Do we really want our dreams to come true or would we settle for a better reality? As I sit in my comfy sweatpants, I am trying to work out the answer to this question in my head. It actually made me laugh a little when this question came to me because my older sister told me last week I should write a blog post about Troy’s bucket from the Goonies. How well that scene ties into this question!
The Goonies’ classic wishing well scene relates to many things in life. If you haven’t seen it, well, you disappoint me. However, I will recap for those that haven’t had this memorized in their brain since 1985. The Goonies think they found One Eyed Willie’s secret treasure, but then they realize it’s just the old town wishing well. When Mouth starts talking about stealing all the coins, the girls get upset and accuse him of stealing other people’s dreams and wishes. Mouth unforgettably proclaims “This was my my dream, my wish, but it didn’t come true. So I’m taking it back, I’m taking them all back,” as he dramatically dives back into the well water.
As they plan to escape up Troy’s (aka the town douchebag) bucket, Mikey convinces the group to stay. He reminds them that although his parents are fighting their battles above ground, the kids had a chance to save their homes if they kept following the treasure map. Mikey wins over the group with the line, “This is our time, our time, down here. That’s all over the second we ride up Troy’s bucket.”
While Mouth is giving up on dreams and wishes, bitterly stealing them back, Mikey holds tight to this dream of finding his pirate hero’s secret treasure. He wasn’t ready to give up on that dream, especially if that meant admitting failure, allowing douchebag Troy to save them. He’d rather take his chances with the Fratelli’s.
I’m sure a lot of us know someone like Mouth. A person that believes most dreams are unobtainable and so what’s the point in having them. According to a quick google search, a dream could be something that comes to you when you are sleeping and disappears moments after you wake. It could be a wild and vain fancy. An aspiration or goal. It could also mean indulging in daydreams or reveries (fanciful musings).
This is my definition. A dream is a wish your heart makes. Oh wait, that’s Disney.
Okay, seriously, here is my definition: A dream is a wild aspirational goal that deserves the time you spend fancifully musing about it. It merges with your reality when you start figuring out a plan to make it happen. If you never take any action towards it, then it stays a dream and you take it to your grave.
Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. And it was wild and aspirational, but he started taking steps to make it a reality. When he died, it didn’t die with him. It very easily could have. He could have thought, you know what, it would be great if this dream became reality but it’s too hard and I won’t see this happen in my lifetime so I’ll just dream and hope someday someone has an easier path and will make it reality. He wanted his dream to come true and he wanted a better reality. They intersected because he took action. Unfortunately, his time was cut short and he couldn’t see it all the way through, but his words still inspire others to dream and keep taking steps to a better reality.
Do all dreams need to be as big and as impactful as MLK Jr.? No. A dream needs to be personal to you. It’s what ignites you. If you don’t have passion behind it, then it’s not really a dream, is it? Dreams can be big or small. It’s your dream. It’s your wish. It’s your timeline.
If you carry the belief that most dreams are unobtainable, then why even dream? Give up. Resign to thinking you will never travel or see a concert that you have on your bucket list. If this is what you believe, it doesn’t mean you are being more realistic and working on bettering your reality. It means you’ve stopped dreaming and you have become shortsighted.
If you stop dreaming, don’t you stop living just a little bit? Dreams and reality should intersect, so if you aren’t dreaming how are you living a better reality? How do you even know what a better reality looks like without a dream? Keep dreaming. Maybe you don’t have the full plan yet, but it will come to you. Don’t laugh it off and use the excuse “I’m not a planner”. If you give up now and basically say what’s the point of dreaming, that it’s just paved in disappointment, then you are basically Mouth, diving back into that wishing well to steal others’ dreams and wishes.
If all I do is accept my reality at face value and not dream, then how will I ever push myself for more? I may make my life incrementally better, but why not shoot for exponentially better and meet somewhere in the middle? I’m not ready to give up on my dreams because they seem unobtainable. That’s what makes them dreams. I do believe you have to take action to make it your reality, but I’d so much rather expand my reality into my dreams then trying to narrow and constrict my dreams into my immediate reality. I am not ready to ride up Troy’s bucket.