By Paul Yung
Much has been said about the value of pursuing dreams.
Some say that the purpose of life is to pursue your dreams.
Others say that pursuing dreams is an unrealistic, self-indulgent waste of time.
My take is… wait for it… it depends. Okay, let me explain.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am big on having dreams.
This is my take on two types of dreams:
- Dreams of achieving a particular outcome. The value of pursuing the dream is entirely dependent on whether the goal is achieved.
- Dreams that involve awakening a part of you that lies sadly dormant otherwise. In this kind of dream, the value is in the pursuit of the dream, and not solely in whether the goal is achieved.
The first type of dream is called a “destination dream.” The value of the dream is based on the outcome. This concept would be familiar with most of us.
I want a bigger house, nicer car, more money. Most of us are familiar with this concept of a dream.
The second type, is called a “journey dream.” The value is in the journey itself.
I absolutely loved this concept! A journey dream is about bringing alive a part of yourself that wouldn’t otherwise be acknowledged. Whether you end up at the stated destination or not is secondary.
There’s a place for both types of dreams. One observation I’ll make is that from a mental health standpoint, journey dreams are more conducive to greater emotional resilience and stability.
If all of your dreams are destination dreams, what happens if you don’t reach any of your desired destinations?
You may have heard of the saying that the success is in the journey, not the destination and just like me, you called bulls***. You’re trying to tell me that in the pursuit of a new BMW that I still can’t afford, and I should stop and pat myself on the back for trying? Stuff it…
Unfortunately, this was exactly the kind of thinking that put a ton of pressure on my shoulders for years. The weight of expectations that I put on myself not only weighed me down, but actually caused me to perform worse than I would normally have. I couldn’t think straight, was constantly paranoid which made me unhappy, terrible la..
The concept of journey dreams changed all this. Let me break this down. Think of a big goal, like losing 20kg in 6 months. That’s the “SMART” destination dream. On the way to losing this weight, you would’ve started learning about weight loss. You would’ve started researching and trying different diets, workouts, supplements and activities. You may have started something new like rock climbing, cycling or kick boxing and through these new hobbies, made new friends and had new experiences.
After 6 months, you’ve (only) lost 10kg. not the destination yet, but look at what you’ve accomplished along the way! You may not have gotten to where you initially thought you’d be in 6 months but hasn’t the journey been incredible. This is what I call a journey dream.
Take joy in the process of attaining your dreams. Trust the process and understand that at the end of the day, that’s what it is, a process. Anything new that we are trying to achieve will not be easy, in fact, some might be downright daunting. However, breaking those big goals into smaller milestone goals will help you stay motivated and consistent. This takes the pressure off and you will feel accomplished whether or not you reach your destination goal. The real goal is to be a better version of ourselves today than we were yesterday. Keep at it, you got this.
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