“Take your memories to the grave, not your dreams.”
I heard this the other day on a YouTube video and I had to stop the video.
What a fantastic distinction.
We all have dreams.
Maybe you call it the bucket list, wish list, dream board, whatever, but we all have a list of things we’d love to see, do, experience in our lifetime.
But a lot of the time, ‘life’ gets in the way of turning those dreams into memories.
We don’t have the time/money/resources/space/comfort we ‘need’ to pursue these dreams.
Throw in the mention of a grave, though, and that sharpens the mind. Why keep them as dreams any longer?
How about, instead of having reasons it can’t happen, we just set about making it happen?
This is, of course, dangerously close to the redemption arc in an average Hollywood film – “believe in it enough and it’ll happen” sort of nonsense.
That’s not what I’m talking about though.
It’s more about getting to know your dreams better, then deciding if you want them as dreams, or if you want to do what’s required to turn them into memories.
Prioritise them – which ones are must-dos, which ones are could-dos and which ones are meh-dos?
Once you’ve done that, the real challenge is committing to achieving these dreams.
This is an uncomfortable, perhaps lonely, space to find yourself in.
Say you’re in the middle of your career.
You’ve broken through the early parts of finding your way, you’re earning good money, you’re starting to build a good reputation and you’re on a good path through a comfortable life.
But you absolutely hate it.
Your dream is to pack up the family and drive around Australia for a year.
You think about it when you’re driving to work, at lunch, and when you’re driving home. You read blogs of people doing it, you watch caravanning videos, you worry about it.
But you tell yourself that you can’t possibly do it though because, reasons.
Mortgage, kids schooling, work, money, time, what’ll people think, what will I do after, what about….?
These are legitimate considerations.
But they’re also eminently solvable questions.
The real reason we don’t do these things is that we’re not willing to pay the price required to achieve these things.
This isn’t a criticism, it’s an observation. Most dreams actually can be achieved, but they tend to be very expensive.
Some of the common ‘costs’ we need to cover to achieve these dreams:
Mortgage? Sell the house.
Kids education? Home school them on the road.
Money? Save beforehand, significantly reduce your cost of living, find other work on the way.
Time? Stop wasting time on nonsense.
What’ll people think? To be honest, most people will judge you for chasing something you love. They’ll think it selfish or unfair or ‘well, that’s ok for them’.
So what? Letting other peoples opinions make your decisions for you is easily the most foolish outsourcing choice you can ever make.
What will I do after? Probably the scariest one for most people.
The answer? Who knows? That part remains unknown and unknowable and to turn this dream into a memory, you’ll need to accept that.
It’s a choice that we all have. Our choices will be different, and our options exist in our own individual contexts, but this is a choice we all have.
These are all pretty simple choices – not easy, but simple.
But it’s important that we give ourselves permission to pay these costs to pursue our dreams (and..to not pay these costs if that’s what we choose. But I encourage you to make this a conscious decision – not one made by inertia).
So – do we want to go to our graves full of dreams (regrets) or memories?