Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dream, aspirations will follow

Chapter 1

Looking back over the years, I realise the change that I have gone through in my thought process - The thought process to perceive goals and achieve them. I was really not thinking in those terms for some years now. And over the period I found myself blank about what I wanted to do.

This realisation struck me after I read news on internet about an old classmate of mine. I thought how she must have put her thoughts into concrete and built story to reach these heights and make news!! She was above an ordinary child but I would not recall her as an excellent performer or something like a student standing out in the crowd. Ok not moving deeper into her performance description, I was just awed with her success and that made me delve into myself…what happened to me. It was then I realised that I had stopped dreaming – dreaming about what I wanted.

I think most (infact all) of you would agree that it is our dreams that make us what we are. To be more precise - “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” - Gloria Steinem

It is our dreams that give us an idea what we as individuals want in life; in all sizes and phases of life – be it your professional success, or the way you wish to decorate your house or the friends you choose…probably I think eventually everything comes from dreams that we see awake. Infact the greatest inventions in this world came from those dreams that one visualised. Even a small kid also dreams of being a topper which energises him to persuade it.

Giving you a gist of my past madness on dreaming, I used to conjure new dreams everyday. Some of you might find it funny as I tell how I used to dream but somehow it really worked for me making it clear what I wanted and how I was required to move forward in that direction.

Everyday in the evening I used to take a walk in my lawn alone and I was most irritated when my mother or my sister tried to give me company during that time (though they haven’t known this until now.) This walk was my dream time when I used to visualise everything I wanted to do and walking with them meant I could not do the self-talk. Apart from big dreams like getting admission in a high-ranked college or getting selecting for a job, it also included small bits of details like my friends around (characters that I had never met, my own creations), my chitter-chatter with them, events happening in that college/office and everything about being in that scenario itself. It used to give me so much energy to put more to accomplish my dreams.

But just dreaming wont help as well. As I said the energy accomplished by that dream need to be put into action too.

To continue with my story - I then went to college, got a reasonable job, got married to an excellent guy and then came into my life a terrific kid…and over this period the process of dreaming vanished. Everything else occupied me so much that I stopped dreaming, eventually not really knowing what I wanted and finally getting into a frustration mode.


Chapter 2

Initially I could not realise that I had stopped dreaming as all other stuff kept me occupied.

I am a housewife and a mother of one now. And over this phase I have at times felt frustrated with what I was doing. I really did not want to do what I was doing – cooking food, cleaning dishes and so on. I do not deny that aspect of my life and that I can completely exclude myself from these tasks. I even do not say that I hate doing these tasks but I needed to do something else as well that I could perceive as contentedness of achievement.

But on the other hand every time when I thought that I did not want to do what I was doing, the next obvious question was – ‘Then what do you want to do?’ And to be true I did not have answer to it…I was blank. And I felt so foolish of myself.

Slowly as I realised this frustration and blankness wasn’t leading me anywhere and that no one but I needed to help myself, I indulged into self-inspection... and I could perceive a lot of difference in my thought process…but mind you not really a difference for the good. This realisation that I have changed and changed not for good, has been quite depressive. I had to get deeper into my past and think what was keeping me happy then, how was I seeking for it.

Chapter 3

I wrote my story in the previous pages to reinstate what changes I have gone through. Many of you who are reading this might have had a similar experience and would really need a similar self-realisation like I did.

Going back to my dreaming phase, it would be necessary to mention that mine is not a ‘very-happy-ending’ story to say that I achieved everything I dreamt. But that does not mean I should have stopped dreaming. Dreams are our GPS Navigators driving us through the path to achieve our ultimate goal. They give us focus. Though I did not reach the ultimate goal but I was driving my own sketched path and discovering new beauties, pastures, adventures – whatever you like to call them as...and most importantly keeping happy!

It was when I stopped dreaming that I lost my focus.  It was like I halted on a free-way as one of my landmark and after that never pictured my future destination. For me what was missing was dreaming the next destination. So really never stop dreaming. It is just that when this ‘no-idea’ approaches, you need to sit down and think; may be going back to the past – what you wanted badly then and how much of it did you achieve. I am sure when you think of those past dreams you’ll get the push. For me it worked, I wanted to do something exposing my writing skills and then an instant thought pushed me to scribble these pages.

Just when you dream you get the energy and a pathway to follow.

It is a way to begin picture yourself on a new place again and make yourself move forward. You’ll realise when you start over again, you’ll feel the energy and new destinations will pour in. You need to just chalk out your landmarks.

If you don’t know what you want to do, it’s harder to do it. - Malcolm Forbes...Therefore you need to dream of what you want to accomplish.


Chapter 4

So in the last chapter probably you got the key. The key is to dream.

In a fast forward motion probably you might have even quickly dreamt what you would want to do. But as you might be tracking out your way, I am sure, most of you would be foreseeing the obstacles as well. Then I should tell you that the obstacles, or excuses as my husband would preferably like to call, would always be present on any path you choose.

There were obstacles even when we went to school. We never thought of the ‘flunking’ before stepping in the school. We were then in a phase where we could not even perceive those obstacles and we just began our ride on a high note. (And no doubt we were backed up by our parents then.) Now when we have grown up we put our initial energies into perceiving obstacles and sitting down as a failure much before starting our journey. It is how we find a work around to move past these obstacles that matters and is worth an applause.

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead. - Louisa May Alcott

I know so many people around me who before delving onto the road, they wish to travel, foresee the rocks and mountains ahead. And they never end up travelling that road because there are obstacles. But probably if they could recognize the adventure in climbing up those mountains and feel the beauty of their success ride, there could never be a reverse gear.

Just a thought - whether you would choose to be a fire fighter fighting the fire or you choose to cry over the calamity?

Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solves each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met. - W. Clement Stone

A bumpy ride is fun sometimes right? So let’s start the travel…


Chapter 5

There were times when I practised a few things to follow my dreams...those that had come to me as a natural instinct then and those that my parents taught. Even they had vanished. And now when I read some of those best-seller self-help books I recall them so well. You pick any of these books and you’ll find they are all full of such tips that are so ordinary tasks (and probably once were your daily practice). But when you grow into an adult, people say you get mature but sometimes with this maturity, synchronisation of these old practices’ get dysfunctional. And no doubt when you are losing the sync, such books help to revitalise your thoughts.

For example, I had lost my reading habit all these years and my obstacle (excuse) was time. I did not find time to read. Then one day I went to a book shop and bought a self help book. It was on Time Management. Of so many things that it mentioned, one was to initiate a task now that has been pending for sometime with you. And to start with the task, it said find every day a couple of minutes to do it initially. And it worked. I started the same practice with that book. And yes it was so simple…
Then in the recent past, for everything I could not do I had created an obstacle ‘I don’t find time’, as I said earlier. That is because I was considering the whole amount of task to be completed rather than a small chunk to be initiated. I wasn’t thinking of couple of minutes but was calculating hours.

I literally mean a couple of minutes, may be, five minutes or even lesser to start with. To get hold of a good habit is tough, therefore starting with a small amount of it, as a task, is a substantial effort. Slowly it drips down into your nerves and it did it in me too. I started with the ‘five-minute’ thing and today I find almost an hour daily to read a book!!

This was just an example. You might like to pick up some practise that has worked for you in the past. Such practises will help you initiate your steps towards your dreams and guide you further to approach the landmarks and finally reach the destinations.

So here’s the conclusion. Find a road that would lead to your destination and pick a practice to get started (to persuade your dreams). Then when a walk on that road becomes your practice find the first landmark that you need to reach. Gear yourself for the ride…DRIVE MAN!!


Chapter 6

Before I move a step further where we analyse molding those dreams into constructive thoughts, I would like to add - As a house maker you'll need a greater push to dream and give yourself a direction that defines contentment to you. It took me almost a year to realise, think and find myself with a vision of what I wanted to do.

Interrogating myself from older perspective I realised the negative changes reflected in me after I left my job.

To this change process in myself I would include a characteristic penetrating into me was the gossiping habit (Ya…sadly it did), which I had hated over the years so much. But over the past couple of years, no probably months, I realised that I have started inhaling it though not breathing. I might not be really gossiping around but yes I was getting myself into thinking of interpreting what one said; specially bringing up the destructive interpretations and then pronouncing it to my friends and folk as well. Oh my god…how could I do this!!!

No, I wasn’t sitting idle after I took break from my job. It was something else. Once I had an argument with my husband over this. He even thought that I was sitting idle and was putting my negative energy to kill time. But as a house-maker you have so many tasks on routine that there’s no question of being idle.

In fact I have an explanation to where these negative and destructive interpretations for gossips came up from. A house-maker is always physically occupied with activities but mentally there is not much to put in with repetitive routine tasks. So there goes your skill as to what you pick to engage your mind into – constructive or destructive thoughts while you are engaged in those daily routines. Like when you are vacuuming your house how do you master your mind – Do you think of:

How could I decorate this part of the room I am cleaning?
What did that lady mean when she said to me on the phone…

Sadly, slowly and unconsciously I chose the latter one, a destructive path, which conclusively led me to this entire interpreting and gossiping thing.

Therefore when you opt to be a house-maker you should be conscious of your thoughts (at least I feel it so). If you choose the right direction in the beginning…you might actually not need this story at all!! But if you have already taken the destructive path, you will need a greater push.

I recovered from destructive thinking though. This story is the best example of that. Oh you don’t understand that? What I am actually saying is that the idea of writing this piece came from involving myself into CONSTRUCTIVE DREAMING while cutting vegetables!! And most of the work here is part of that dreaming practice while on my routine home assignments. And I can no more complain that I do not find time.

“Thoughts Become Things... Choose The Good Ones!”  -Mike Dooley

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