As I slid across the hardwood floor of the stage, bending the E note on the 12th fret with some serious vibrato and deafening harmonics, the crowd went berserk. My solo had just begun. I stood up, stomped my right leg against the monitor and shredded the guitar as if there would never be another gig. At the end of the lick, tremolo arm bent in all directions, I raised my left arm urging the crowd to step it up even further. While I looked through the mob of more than a hundred thousand people, I suddenly felt a prickly shrill in my ears. She had been yelling at me, my professor, and as I slipped back to reality, the question sounded much clearer, “Utsav, have you done your reading for today?”
I am sure we have all had those dreams wide awake, of being a rock star, an athlete, a stud, so on and so forth. But why do we dream, and should we be dreaming?
Dreams Will Connect You to Your Inner Desire
You dream of what you desire most. Being a world-class musician may not sound like a very practical idea, but the clues that desire gives are pretty helpful. If you always wanted to become a doctor, a pilot or something of that nature, perhaps, your attachment lies to the world of service. If you have fancied the life of a rock star or a top athlete, may be you seek the world of exposure and limelight. Dreams are not merely fads of the unconscious, but are very strong wires that connect you to your inner self, one that will impact who you are and what you do.
Steve Jobs had a dream of creating a perfect machine that would change the world. That desire defined his personality, his actions, his drive and his passion, so much so that he could go against anyone that disagreed with his vision. Today’s Apple is a very straightforward reflection of Job’s strive for perfection – his attraction towards glass structures, clean lines, and simplistic designs. The first Macintosh had more than a hundred iterations, all scrutinized and tweaked by jobs, but half of the changes, the Mac team recalls, weren’t even noticeable to them. If it weren’t for that almost obsessive strive for perfection, Apple today, would not have been the multi-billion dollar powerhouse known for its simple yet greatly innovative designs.
Dreams Will Inspire and Motivate You
No matter how simple or complex your dreams are, they will be the single most motivating factor in your life as we all naturally strive to reach our dreams. When you reach a goal that is a part of your dream, it will inspire you to try harder, or dream even bigger. If you make a functional set of goals towards your dream, as you cross each one out, you feel a sense of accomplishment that motivates you to do better.
I had never played soccer till 2005, not even kicked the ball once. But during 2005/2006, I had a group of friends who were very passionate about soccer and they instilled in me, that same passion. I dreamt of playing the local league, the varsity team and even professionally, which motivated me to practice soccer for more than 6 hours each day, starting at 4 in the morning. I ran, worked out, skipped junk food and alcohol, did slalom runs with cones in the dorm halls, spent endless hours on forums, took help from friends and did everything possible to make that dream a reality. Within only a few months, I went from barely keeping the ball in the air for 2 touches to juggling for more than 20 minutes straight with more than 500 touches, without once dropping the ball to the ground. And that was only a part of how things went.
Dreams Will Make You Resilient
Your dreams are an extension of you. They are inseparable from you, and any obstacles that come between you and your dream, only make you more resilient. Underneath, we all love to be victorious – be it against a goal we have set, or in a competition against others. No one is in it to lose it, we are in it to win it. Realizing and accomplishing your dream, is the ultimate form of winning.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous words, “I have a dream” echoes in our minds for a reason. His fight for racial equality and nonviolence, his Nobel Peace Prize, the poor people’s campaign, all engendered from one source, his dream. Long after his assassination in April 1968, his dream still lives on amongst us, if not as the living form of King, Jr., as his resilient dream that will live on forever.
Dreams Will Make You Better
“Dreams make men out of children.” With all the inspiration, motivation, and resilience they spark, dreams in turn make you better – a survivor, a warrior. You come against, obstacles, fall over, get up, and overcome them, all the while focused at what lies at the end. You turn into a heat seeking sidewinder missile that may lose its lock on the target, bit will follow and eventually hunt it down. Even science suggests that dreaming makes us better.
Nova, part of the National Geographic conducted a recent study on dreams. They invited people to their institutions, and made them play a tough game of X-Games downhill skiing, where they had to make sharp turns to correctly navigate the flags at very high speeds. After a few hours gaming, they made the subjects stop the game and reflect on their experience and towards the end of the night, suggested them to focus on the game before falling asleep. The next morning, every subject was asked if they dreamed about playing the game — All the subjects who dreamed about playing the ski game, did significantly better in reality the next day. Pretty interesting, huh?
Dreams Will Come True
Last, but not least, if you try hard and stay focused through your obstacles, your dreams will come true. And that, is one of the greatest feelings one can experience, regardless of how small or how big your dream is. So, dream on, folks, dream on!
Gazing through the window at the world outside
Wondering will mother earth survive
Hoping that mankind will stop abusing her sometime
After all there’s only just the two of us
And here we are still fighting for our lives
Watching all of history repeat itself
Time after time
I’m just a dreamer
I dream my life away
I’m just a dreamer
Who dreams of better days…
— Dreamer by Ozzy Osbourne