You hear it all the time, “Just follow your dreams man!”
But what does that actually mean and what are dreams anyway?
First, you have to understand what dreams are not. They are not transactional, tangible, material things. If someone with more money and resources can go out tomorrow and buy your dream, it’s not a dream.
The difference between dreams and goals
A giant house and a red Ferrari is not a dream. That’s a goal. That’s not to say, of course, that all goals are transactional. It just means that goals can be transactional, while dreams cannot.
Goals help you make incremental progress in the direction of your dreams.
Another distinguishing factor between goals and dreams, is that goals can usually be quickly described to another person without much difficulty or confusion.
“My goal is to buy a red Ferrari,” or, “My goal is to finish first place in such and such marathon.” These are both examples of goals. One is material and one is not, but they’re both goals and within 10 seconds they can easily be explained to and understood by someone you just met on the street.
Dreams on the other hand, are mystical and if you can explain them within 10 seconds to someone you just met, they probably need some work.
In other words, goals can quickly be explained to other people. Dreams are shown over long periods of time.
What are you actually chasing?
When you go to sleep at night and you have a dream, what is that? It’s a place. When you go to sleep you’re leaving one place and going to another. When you wake up, you leave the dream place and return to the reality place where you live.
The dreams we create for ourselves in real life are no different. They’re places. Which also means you can’t actually chase your ‘dreams’, because you’ll never be in more than one place at once. You can’t build five different places in your mind and chase them all.
So you’re only allowed to have one dream place. The good news is, you can do whatever the fuck you want with it. You can make it as detailed and grand as you want. It’s your dream. That’s what makes it special. Have fun.
How to create your dream place
From our most wildly primitive ancestors and their works of Stonehenge and the Pyramids, all the way up to present day space exploration, everything in the history of mankind’s physical existence has started in someone’s mind. And whether your dream is to colonize Mars or to start a family, the principles are the same.
When you’re sitting at an intersection waiting for the traffic light to turn green, what are you doing for that 30-120 second window? Texting friends and scrolling through your Instagram feed, or thinking about what your dream place looks like ten years from now?
What kind of a person are you? How do you make people feel when you walk into a room?
How do you start your day? Do you wake up early or late? Do you eat a light breakfast on your balcony? What does the view look like from that balcony? Are you looking at the ocean, a bustling city, or maybe a jungle?
If you do have a $300,000 red Ferrari, what significance does it have in your life? Do you freak out if your dog jumps in the front seat and drools all over the upholstery or do you laugh and say fuck it?
Do you have a big family and lots of kids? What kind of parent or spouse are you? How involved are you? What do your kid’s friends think of you? Are they afraid of you? Do they think you’re fun to be around? Are they comfortable talking to you?
If you don’t want a family, what kind of relationships do you have? Surface level booty calls with ten different people? Deep, monogamous, long term partners? Something in the middle?
What kinds of hobbies do you have? Do you play any sports? Do you go fly fishing every Saturday morning? Do you belong to any clubs? Country clubs? Tennis clubs? Sailing clubs?
How often do you travel? Is it business and work related? Recreational? Do you travel with friends? Family? By yourself? How do you travel? Do you fly coach or first class? Or do you fly your own plane? Maybe you prefer road trips?
What kind of work do you do? Are you working for another company? What’s the size of that company? Where do you see yourself within the company? Are you in a leadership role or a support role?
Do you own your own business? What’s your reason for owning that business? What purpose does it serve in your life? Do you have business partners? How many employees do you have? Do you sell a product? Provide a service? Do you have a factory? An office building? Are you there everyday or once a week?
These are the types of personal, in-depth questions that will help you build your dream place.
How detailed and in-depth you choose to go is entirely up to you but the more detailed and exciting the design, the more likely you are to fight for it when the road gets tough.
60 seconds at a traffic light might not seem like much time, but consider the accumulation over a year.
10 minutes per day x 365 days = 3,650 min = 60+ hours of thoughts.
That’s just traffic lights. What about when you’re actually driving? Are you freaking out about the slow idiot in front of you while radio commercials blare through your speakers? Or are you thinking about what your company or your marriage might look like in five or ten years and how you’re going to make that happen?
Be Original When Building Your Dream Place
Your dream place is extremely personal and needs to be built on solid ground. If you’re designing your place based on the opinions of other people, or how you think other people or society would want your place to look, you’ll never be happy.
Do you want something in your dream place because you genuinely believe it would be awesome and you can explain to yourself why? Or do you think it would be awesome because someone else had that thing and your ego thought it looked cool?
This is why it’s so important to spend a lot of time working on your dream place and continually testing it’s structure as your life and values continue to evolve. You have to go there every single day to check-in on things.
You have to think to yourself, “If everything in my life falls apart and turns to shit, and all I have left is my dream place, is that going to be enough to get me out of bed in the morning? To keep going?”
What’s the point of having a dream place?
Either way, time is going to pass. And not just in one department of your life, but all of them. Time doesn’t pass at different rates for each department of our lives. Whether you like it or not, in five years from now, five years will have gone by in your relationships, your business, your career, your physical condition. Everything.
Going through life without a detailed, well thought out dream place is like getting into an Uber and just telling the driver to take you anywhere. It doesn’t make sense.
Building your dream place is the first part. The second part is the act of following. Which means putting your head down and doing whatever the fuck it takes to get there. Enjoy the journey and be wild!