I’ve met a few dream stealers in my life. The well-meaning friends and family who encourage you not to bother trying. They come in all shapes and sizes from a position of concern, fear, jealously or even their own lack of self-worth. How many talented individuals in the arts and business may never reach their potential all because someone somewhere stole their dreams?
“Dreams are not to be believed,” said her father. “They are loco fumes from inside the head, eh? Craziness” is quote from a children book rightly titled The Dream Stealer by Author Sid Fleischman. Have you heard this before?
Who are your dream stealers?
There is a bandit who comes in the night. He does not want pretty silver earrings or dangly gold necklaces, not diamonds or rubies.
What does he want?
Listen, I will tell you.
He wants dreams.
He is supposed to take only nightmares—the dreams of monsters and phantoms—but he’s grown scared. He’s been taking the good dreams instead.
But one night he steals from the wrong girl.
Susana is clever. She is wily. She is brave.
And she wants her dream back.
I think you meet dream stealers through out your life. When I was in school I loved to read and write. My favourite subjects were Art and Ancient History. I would pen poetry, write stories, and dream of being an artist and author. In my first year of high school where I was awarded one of the top grades for English was soon short lived, as another teacher would constantly refute my writing as grammatically incorrect, with unfinished sentences and assignments returned with red pen scribbled through it. Four years later I received my first Fail for a poetry assignment and I barely passed the grade. Although as I laughed and pursued a science career, I would often cite that my only A grade was in Art but as other dream stealers would say, “There are no jobs in Art unless you want to be a Teacher.” My writing further foundered and during my Honours year my supervisor also returned a draft paper with so many request for changes that my confidence sank pretty low for a very long time.
My current dreams are to work for myself doing something creative, be financially independent, and travel with my family. I love to hear of other people’s dreams but too often people guard them from risk that I too am a dream stealer. But like Susana, I am clever, wily and brave.
Here are some ways to keep yourself from getting robbed again:
- Identify your dream and write it down. Vision Boards help. Trust Me.
- Only share your dreams with positive like minded people. Dreams get stolen because you share with the wrong people.
- Share your successes but not your failures. By sharing a failure with a dream stealer will only validate their opinion of what you are doing.
- Never give up. Have that unshakeable belief and inner feeling of grasping that dream.
- Find mentors who understand what you are trying to achieve. No use getting advice on how to grow a business from someone who has never tried.
- And encourage others to follow their dreams. The most rewarding and empowering gift is to be a dream builder. Something I hope to inspire in my children.
What are your dreams?