Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dreams Versus Goals

I was commissioned to write an article for a lifestyle magazine here in Singapore (actually, I think it may just be online, not print). The topic was how I, as a cancer patient, am facing the new year. What are my hopes, dreams, and fears for the coming year. I was okay talking about my hopes and fears, but when it came to dreams, I had little to say.

The word "dream" has always tripped me up a bit. I never really had any dreams growing up. Kids dream about one day becoming a ballerina, an astronaut, or other glamorous characters they see in books and on TV. I never had that when I was a kid. Adults also have dreams of conquering some personal goal - owning their own business, climbing Mount Everest, finding their soul mate. I never really had these sorts of dreams either.

I think my inability to have such lofty dreams comes down to the word itself. A dream sounds so foggy and far away that I just don't like the feeling it gives me of its being unattainable. I prefer to think of dreams as goals. If I were going to dream of owning my own business some day, I'd just set it as a goal and then get it done. Why call it a dream?

So then, did I have any goals growing up? No, didn't have any of those either. As I look back on my life, I'd have to say that for somebody who thinks she's pretty damn smart, I haven't been very creative in putting my intelligence to good use.

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