When we’re young and someone asks us what we want to be when we grow up, it’s common for us to say things like astronaut, police officer, or firefighter. But as the years get on, our intentions change as we do.
Those responses are replaced by dreams as we enter Dream-land.
In Dream-land, we typically strive to become like the people we see – either in real life, or more frequently (for better or worse) on TV and in movies.
Soon, we all want to be rockstars, movie stars, and professional athletes – for better or worse.
And so we set off, either chasing those dreams, or simply assuming that they’ll become reality… just because it’s meant to be.
After a few years, some people start to realize that being a rockstar might not be all that much fun.
Essentially, don’t rockstars spend the majority of their time riding around in a tour bus or flying around the country, spending years trying to please fans and critics who, eventually, will toss them away, or at the very least say that they aren’t as good as they used to be?
And don’t most movie stars, especially the super-successful ones, lead increasingly isolated lives, surrounded by nice stuff, but leading sad lives as divorce follows divorce and the movie roles dry up.
Oh, and what about professional athletes?
Most of them only get to play for a few years, then get kicked off the team, injured, or retire to go broke shortly thereafter.
Still, some of us decide that those dreams are worth the almost-certain disappointments.
For everyone else, we move on.
And where do we go? We go to Goal-land.
In Goal-land, we work towards an awesome future. A future filled with things that we work, plan, and sacrifice for.
For many people, we strive for jobs. For others, we want to run a 5k, pray the Rosary regularly, or hike a new trail every month.
But what happens when someone stays somewhere between Dream-land and Goal-land? Is that okay?
Well, it depends.
On one hand, it can be good to hold on to our dreams. They may add a great deal to our hope.
On the other hand, they may keep us from fully allowing us to pursue new dreams and goals – ones that might fulfill us more than the dreams that we had when we were younger ever could.
But how do we know when it’s time to let some dreams and goals go so that we can focus on new ones?
Let’s pretend that we know that tomorrow will be our last day living this life. Which dreams or goals would you regret not working on?
If one of our dreams doesn’t come to mind, then it’s probably time to let it go.
If there are things that do come to mind, even if we hadn’t considered them important to us, then it’s time that we give them a place of importance in our stuff-to-think-about list.
What are some goals that you have that would surprise a younger version of you?