A job is what you have to do for survival whereas a dream is what you want to do for significance. Almost always, people keep a job while pursuing their dream because rarely do you find someone that has all the resources for the realization of his or her dream from the outset. Resources here refer not only to financial resources but include experience, technical know-how, management skills and so on.
Understanding the difference between a job and a dream is imperative because of the tendency to expect our jobs to meet the needs that can only be satisfied by our dreams. Research in different environments has shown that over 60% of employees hate their jobs! The impact of this statistic on productivity is nightmarish.
All the frustrations employees have on the job is traceable to unmet expectations founded on poor understanding of what a job is meant to do.
To dream is to imagine the possibilities; it’s the human ability to see things not as they are but as they could be. If a man does not or cannot dream, he’s stuck with what is – the present. Therefore, to avoid a feeling of being stuck in life, you must have a dream.
Someone defined a dream as a preview of coming attractions. This brings to focus the reason you should have a dream. A dream facilitates positive expectations about the future (hope). It enables you have a sneak preview of your better future and feel the positive emotions attached to it, in the present.
Key Attributes of a Dream
Your dream provides the nourishment for your soul. This derives from the capacity of a dream to generate positive emotions. When you believe, because of the dream in your heart, that tomorrow will be better, you feel good about yourself irrespective of the present circumstance.
A dream enhances the creativity of the human mind. When you can imagine future possibilities, you provide the impetus for your mind to become creative. It goes without saying that imagination is the substrate for creativity. Imagination and creativity are inseparable. Imagination breeds creativity and creativity results in more imaginative thinking.
Your dream strengthens your willpower. A man that knows what could be (possibilities) is more inclined to take action than another who cannot see beyond the present.
The Power of a Dream
Inherent in every dream is the powerful force of attraction. A dream pulls its possessor towards it. In effect, when you have a clear picture of what you want (your dream); you’ve already set in motion the machinery for its achievement.
It’s difficult to put down a man with a dream because all he sees is his dream. Joseph in the Bible was so obsessed with his dream that he never saw the bitterness-filled intrigues of his siblings toward him. At the end, his dream became a reality.
Your dream has the power to pull you through any difficult circumstance you presently face. It was said about Jesus that because He saw the joy that was set before Him (a dream of a joyous end), He endured the gruesome death of the Cross (Hebrews 12:2 paraphrased).
Jim Rohn gave an apt description of the power of a dream in his analysis of Psalm 23:4, which says: “Though I walk through valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil…” He (Jim Rohn) insightfully averred that the reason a man can walk through the valley of the shadow of death is because he has a view of what the future holds (his dream)!
How long should you hold on to the job?
In private or group discussions, the question of how long a person should hold on to a job before transiting to his dream is often asked. There’s no hard and fast rule on this matter. What I always say is that when you’re true to your dream, you’ll know when to move; the force of your dream will bring about the movement. However, it’s advisable that you hold on for as long as you need to build what you consider the minimum resource requirements to sustain you pending the realization of your dream.
As they say, people don’t buy into dreams, they buy into reality. This is what makes having a job imperative while nurturing a dream. The challenge is that most people are preoccupied with survival so they don’t take the time to reflect on their dream. For a lot more people, they build a lifestyle around their job and as a result they always have to do what they do and are never able to do what they want to do.
How do you sustain your dream?
Dreams are sustained through continuous imagination of possibilities. Once you have a dream, there’s no end to it. It is expected to get better every day as the view of the dream becomes clearer. The continuity of your dream is based on the premise that it will always be the centre of your affection. From personal experience, when you love what you do, your imagination becomes boundless.
The sustenance of your dream is also hinged on its magnitude. That’s why people say your dream must be bigger than you for it to be a worthwhile dream. When you’ve achieved a portion of your dream, you move on to the next and it goes on and on. In essence, your dream must have a never-ending attribute. The above description of a dream makes it a vector quantity (a dream has magnitude and direction).
Starting the dream process
The first step in the process of having a dream is to ask the question: “What Do I Really Want?” Take time to answer this question diligently. You would find my article ‘What Do You Really Want?’ a helpful guide for this process. The article can be accessed through the link – http://waleadeniranye/what-do-you-really-want.
Your job is a facilitator of your dream to the extent that it acts as a guide in the dream process. When you view your job in this light, it ceases to be a drag on your life. The longer you stay on the job, the more the need for your dream to evolve. Expecting your job to give you significance when you’ve gone far beyond survival is a misplaced priority.