Sweet Dreams

At the approach of death he instructed his disciples, “Bury my body in the mountain behind the temple, cover it with dirt and go home. Read no sutras, hold no ceremony. Receive no gifts from either monk or laity. Let the monks eat their meals, wear their robes, and carry on as on normal days. At his final moment, he wrote the Chinese character for yume (‘dream’) , put down the brush and died.

The Unfettered Mind

I read this a while ago, and it is something that has stuck with me. Here is this Zen master, the writer of these incredibly insightful letters which make up this book that we now know as The Unfettered Mind, and he’s telling his disciples not to morn his death for a second. What he wants them to do, for his dying wish, he instructed them to simply ‘dream.’

It makes sense to me, that so close to a new year, to 2011, that I write about this passage.

I think it’s funny when people talk about the ‘dreamer’ in a negative sense. Sure, it’s not helpful to only dream, but it’s detrimental to not dream at all. It’s limiting. It’s paralyzing. There is nothing more important than the dream.

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” That was a quote from Walt Disney. Think about that for a second. The entire Disney empire, the multi, multi, multi billion dollar business, which includes of course, the Disney characters, the movie studio, ABC, and the sports cartel that is ESPN, among others, was started with a simple dream and a drawing.

You can have a dream without success but it’s nearly impossible to have success without a dream. Fortunate accidents don’t happen often, and when they do, that feeling is a fraction as compared to something dreamed and then earned. So right now we’re going to dream it, then this year, we’re going to earn it.

Think big. Dream big. Go for it all. Everything you want…imagine it as if it were real…tangible. Like you could wrap your arms around it. Because you can. What do you want? What in your wildest dreams, do you desire?

Now, factor in a tiny bit of realism. You, as an ex-convict born in France, aren’t becoming president of the United States. It’s just not possible. So alter that dream a little bit…you can become governor. So dream big first, then factor in reality.

What do you want in this world? And do NOT just think career. Dream of a happy life. What’s in there? Maybe that you need to scale down your career. Maybe not. Think personal, professional, financial, social, health…what is it that you want more than anything, in every aspect of your life.

In this, the beginning of 2011, the year I’m calling ‘The Year of the Achieved Dream,’ the first thing I want you to do is dream.

Dream about your possibilities this coming year. Dream about what you can accomplish. Dream about the best things ever in your life. The best things imaginable.

I want to achieve so much this year, that these dreams that I’m imaging now look like a joke as compared to what I’m able to dream next year. A joke as compared to what I’m able to do next year. Do you think Walt Disney dreamed of owning a sports empire like ESPN when he first started? No way in hell. But he kept pursuing his dream, and the more and more it grew, so grew the dreams. 

This is going to be my last post of 2010. And over the next couple of days, I want everyone to simply dream. Next week we start the work to go after and achieve those dreams this year.

I’m giving you a couple of days to let the hangovers to be gone. I want your full attention. We start work towards achieving those dreams on the 2nd or the 3rd.