We all dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. T. E. Lawrence
Have you ever met someone who seemed to ‘have it all’? Happy and relaxed, a free spirit full of adventure, open to the universe, at ease with the challenges of life… able to cope well with setbacks, yet still somehow achieve all their goals in the various areas of their life – work, play, relationships and family…
I have been fortunate to meet a number of people who fit this criteria and much to my surprise, as I got to know them better, they were not displaying a false facade to the world whilst they were struggling behind the scenes but rather were incredibly hard-working optimistic people who could not only dream up fabulous life goals but also ‘open their eyes’ to do the hard work to turn these dreams into reality!
I love the quote by TE Lawrence (also known as Lawrence of Arabia) which so simply puts forwards one of the mysterious differences between succeeding or failing when seeking to live your dreams and have an amazing life: ‘We all dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.’
Two Types of Dreamers: Eyes Open vs Eyes Shut
As TE Lawrence says, we all dream but there are two different types of Dreamers:
Firstly, those who dream at night in the dusty recess of their minds only to awake and put aside their grand ideas and ambitions in order to ‘play it safe’ and survive the daily grind of life. Whilst at first it seems easy to be critical of this approach, we should recognize the severity of the challenges and hardships many people face. We should also respect the legitimate desire for safety and security during life crises which, once crises subside, may still overwhelm the desire for personal growth and the setting of future life goals. The dreamers of the night can still be content and happy in their daily lives and enjoy the unrequited idealism of unfulfilled dreams. However, often this is not the case, instead the dreamers of the night can become frustrated with their day-to-day circumstances and hostile towards others who may be dreaming with their eyes wide open…
Secondly, there are those who dream with their eyes wide open – ‘the dreamers of the day’ as TE Lawrence calls them are ‘dangerous’ simply meaning ‘exciting and changing’ which of course in itself is seen as dangerous for the night dreamers who desire ‘stability and routine’. The Dreamers of the day imagine amazing life dreams and goals and then move forwards to both plan and take action to make these dreams come true. They will face the challenge and triumph of personal growth and change and may face numerous setbacks and failures along the way but will know what it is to live a fulfilling life and to achieve their goals and live their dreams! However they will also need to both discover and conquer their personal limits and avoid burning out as the long and winding road of personal transformation takes place.
Success Secret: Make Your Decision…
Make a firm decision to take your next steps… In Latin the word ‘decide’ means to ‘cut off’ all other options and fully commit to your goal and the necessary work needed to achieve it.
If you decide to keep your eyes shut and be a dreamer of the night then own this decision and be content and find joy in the daily routines of life – do not mock or begrudge the trials and tribulations, the setbacks and failures of others who dream with their eyes wide open and are on the difficult road to greater success.
If you decide to dream with your eyes wide open then roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and brace yourself for the effort and struggle ahead as you move through the chrysalis from caterpillar to butterfly. Don’t belittle those declining the journey and settling for a safer life of wishful thinking. Nurture yourself and look after your energy levels as you keep learning, changing and growing towards your amazing life goals!
Ride the Waves of Life
The Stress Surfer
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