Last weekend I was walking my dog Lola. It is a lovely way to de-stress and smell the roses. The sun was shining, a “life is good” kind of day.” Walking along I noticed a man painting a white picket fence. He said “hi, it’s a beautiful day” and I replied “hi, how’s it going?”
With a cheeky smile and a tinge of sarcasm he said “Yeah, I’m living the dream.” I smiled at his reply and I have been thinking about it on and off ever since. His reply was a conundrum to me. Was he really living the dream?
If not, what would living the dream look like to him. I wish I had stopped to ask him.
This question keeps coming to my mind. I sense that this is an important question. As Socrates said, “enlightenment lies not in the answer but in the question.”
The question “Are you living the dream?” has indeed led to some enlightening conversations.
Today, we stopped at the Windsor deli after our early morning walk. They have great coffee and it has such a warm vibe and friendly people. I have a fabulous friend who I walk with and discuss life matters, ideas, inspiration and all that is curious in life. We had been discussing the living the dream question. She asked Simon the barista if he was living the dream. His face lit up as he said yes. He explained that he had always wanted to work in a café and that he had in fact bought this café last October. Neither of us had realised that the cafe had changed hands. We chat, however I realised that we hadn’t really connected. Simon explained, that in the past he had always hated hearing about people living the dream. It made him aware that he was not. Do you ever have that conversation in your head. ” Wow! I would love to see,feel,do,have,be that…….” Listen, it is your calling card to take the next step.
It made me think about how often we believe that “living the dream” is out of our reach. We have to deal with reality. It is celebrities, people with lots of money, those with power and influence who can live the dream. Not us!
However, when I saw Simon’s face light up,as he said “Yes I am living the dream”, I realised that “living the dream” can be for anyone. You just have to know what your dream is, and go after it.
The other wonderful consequence of asking this question, is that it opened a connection. The question opened a window, allowing us to discover a little of Simon’s story. Like most stories, we are interested to know more. I love connecting with people. They are often a source of inspiration and wonder to me. Everyone has a story and it is our stories that connect us. We often have superficial conversations and don’t really know the people around us. Knowing about “who” of someone, opens a whole new conversation.
In the 2009 film Avatar, I was struck by the greeting “I see you” How wonderful to be truly seen for who you are.
As Dr Seuss says “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” The problem is that often we don’t ask the questions to find out the true “who” of you.
Are you living the dream?