Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dream and Bloom


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There are days we dream of.


Getting car licenses. That first day of school. That last day of school. The day we get our first paycheck. The day we get the keys to our homes. Our first dates. Our union ceremonies. The day we experience someone or something that we’ve only pictured in our minds. For example...yes, you know I'm going to say it: the BTS concert I just went to.

Our minds paint pictures for us of what could be. We can walk through detailed stories that exist solely within our own heads. And yet, they can feel real and meaningful because of the weight we put into them.

These mental journeys can be helpful. They allow us to have a general plan for how we’ll react in a given situation. They can help us decide what to focus on in our lives. We can stretch the pleasurable feelings by adding anticipation, hope and wild dreams to those Big Days.

And then it’s over.

The world continues to spin and the sun rises and sets. We all basically have less than 30,000 sunrises in our entire lives- if we’re lucky. Those Big Days account for only a handful.

What do we do with the rest of them?

We can very easily slide into a funk after those heady days we’ve longed for have come and gone. We can find ourselves at a loss when routines come back, knocking at our doors, as they always do. However, there’s quite a bit we can do to make the transition easier, however. Personally, I'm not in a funk. It was a great experience and while I'd do it again in a heartbeat, I'm able to move on. I think it can be explained by 3 things I practice in my life.

Celebrate today.

In essence, what we’re trying to do here is reduce the mental distance between “normal” and “Big”. Most of us have loads of pretty average days but that doesn’t mean those shouldn’t be appreciated. Simple moments can be savored and they can become special. Doing what you do with attention can make the most mundane things, like cleaning the living room, a way to show love and to grow. It’s how we treat our average days that define the long-term relationships, careers and overall lives we make for ourselves.

Expand your goal list.

If we pay attention to that day-to-day living, we’ll naturally be able to do bigger and better things for ourselves. For example, by paying attention to what we’re eating we can learn different ways to cook. Learning different ways to cook can bring other people, places and events into our lives. If we really enjoy the music we’re listening to, we might try dancing or exercising to it. Dancing and exercise can increase our energy and mood levels so we can enjoy more music-oriented activities.

Be both inspired and inspiring.

There have been many, many times in my life when I’ve looked at myself as less-than-able. I’ve looked at others in awe and curled up and away from being noticed because I didn’t think my efforts were of value. That’s a really bad practice. If we admire someone, we should emulate the spirit they are showing in our own lives and ways. We should honor their efforts be making our own- whatever that may be. J-Hope wrote this in the lyrics to his song, MAMA (thanks again, BTS-trans!). He sings about how hard his mother worked as he grew up so that he could reach his goals. He declares his gratitude and that what he's doing now will help her moving forward.

That type of cycle (appreciation and effort) can and should be followed by anyone and everyone. By doing so, someday we will be the ones inspiring someone else to step up their own game.

So, if you love singing, sing. If you are inspired by helping children, help children through your job or volunteering. If video gaming or design are your passion, find a way to make that work as a career or hobby. There are no guarantees. Your life will take crazy turns and there will be dark days. However, each sunrise that you get to see is another chance.

A chance to dream, do and eventually bloom.

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