Dreams and Passions

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

-Henry David Thoreau

This is a very familiar quote by Thoreau about pursuing dreams.  I was reminded of dreams last spring as I read the brief biographies of some of the top local high school graduates.  In these short descriptions, various young men and women talked about their college plans, their motivation, memorable books, etc.

It is inspiring to read of such passion and hopeful outlooks.  It seems so long ago that such hopeful dreams filled my head.  I remember thinking our generation (like all generations) was going to change the world.  The unfortunate reality is that we didn’t change the world all that much and we are simply recognized for our moniker, “baby boomers.”  Our generation like so many others seems content to have fallen into routines of going to work, getting a check and living for the weekend.

Dreams, and certainly passion, should not die as we get older.  Passion should not die at work either; even if you are doing what to many may seem to be a mundane job.  By joyfully and passionately living our life, serving your customers as well as your co-workers, you really are changing the world.  Think of how much you can change one person’s day, not by being just another cynical worker looking for the absolute worst in everything and in every situation; but rather, by trying to bring out the best in everything and in every person. Think of how you can help impact others positively not by just smiling and telling someone to have a nice day, but by doing little things that will help them have a nice day.

For many, you have found your life’s career.  So it isn’t the “glorious position” that you envisioned when you were starry-eyed teenagers.  The reality of life is that it can get ho-hum and monotonous.  It does not matter if you are research scientist, a politician, a salesperson, or a line worker – life can get dry and boring.  So what!  Recognize it and deal with it…in a positive manner. 

Spend some time today, not watching TV.  Find some of your own hidden talents or passions.  Take a class, or volunteer to help others.  Whatever you do, don’t sit around and let your life be consumed by negativity and cynicism.

…and in the meantime, advance confidently in the direction of your dreams, and perhaps that success won’t be so unexpected.


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