Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
"What would you want to be when you grow up?" was the question we all answered while we were kids..and we would have quick replies like a doctor, teacher, pilot, etc.
Very rarely did we think or were encouraged to look beyond the conventional goals of completion of education and settling in a career. Our parents struggled their entire lifetime to provide for and build a great life for us, but somehow failed to teach us to 'Dream' and dream real big.
Of course dreaming here means, day dreaming. A dream is a series of thoughts occuring to a sleepy or unconscious mind; which may or may not be pleasant. A day dream on the other other hand is mostly pleasant and about something we want to achieve.
There are very interesting observations made about day dreaming by a few great people...
-All important progress made by the human race has its roots in day dreaming...Eda LeShan
-I live my day dream in music...Albert Einstein.
-They who dream by day are cognizant of many things, which escape those who only dream by night...Edgar Allan Poe
..And yet somehow we do not value the essence of dreaming. We associate it with an idle or immature mind.
While its important to dream; the process of visualisation, is day dreaming with a purpose.
While most of us dreamt of professional success as kids, but failed to visualise the path that would lead us there. While dealing with teenage blues, a we were already overwheighed with the burden of getting into a great college to further our ambition...or most of the time, it was our parent's ambition. And all that we needed was to get that 80 or 90% marks!! Then the rat race begins for getting a job, then a better job, running a family saving for children and your future...We yearn for a vacation today because we do not live our passion, our ambition.. Don't let the same happen to your child.
"Without a vision, a nation perishes".... a proverb.I believe it. More to the point, children without a vision perish in the rat race of life. There is a part of them that dies when they don’t feel they have the chance to actualize their dreams.
The importance of their dreams needs to be of high value to us since it is to our youth that we entrust the future. And, look at the legacy we leave them! War,debt, global warming and all of the fears that come with these challenges. Where is there room for their “castles in the air”?
Sometimes dreams can unwittingly be shot down because we, as adults, see them as “pie in the sky.” It may be tempting to respond negatively. “We don’t have the money.” “You’re not smart enough to do that.” “Don’t get your hopes up, you’ll only get hurt.” But these sorts of messages demote dreams. They can turn a hopeful kid’s life into drudgery. If we don’t encourage their dreams, can we be surprised when kids make the choices they make?
I like the way Thoreau said it..
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.Now put the foundation under them".
Often, the challenge for a young person is to figure out what small steps of success will help move him toward his dream in the sky. Or, how to attach his dream in the sky with his life down on earth. I think of it as building a foundation of practical measures. Dreaming of the good things that can be acted upon now. This energizes and motivates kids to put together the pieces of the puzzle for a positive future.
Here are a few things kids can do to make it happen:
1) Clarify the dream by getting a sense of how they can live their lives in the big picture.
2) Create the blueprint by mapping their dreams (all flavors) and what steps it will take to build them.
3) Identify the people and resources who will be partners in the dream and in helping them accomplish their goals.
And how can we be of help in the process? Busyness (keeping yourself and your kids too busy) seems to play a major factor in the lack of connection kids feel with adults in their lives. Often, we fault the kids for lacking communication skills , saying they are watching too much television or playing too many video games. Yet we, the adults, are often the ones too busy to communicate.
I have a few simple suggestions that could have a big impact:
• Find time to listen actively to your kids and their dreams.
• Find time to offer emotional support. Ask questions.
• Find time to listen to your kid’s dreams for the future and be willing to trust his ideas. Ask questions.
• Share your own dreams with your kids. Get connected.
• Encourage conversation.
In short, don’t let another day go by without sharing your hopes and wishes for your kids and for yourself. Let them know how you are going to be there for them. Listen to what they want for their lives. It is an offer nothing short of greatness!