I believe in dreams. As a money expert, it is quite something to admit but my current reality exists because I dreamed: Foundation Family Wealth is the product of my dream to help people live their best life with their money; living in Cape Town is the result of my dream to live closer to nature and family. Of course, we planned and saved, but it would not have happened had I not first dreamed.
In my experience, many people are scared or unable to dream. For most of my life, I was too. I studied, got a job and did the best I could. I worked hard on what was in front of me and found myself in a career, chasing a vague goal of ‘having enough’. It wasn’t what I had planned. In fact, there was no plan. Also, a big admission for someone who would become a financial planner.
That is until I started dreaming. I was challenged to write down my dreams for my future. Not just a few, but one hundred dreams. Initially, it was difficult. I couldn’t get beyond ten, never mind one hundred. On my list were things completely beyond my control and others were just fleeting wishes. They varied from a deep desire to leave a personal and business legacy, to one day being able to tend a patch of lavender and have a few chickens. I wrote down my hopes for healthy family relationships and a country without poverty. My list also included the mundane and even the slightly ridiculous, yet fun dream of buying a pair of red stilettos!
In the ancient scriptures of the Old Testament, there is a verse that says, ‘Without vision, my people perish’ (Proverbs 29:18). Vision is missing at present. It is lacking in the world but almost completely absent in South Africa. Most of us are just surviving, trying to make it through the week. But we will perish if we don’t raise our heads, lift our eyes and imagine a better future.
You may think that I am tone deaf when I encourage people to dream in the middle of a health and economic crisis. But I believe that dreams are acts of defiance. They taunt the critics and naysayers as well as your current circumstances. They challenge you to imagine a different, favourable future. It takes great courage to dream in the middle of a pandemic. It means admitting that there could be a beautiful future beyond this.
If we don’t dream now, we will succumb in some way. Just existing is the start of a slow death.
Start dreaming. Start writing that list for life beyond COVID-19. Or create a Pinterest board. Or write a journal entry. Whatever you like, just start. It can be something small, like resolving to have a weekly beer with a friend or buying yourself a bunch of flowers every month. It can be big, like starting a new business, planning a year of travel around the world or retiring well.
During this pandemic, I have had moments where I have felt robbed of my dreams. However, I refuse for a government or a pandemic to rob me of them. I will dream as a revolutionary act against a system and circumstance that feels hopeless. I will dream as an act of hope.
In my experience, when we dare to dream, life moves in the direction of our dreams. Our thinking shifts. Our conversations change. Many of the dreams on my initial list are now a reality. There was both a push and a pull towards those dreams and the realisation of them was not always seamless. But there is always a wonderful satisfaction as my dreams become intentions which become reality. There are many more dreams on my current list. In fact, I hope to die with dreams still unfulfilled, with hope for the future.
We have a choice. We can either perish or we can dream. There is no middle ground. I have chosen to keep dreaming.
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//24 July 2020