Should we follow all our dreams?

It’s strange how once you start to get on a “theme”, everything you read seems to connect to this line of thought!  I started the year with the realisation that instead of seeking excitement and success, perhaps we could spend more time appreciating “an ordinary day”. This was sparked by the recent run of tragic events that have been headlined since before Christmas.

This week I came across a blogger who has some fascinating articles and whose content resonated with me – given my recent area of interest! Mark Manson is his name. One particular article argued that point that not all dreams should be pursued!  I read on.  

Manson very clearly draws the line between dreams and fantasy, making the point that fantasies “never have negative repercussions” whereas reality does. He gives the example of someone wanting to be a rock star and yet when faced with the reality of it, he really didn’t want everything that went with it.  What he really wanted was the thrill of recognition and appreciation – not the task of writing new songs.  Perhaps another analogy is someone wanting to be a super model, or perhaps a top Olympic athlete. The thought seduces them into believing that this would give them happiness and satisfaction.  Yet when they look closely at what goes along with that kind of success, would they really want the arduous commitment of dieting, training, spending hours on grooming and wondering if people liked them for their position or who they really were as people.  

I like to think that Wellness Coaches encourages people to look at realistic change whereas people may seek out a Life Coach to help them gain the kind of success referred to above.  This may be an unfair statement as there are many great life coaches out there, doing some good work with people to improve their lives.  However, tying goals into “wellness” somehow keeps the dream real and helping someone look long and hard at what is motivating and driving them ensures they understand what they really want or why they want it.  Is it fame and screaming crowds that the rock star will experience or the need for recognition and appreciation?  Or in our example closer to home, is it physical perfection and ability or simply the drive to connect with others and feel in control of their physical health.  Are there other ways to do this?

Manson does not suggest that we do not pursue our dreams.  Just that “we use a little caution”.  Two of his quotes stand out.  “Reality is messy.” And the profound comment made by Jim Carrey – “I hope everybody could get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of – so they will know it’s not the answer.”