Dreaming of Living the Dream

Procrastination and having too many balls in the air are my two biggest challenges. It also doesn’t help that I have trouble focusing on one thing at a time. Let’s see if I can help myself by writing this post as I think it through in real-time. Hopefully I’ll help you too.

A Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Man

I’m not kidding about the real-time thing. I often write as I think, a kind of James Joyce stream of consciousness thing, but a little more concise. It helps when I have a list of thoughts or titles to refer to as I mentioned in my last post, but the writing is generally spur-of-the-moment stuff. I decided that I should post something this morning so that this blog doesn’t quickly become another casualty of my try-to-do-everything-but-accomplish-nothing issues. Again I turned to my list of titles, and again found a thought that felt right immediately, the title above. At least that practice has helped.

Another reason I wanted to write a post first thing is to see if it would help get my creative juices flowing and my fingers into typing mode for the “work”ahead of me today, ie my contracted writing which allows me to eat and sleep indoors. We’ll see how it goes. Many days I find myself doing a little bit of this interrupted by a little bit of that, and by mid-day I start panicking because I haven’t really accomplished anything. Frustrating is the  mildest word I can think of to describe it.

I feel as if I am in a constant catch-22 situation, a rotation of things I want or need to do and other things that seem to creep up and steal my time. It’s a focus issue more than anything else. I schedule my calendar, but I don’t follow it. I make a task list and end up with a longer “today” list each day because everything gets pushed back. I put reminders everywhere, but the snooze button rules.

Back to the Point

In a way I am already living the dream. I do work for myself. I do  work from home. I do get to make my own schedule. So what’s the problem?

The problem is that my dreams are big. I started a company last year, and within a few months I had around 70 contractors working for me. By the end of the year it was down to me and a few others. While some of them left for other opportunities or school, and some I chose to stop using because of my standards of work, many left because I wasn’t able to manage such a large undertaking primarily by myself and they got frustrated with me.

I once did a music podcast, and I would love to start it again but I just don’t have the time right now. I wrote a tech blog. Again, gone. I have several sites that I have started for different ideas sitting idle and unpublished. My latest dream is a massive organization, similar to a non-profit, for training and empowering people to serve others, complete with a directory of opportunities online, locally, globally, etc. Will it come to fruition? I hope so, but not without focus.

Not an Island

I’m beginning to see a light at the end of my long dark tunnel. There is still quite a bit of distance between where I am and where I’m going, however. Of course, I can never reach where I want to go completely, since each destination is only a rest stop on the journey. Otherwise life would be terribly boring. So I’m beginning to reach out to others who want to share in my dreams, to collaborate for a unified goal. The connections are coming together quite nicely, actually.

One person can change the world, but they can’t do it all on their own. This is my lesson to myself today. I can only be an island in small matters, and small matters are not what I’m reaching for. The paradox of ‘dreaming of living the dream’ is apparently that I already am and should enjoy the small victories, but at the same time the dream keeps growing, and sharing it is the only way to grow it. Kind of like love.

Suffer me your thoughts. How do you stay focused? How do you employ collaboration effectively? Help a brother out. I’m happy to do the same in any way I can.

If you want to know more about me, start here. Maybe we can do something together.

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5 thoughts on “Dreaming of Living the Dream

  1. Like you I dream big and loose focus, so im not sure how much help I’ll be but I can share what I’m trying. Success and failures alike so that you may not make the same mistakes. First I had to surrender to the Unviverse. May sound a little “hokey-pokey” but it Worked! I got myself spiritually grounded. Then like you I started making lists. Long ones at first. I realized quickly my expectations were too BIG! So I made categories; Home, Work, Personal, and such. Then underneath I have 2-3 accomplishable goals! I’m now more spiritually grounded. I have quality time with my family! I’m accomplishing home projects! I’m journaling, blogging, and finding time to write. I hope this was helpful. Wishing you the best on your journey. May you find inspiration and Peace.

    • Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve got the spiritually grounded part down, it’s the practical application of the lists that I struggle with. I think I have the same problem of “too big”, I just have to determine to whittle things down. Thanks again!

  2. Okay, I’m hooked on your blog. I freelanced for twenty-five years and regret not a moment. Did I make a fortune? Some months, yes. Most? Nope. But I made my living and wrote for organizations and a university that excited me. I do NOT, however, think that dreaming big is a problem for anyone… it’s timing WHEN we dream that can be the problem. Sometimes, when I was writing for Stanford’s Graduate School of Engineering, I’d picture myself writing copy for these world-class scientists, that would make someone in Utah, some Engineer stuck in a rut, thinking he would NEVER find a way to learn something new in his field, or create a pathway to something better, READ MY COPY about Professor So and So’s course on “Make Your Own Satellite, Stanford Style” and find a way to take the course and make his future.
    Hokey? You bet. Silly? Maybe so, but it made me dive into my work. I’d invent stories about the impact of my little web profiles bringing in workers in Sweden or something, who suddenly realized they could take honest-to-God STANFORD courses without leaving their desks!

    My point is that I think dreaming big fires us up. Every single job I had, I realize now, led to my writing for Stanford. To me, that last HUGE contract in my career unified my love of writing, devotion to education, absolute passion (as a hobby) for science, and need to work on my own. I knew about non-profits and education. I’d worked on a college campus so I understood the complicated of politics: administrative, clerical, faculty, students… all sorts of cultures seemingly each speaking English, but…

    I had to step away from ANY full-time intensive career for a lifelong, serious medical condition. So be it. Along the way I’d learned to draw, offline and on. I discovered I could paint. I sold my first painting because of my blog, to a woman in Australia. Another BIG dream I am moving toward. I shall be sixty-five and have a big art showing that will coincide with promoting my first best-selling ebook and publication of my first book of original compositions for women’s spiritual song circles. I wrote my first three songs this year.

    Your dream is focused. You’ll develop more focus as you go, and you will find that you will develop various alternatives to bring the dream to fruition. You may find that you do not make your dream any smaller; you may simply reinvent the same dream or find that the dream can have many paths or iterations that fulfill it.

    In the meantime, yes, I’ve put in my own personal blogsite, but only because I just wrote about dreaming big in it. (http://reinventedvoices.blogspot.com/2013/01/why-dream-small.html )

  3. “My latest dream is a massive organization, similar to a non-profit, for training and empowering people to serve others, complete with a directory of opportunities online, locally, globally, etc. Will it come to fruition? I hope so, but not without focus.” I don’t know why in particular, but you might consider listening to http://on.ted.com/Pallotta . He talks about applying entrepreneurial process/mindsets to the nonprofit world. I found this inspiring in so many ways, that I am working on probably two or three blogposts having to do with how we DEVALUE giving and actualizing businesses that promote the betterment of society. With that, I’ll shut up now! But thank YOU for your comment to me, and for inspiring me so much on a Sunday afternoon. I want to know more about your big dream, frankly. You sound like an extraordinary person.

    • Thanks Jeannette! I’ll check out that Ted talk. If you want a little more info on that dream I mentioned, go to beasower.com, it’s the site I’ve set up temporarily until I find the help and funding I need to make it really happen. It’s only a skeleton of info, but the big picture is there, as well as contact info for anyone who would like to be involved in any way.

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