“The impulse to dream has been beaten out of us by the experiences of life.”
How very true this statement is. Do not neglect the child in you full of wonder and curiosity. Allow time for your mind to wander. I’ve always said that we dream because we have to. Not the middle of the night crazy and unsolicited dreams we have in our sleep, but the ones we have when we’re supposed to be working, supposed to be doing something fairly important but would rather think about to get our minds off of the task at hand. It’s almost always the same thing every time, if not similar. We always dream of better, because underneath it all, despite our outer pessimistic shells, believe we deserve better. Why have you stopped dreaming? More importantly, why have you stopped believing? There’s not too many excuses that will hold water.
Saying no is healthy. Being able to say no without having to explain why and not feel guilty about it is even healthier. Knowing when and how to say no is one of the most valuable skills you will ever learn. At first, people won’t understand, will give you incredulous looks and expect you to change your mind. But don’t waver. Eventually, mature people will understand and life will become less dramatic. You’ll start seeing and hearing the truth in people’s words and actions. It’s OK to ask for help from time to time, but people shouldn’t be dependent on you for everything. You can’t save everyone, but you can keep your sanity just a little while longer while you work on developing a better you.
If you can’t define your dreams, you don’t know where you’re going. Write them down, give them meaning, give them definition and then act on them. There’s no point in letting your goals and dreams linger within in you. Your dreams were given to you for a reason and only you can give them life. A man once said, “this world was created by people that were no smarter than you.” They decided to act on their dreams. Why shouldn’t you?
What people think about you is none of your business.
The world moves on despite how you feel about it or other people. Just because you’re angry, someone hurt you or you didn’t get what you wanted, doesn’t mean you have to take it out on other people or constantly complain about it. Life does not stop because you’re angry or bitter or spiteful. Life does not end when someone wronged you. Life does not look back and say, “Wow, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” Instead, what life does, is reward those capable of moving forward. It rewards those persistent enough to keep going.
So stop playing a victim and learn to be an adult. Stop expecting people to respect you just because you’re you. Just because someone placed you on a pedestal at some point in your life, doesn’t mean everyone else has to. If you want respect, you’ll have to earn it. Too often people feel as though the world owes them a favor just because they’ve been through difficult times. This sense of entitlement is damaging. People quickly forget that you have to work for the things you want.
There’s nothing wrong with having real AND viable expectations, but when you’re to a point where your emotional self is dictating your life and strong holding others…it’s time to find a new perspective.
Learn to be alone. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. During those moments when you don’t have a special someone in your life…work on you. That is what that time is meant for.
Many people struggle with being on their own, having the responsibilities of life and doing for themselves. It’s tough. But because of this, a cycle begins and they find themselves jumping from relationship to relationship in the hopes that the other person can “cure” that feeling or fill the void of having to be by themselves. In that thought alone, there is a dependency issue and people often end up hurting themselves because of it.
Being emotionally independent and not being afraid of being alone is another one of those freeing adventures. So what do you do? During the times where you find yourself alone, without companionship or in an unfamiliar place: self-educate, read, explore, start a business, change parts of you that you don’t like or need to…but more importantly…learn to be you and love it. You’ll learn to appreciate the quiet and stillness life brings, the exciting moments and the humor in life. You’ll learn more about yourself, your personality and mistakes. If you can’t solidify yourself as a person, then life will never be anything more than a dull and meaningless prediction. Might as well enjoy what’s out there and do it while being you. You never know where life will take you.
Earlier this week, a co-worker asked me about poetry. He wanted to know the “basics” of writing it. He wanted to know how it should be written, in what form and in what way it should be read. I simply told him to write. It wasn’t about form or how many meters it carried. It was simply about writing what you wanted to express…about transferring your ideas, your thoughts into something that means something to you. It doesn’t need anyone’s approval but your own.
It’s not always about form or structure. Sometimes, it’s about taking the risk of expression and believing in yourself enough to simply be you. We’ve grown accustomed to being constantly judged and reviewed that we’ve become self-conscious about our work, our manner, our dress, our speech and the way we express ourselves. We’re not robots. If you haven’t found a way to express yourself, haven’t found something that expresses a part of who you are, there will always be a void.
Expression is a form of freedom. It will always be there subconsciously and once brought to the forefront of your mind, you will always seek it. There’s no greater feeling in the world.