What do you do when the Irresistible Force of “following your dream” runs into the Immovable Object of “needing to be realistic and practical”?
Hans Selye, the psychologist reflects on this, writing:
“’Realistic people’ who pursue ‘practical aims’ are rarely as realistic or practical, in the long run of life as the dreamers who pursue their dreams.”
Is Selye suggesting we all need to quit our day jobs, or move to Katmandu, or start an orphanage, or live as starving artists in Paris, or some such thing?
In other words, are Dreams and Practicality mutually exclusive? Is it one or the other?
I don’t think he’s suggesting that.
Maybe he’s simply saying that your deeper yearnings or longings or dreams are at least as important to your health and life as your to-do list and bank account—if not more so—and should not be abandoned or swept under the rug.
Of course, it’s not easy to keep a dream alive.
This is why Bruce Springsteen said:
“Talk about a dream, try to make it real.”
And in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for literature, novelist Saul Bellow said that the hardest thing, for him, was “finding enough dream space.”
What is dream space? Perhaps it’s a small space in your day in which you give yourself permission to think about, talk about, reflect on or do something about that deep yearning or longing or dream—something that’s really important to you.
Today, no matter what else is going on, could you give yourself just a little dream space?