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Dreams & Freedom

I am a dreamer. I have heard this said about me both in a complimentary manner as well as in a derisive one. But who isn’t, or hasn’t once been a dreamer?  As my son Daniel once told me, “If you aren’t chasing something then what’s the point of waking up in the morning.”  As I see it, a dream is the ultimate personal expression and the pursuit of a dream is the ultimate expression of individuality and freedom.  Thus, I find nothing sadder than the idea of abandoning dreams, and no act more hostile than undermining, in word or in deed, another’s dream.

Of course, being a veteran dreamer I’ve learned much about dreams, including how we must give up on many in order to accomplish some. I am constantly re-evaluating my dreams and updating them so that they are reality-based.  Many boys start out with dreams of athletics and I was no different.  At the age of 14 or 15 I abandoned my dream of becoming an NBA player and about the same time I abandoned the one of playing the major league baseball.  After college, faced with the realities of having to pay my bills and without any nest egg at all, I abandoned my dream of being a film actor.  Each time I relinquished a dream it was painful.  A part of me felt like it had died.

Since childhood I’ve gotten new dreams.  Some I may yet have to relinquish, however, there are a few core ones that I will likely pursue until death.  I am still working to build a great financial enterprise.  I was so close back in the 1990’s, and I know in my heart that I will yet accomplish this.  I would also like to affect the world for the better by enhancing or changing awareness to the best of my abilities.  I may accomplish this through business, my published writings, or some other path such as politics, teaching, the area of fitness/wellness, or even in media or film.  All of these arenas interest me.  At the least, I will influence my own children and others with whom I come into contact, and this is probably as much as one can hope for.  I dream of living a long and healthy life, and participating in and observing the lives of my children and the families that they will build.  Everyday I do something to advance each of my core dreams.

Being a dreamer is surely challenging. Bills can get in the way of dreams, frequently forcing us to choose career paths that have nothing to do with our dreams.  This is sad because when we abandon dreams I believe that we chip away at our freedom.  When others cause us, or encourage us to abandon our dreams they are being hostile to our freedom, which is about as hostile as one can get to another.  I would postulate that the abandonment of dreams is one of the foundations of human resentment and disappointment.  I know that I feel great and free when pursuing my dreams.  It is what gives me energy and vibrancy.  I feel the same when I encourage or help others along their own paths to achieving their dreams.  What a beautiful world it would be if we all filled our days pursuing our dreams and furthering those of others.  And, it seems to me that now more than ever, faced with a global economy that is short on creativity and growth, we need many more dreamers and we need to encourage them.

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