Why Do People Stop Dreaming?

This post was triggered after reading the Cool Friend interview with Matthew Kelly on Tom Peters! I found Kelly’s reply to the question of why people stop dreaming incomplete and posted a comment. Upon further reflection I found my own comment also incomplete and added the following:

“A person without a dream is like a bird without wings”.
“Take a man away from his dreams and he begins to die slowly”.

It is natural to envision new development and possibilities, to dream of new attainment and capabilities. We are wired to dream of what can be. To wake up in the morning without a dream, a purpose to endeavor toward is to abdicate the charge of living.

Why do people stop dreaming?

People stop dreaming because…

  1. They are afraid of the disappointment of not reaching their dreams.
  2. They achieved one dream and have not found a way to rejuvenate into the next new dream.
  3. Working towards a dream earlier in their life took a heavy toll. Now they are hurt and disillusioned.
  4. Material dreams they did achieve left them feeling empty on the inside and they have yet to see the need for a new sustaining dream which might make their life feel more significant.
  5. They have been ridiculed and criticized and have internalized the idea that they can’t achieve.
  6. They are afraid of the power of having a dream and the responsibility it brings.
  7. They have internalized the idea that growing up means to stop dreaming.
  8. They don’t believe they are worthy of their dream.
  9. They are missing that one person who will believe in them and give them the power to believe in themselves.
  10. They don’t believe their own lives are significant enough, important enough to work towards a dream.

Then there is more. The journey to realizing a dream is not a linear process. As you progress you need to let go and transcend the mindset you had when you started the journey. And then once you realize your dream you may need to give up control as it gains its own life. Most people are afraid to not be in control even for a short period of time. Dreams require trust and faith.

Whatever the case is, let’s do away with excuses. Daring to dream is for the mind what breathing is for the lungs. Here is a question: what is your dream? Yes, I mean this for real – what is your dream?
Here is another way to rekindle this. What would you start dreaming today if you knew you couldn’t fail?

One more dream: who will you help to find their dream today?

© Aviv Shahar

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