt, get out from under our house that is worth $50,000 less than we owe on it, save up for the down payment on the boat and build an income source that doesn’t require us to be in one location for ever.

That is a lot of momentum.

We have chased the American Dream for way too long. We bought into the idea that it is better to own than rent. We used credit to keep ourselves entertained and distracted from the fact that our dreams were dying a slow, painful death.

We accepted what the commercials were telling us. We’d be happy if we just had the latest and greatest stuff. People would admire us. We would have more friends. We would be successful. Bullshit!

The only thing we succeeded in doing was drowning ourselves in consumer debt. Ensuring that we could not chase our own dreams because we were too busy earning money to pay for the things that we already bought that did not bring us the fame, friends, happiness or success they had promised.

All is not lost, though.

Find your dream. Resurrect it from your distant past. Find a new one. Look into your life and find out what is missing.

Choose to look at the world around you with a different perspective. Don’t chase the goals that advertising is promoting and you won’t feel that you need what they are selling. Once you know where your dreams are you will also know the latest fashions, a new car and anything else that isn’t directly related to your dreams won’t get you any closer to them.

Don’t let anything stand in the way of you living your dreams.

Figure out what is keeping your from your dreams. Vow to attack these roadblocks with extreme prejudice.

Kill the debt. This is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome. Debt is the anchor that will keep you where you are. It is the wall that will keep you from moving towards your dream. It is what will keep you tied to the job that is slowly sucking the life out of you.

Adopt the belief that it is better “to do” than “to have”. Experiences enrich our lives much more than possessions. They are the foundation of wisdom. They help us grow as individuals and as families. They are ultimately portable as memories. They can be recalled at any time, at any place. They can be shared with anyone we meet as stories that entertain and educate.

If knowledge on a certain topic is what you need, then find out where you can get it. Most communities have education programs through community centers or colleges. There is almost limitless information on the internet. You can probably find an online forum of like minded individuals that will freely share information on what ever you are interested in.

We are living in the information age. Knowledge is power.

Don’t let anything stand in the way of you living your dreams.

What are you doing today to make your dreams come true? Tell us in the comments!

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6 Responses to Dreams

  1. Stretch November 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    What a joy to find soemone else who thinks this way.

  2. anne March 31, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Mike, I found your site through a link from Jonathan Mead’s (Illuminated Mind), and just wanted to make sure you’ve seen Chris Guillebeau’s (Art of Nonconformity) – seems like you and he have similar dreams. He’s got some great posts on getting rid of everything and living adventurously. So anyway, great articles, I’m looking forward to reading more of your ideas!

    • Mike Routen March 31, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Good morning Anne,

      I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you for the kind words.

      Yes, I read all of Chris’ posts. I really enjoyed his book, The Art Of Nonconformity. Last year I missed his big event in Portland, the World Domination Summit. This year I was sure to grab a ticket before they disappeared.

      I’m glad that you like the articles on Route To Freedom. Do you have any topics in particular that you’d like to see more of?

      Be sure to let me know.

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