hurt to dream

Does It Hurt When You Dream?

I’ve been on a statistics kick lately – here’s one I saw go by in my tweetstream (a good place to fish for quotes and statistics) that really gave me pause:

“69% of teens say they have a spark. 31% can not name their own spark.”

That’s right, according to that statistic from @ParentFurther, only 69% of teens say they have a spark, something that lights them up.

And 31% of them don’t know what it is.

Whatever happened to childhood being a time of dreaming big?

I don’t think it was coincidence that I had just posted one of my favorite quotes to my Facebook page:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman.

Why do we lose our connection to that “spark?” (And if this statistic is true, we’re losing it at an increasingly earlier age!)

Why do we allow ourselves to go through our lives as zombies, not really awake to our purpose, not pursuing a dream, simply trying to find a need we can fill?

I’ve been working with clients in the areas of living on purpose, journaling dreams, turning dreams into goals, pursuing goals relentlessly but strategically, and achieving profitable businesses and fulfilling lives for a long time. And here’s what I believe.

We’re scared.

To be alive.

We might say, “It never hurts to dream.” But we don’t believe it.

We’re scared to choose a purpose, because what if we get it wrong?

We’re scared to dream a dream, because what if it never comes true?

We’re scared to let that spark become a bonfire, because what if we get burned?

We’re scared to be fully alive. Because that means we could die.

Here’s my thought.

I’ve changed my purpose statement many times. But I always have A purpose to live up to, and every new purpose is more meaningful than having none.

I’ve dreamed a lot of dreams that haven’t come true (yet.) But dreams I barely dared to dream have gifted me with wings.

I’ve let my inner spark die out. But I’ve brought it back to a blaze and found that it doesn’t burn, it illuminates.

I’ve been alive. And scared. And then I remember, only THIS lifetime ends. I go on. Forever.

And then I get scared that I’ll allow my fear to keep me from fully living the NOW that I’m in.

So that’s MY diagnosis.

We’re all scared. Sometimes.

But we’re all alive. In the NOW. With sparks that can light up the world.

If we let them.

12 thoughts on “Does It Hurt When You Dream?”

  1. so true! we are definitely loosing our spark at an increasingly early age, or inadvertently numbing it out of our kids. That’s a part of my purpose….if i can stop being scared and getting lost in the everyday.

    1. Getting lost in the everyday is one thing that puts out sparks – but you know that. I have full faith in your purpose. And in YOU! (not to mention having so much admiration for what you’re doing to keep YOUR little one from ever becoming numb.)

  2. Well said Dixie – per usual. 🙂

    I’m not convinced that our youth has lost their spark so much as they haven’t given themselves permission to light it or nurture it. Perhaps they just haven’t looked beyond their now.

    Your post isn’t just about teens…your points are universal and do not affect just one demographic. We all have fears and all too often we can become victims of those fears vs. conquering them through faith and action.

    From my perspective, it’s not the dream that hurts but the projections and limitations placed on the dreams before they can take flight.

    Thanks for framing this so wonderfully.

    1. No, certainly not just teens. But in all the years I’ve been coaching, MOST people who lose their “spark” are over 30. It was startling and sad to see that statistic. So right that it doesn’t hurt to dream, it hurts to let dreams die.

  3. Here is one of my favourite quotations. I wonder if you nknow it:

    fully alive

    I will not die an unlived life.
    I will not live in fear
    of falling or catching fire.
    I choose to inhabit my days,
    to allow my living to open me,
    to make me less afraid,
    more accessible,
    to loosen my heart
    until it becomes a wing,
    a torch, a promise.
    I choose to risk my significance;
    to live so that which came to me as seed
    goes to the next as blossom
    and that which came to me as blossom,
    goes on as fruit.

    © dawna markova

    1. I have loved that for a while now – “I will inhabit my days” is one of my mantras – reminder to self to be HERE NOW each day, fully inhabiting each one. Thank you for sharing that in its entirety, as usual, there are lines I’d forgotten that really resonate now.

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