“What are you day-dreaming about?” I asked my 8 year-old son, after his teacher said he was sometimes off in his own world in class. Pleased to be asked, and counting on his fingers, he listed 7 different day-dreams that recur throughout the day. They ranged from thinking about Rey and Leia, our beautiful pet bunny rabbits, (Star Wars is big in our house); to dreaming of being able to move around classrooms, and mix with other year-groups. Dreams shaped by the times we are in.
What are you day-dreaming about?
Maybe you are day-dreaming about a ski-holiday, or relaxing in a hot climate. Some of us are day-dreaming about parties and festivals, holding on to the hope that, this summer, we will be able to gather without restrictions. Some people dream about a new life or partner or more money or time off! But these dreams are not always coming from a healthy place. Often, they are more about escapism than intent. Our old pre-virus life was so busy we got into habits of suppressing our feelings and working hard, living for the weekend or the next holiday or big event. Do we really want to go back to that way of life?
In the film Bruce Almighty, God, (played by Morgan Freeman), hands Bruce (Jim Carey) some prayer beads saying; “I want you to pray, son”.
Bruce: Um… Lord, feed the hungry, and bring peace to all of mankind… How’s that?
God: Great. If you want to be Miss America… Now come on, what do you really care about?”
God: You want her back?
Bruce: No… I want her to be happy, no matter what that means. I want her to find someone who will treat her with all the love she deserved from me. I want her to meet someone who will see her always as I do now, through Your eyes.
God: Now that’s a prayer
We need to be clear on what we really want, so we can fulfil our dreams, not our general wishes for the world or short-term escapist fantasies.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Simon Guillebaud talks about being ‘Dreamers of the Day’ – in other words, owning what we really want our everyday to look like, then taking steps to pursue that dream with courage and hope.
It’s Dreaming with Your Eyes Wide Open.
For some time now, we have been getting specific about our dreams. We want our kids to love school. We want to have a healthy marriage adventure. We want to be part of a local community that supports and cares for each other. We have created action plans for how we can make these dreams a reality, and we are seeing each of these dreams materialise. However, fulfilling our dreams isn’t easy. It will involve saying no to some things; notably short-term, escapist activities, or generally good things, in order to say yes to the things that really matter. It involves investment of time, energy and resources. It often involves putting up with criticism form enemies and friends alike. It involves swimming against the prevailing current, and it involves getting it wrong and making mistakes, but always picking yourself back up and getting back on track.
This is a time of year when many people think about making their dreams reality – we book holidays, sign up for gym memberships, change jobs or relationships. We encourage you to ask yourself the same question God asks Bruce in the passage quoted above; What do you really care about? Write those things down, then get specific about how those things can be achieved. Add a deadline and log your progress. And get accountable. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person to whom you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%!
So we would like to invite you to kickstart 2021 with a January Coaching Club. You will go on a personality journey to discover your tendencies, you will have the opportunity to get specific on your dreams, and you will be equipped with multiple tools to enable you to go on a journey of health in leading yourself and others. Because we believe that Flourishing is possible, but people rarely get there on their own: it takes Intentionality and Teamwork to get FIT!
And sometimes, in the words of Master Yoda, ‘you must unlearn what you have learned’!
So join us this January on a journey towards healthy leadership, healthier relationships and greater self-awareness. Invest in your reality, not in escaping from it.
Send a quick reply now to register your interest in the January Coaching Club, and we will get back to you with more information after Christmas!
From James and I at Salmon Swimming, we wish you a really happy Christmas and a flourishing New Year.
Keep Swimming Upstream!