How to say "Livin' the dream" — and mean it

Dreams are the fuel that keeps us moving forward

Ever notice how pretty much every time someone says those three little words, “Livin’ the dream,” it is in a dull, lifeless, tone and with more than a hint of sarcasm?  I’m sure you’ve had this same, or a very similar conversation yourself:

Person A: “Hey there! How are you?”

Person B: “Oh, you know. Livin’ the dream. Yep, livin’ the dream.”

Yikes! The tone, the disdain, the sense of lost hope is unmistakable.

When did we lose touch with the power of a dream? How did our connection with the innate capacity we all have to dream and to be inspired in our lives get so lost in our responsibility-focused, expectation-driven, and grown-up lives?

We have become unwilling or even unable to reconnect with that part of ourselves that can be enthusiastically motivated, fully engaged in our work, and that can love the effort of work and what it contributes to our lives. Instead, we resign ourselves to a vigor-free life that feels run by everything and everyone but us.

Sure, there are times when pragmatism must win out in order to meet our most basic needs and those of our families, but acquiescing to present practicality over a vision (or visions) for our future is not a long term strategy for success or fulfillment.  In fact, it may be imperative to our success that even in our near-term focus on the practical we maintain a long term connection to our dreams. As author Matthew Kelly conveys in The Dream Manager, dreams are the fuel that keeps us moving forward; dreams are what keep us alive!

But, most of us don’t live that way. We endure large swaths of time—days, months, years even—over which we hypnotically follow a path of “have to,” “should,” and “if only.” We’re apathetic within each day and unenthusiastic about the future. We privately or publically implore our bosses, significant others, friends and families, even Mother Nature to do something (anything!) to change our lives.

We expect that we can plod along on autopilot and that, without a thought or feeling about what moves us, something different and full of life will just drop in. We expect challenge, vitality, excitement, and fulfillment to come from outside of us, forgetting the necessary element of engagement with what’s alive inside of us.

Reviving our ability to dream and letting ourselves envision the job, the responsibility, the vacation, the relationships, etc. that we want reconnects us with our very vitality. Whether your dreams are of earning an advanced degree, achieving a new level of leadership in your career, running your own business, or something else entirely of your own inspired creation those dreams are the fuel of your success.

So come on! Join me! Take a stand for the power of the dream and the success and fulfillment it can ignite!

Next time you say “livin’ the dream,” MEAN IT!

Categories: Business Insights, Human Resources