Dreams and money
Speech from „Dream It Yourself Conference” by Bartosz Zamirowski.
People, stop dreaming!
I will share my deepest dream with you: Every day I dream about not meeting dreamers. Only people with their feet fixed firmly on the ground.
The category „dreams” is quite often presented as the opposite of mundane things. Thus we have numerous comparisons: dreams vs reality, in which the earlier are something desirable and the latter – unwanted necessity.
So we have: A dream job, a boss of your dreams, a city of your dreams, a dream boyfriend, a dream neighbour…
They all cause numerous disillusionments and wind up our expectations of ourselves and the world. The inner critic is waiting, like a virus, for the moments of lower immunity called self-confidence in order to attack. Even if you manage to block it from time to time with the words ‘shut up!’ it’s ready to catch you unexpectedly. Sooner or later it will get at you and complain that your life is so poor when compared with dreams.
Dreams are the biggest threat to human emotional life for they may cause disappointment and do not allow you to be happy before fulfilling your dreams. The number of negative emotions and people disappointed by their dreams, by failing to fulfil them, could probably fill up the ocean. An ocean of frustration. I will show you today how to connect heaven and earth, how not to be cheated by your own dreams. I will tell you about dreams and money.
For many dreamers thinking about money is… unworthy. The magical aspect of thinking of dreamers, when fulfilment of their dreams is connected with the necessity to get money is interesting. The method of getting it remains equally mysterious – it’s not a specific plan, but rather a supernatural phenomenon, like snapping your fingers.
The dishonourable appeal of dreams is the possibility of escaping into their world for everyone who hides their fears from reality. Another category of dreamers are lazy bones, who have found a universal excuse thanks to dreams – always valid, always cool. Saying that „you’re searching for self-fulfilment” and not dealing with „mundane things” has been socially well-received for ages, not only from the time when hippies started smoking pot like chimneys in the mid-1960s. This phenomenon is directly proportional to the growth of affluence of a society. Successive generations raised in prosperity do not have to have their feet fixed firmly on the ground and wallow in the dust – the clouds seem to be so low above the surface of the earth that you can only reach out your hand to touch them. Especially when mom will take care of your breakfast, laundry, and pocket money for having fun.
Why is it so? Why do we escape into the world of dreams? The reason are human fears, which can be classified into 3 groups: control-, contact- and competence-related.
Control: Do I have control over my life? Am I independent? Will I manage on my own?
Dreams are tempting: come on, don’t worry, here you control everything as dreams are only yours.
Contact: Am I accepted by others? What do people think about me? Am I cool?
Dreams are tempting: Have dreams! You will be original! You will attract people’s attention!
Competences: Can I do anything? Anything valuable that others will be ready to pay for? Dreams are tempting: this world is not just, you have no chance to compete with everyone, build your own world and escape into it…
Do you know the story about a young man, visibly tired after the previous night’s party, who was stopped in the park by the police and asked whether he worked somewhere. He said he didn’t. ‘And what’s your occupation?’ the police officer asked. ‘I don’t work as my profession is not practiced in Poland!’ he replied. ‘And what’s your profession?’ ‘I’m a toreador!’ was the answer.
These 3 classes of fear: control, contact and competence – related concern us all, me and you included. I suggest that you turn them into a kind of filter of your dreams in order to find out something more about yourselves. Are dreams, lofty ideas not a product of our fears and escape from the world we are afraid of, by any chance? If they are, our dreams will turn against us rather sooner than later. Especially when we will not be able to fulfil them, and reality will be knocking at our door.
What shall we do when we experience an epiphany and realise that our dreams, or some of them at least, result from the need of acceptance, for example? Should we punish ourselves with resection of such a dream? Of course, not! Self-awareness and understanding are crucial – they might make the fulfilment of this dream possible. And here we may see how important role in fulfilment of our dreams is played by… money.
The human civilisation has created a system of value exchange: something for something, value for value. This simple mechanism regulates our life, both economic and emotional. Being in a relationship is also an exchange of value.
Now we are also exchanging value – both you and me decided that it’s worth spending this May morning here, at this meeting. You receive a certain point of view from me and I get an opportunity to present it to the world. Value for value. The need of finding a universal measure of value appeared long ago. Money was invented probably by the Phoenicians and was originally a piece of precious metal, which was replaced by coins approx. in the 7th century BC, i.e. nearly 3,000 years ago. Because of a great popularity of the money concept, it became the object of insults of many jealous people, dreamers in particular, who cannot cope with putting it aside. They are not able to create proper value that someone would like to exchange for coins, for money. What do dreamers need money for? Is it not true that no money can buy dreams? Are we not made for higher ideals? Will the pursuit of money not destroy this? Will we not turn into disgusting materialists who will only want more and more?!
Of course, people sometimes dream about money for money’s sake: they want to get rich in order to… etc.
To make my point I will use the theory of Abraham Maslow, for I am a big fan of Chip Conley’s transformation.
We can say that we all have different needs. For a hipster it might be a double caffeine free latte with soy milk and cane sugar from an organic plantation, and for a cat it may be Facebook, where it can publish its photos. Cats do not publish their photos on their own? I didn’t know that. Ok, seriously, it’s like this:
Money is the basis of the pyramid. Whether you want it or not. If mom or dad does not give it to you, you must take care of yourself on your own, you will not build much without money. It seems obvious, yet many dreamers escape this obviousness and try to build a structure from several sticks and come up with a lofty philosophy and several smooth aphorisms about „self-fulfilment”.
If you treat your dreams seriously and not only talk about them to impress your friends at a party, know that the road to fulfilling them begins from money as the foundation. Recognition is higher in the pyramid. Each of us has a need of being recognised and accepted as a human being. Believe me, if you succeed in building the foundations (money), you can become resistant to many obstacles that will appear on the way to fulfilling your dreams.
Gaining financial independence is one of the factors that build your self-confidence the most, your self-recognition (yes, there is something like this). It’s bizarre, but building the base of the pyramid expands another level – recognition – almost automatically. So that you can be your own hero.
What’s at the top of this pyramid?
It’s the meaning of what you do. A feeling that your life makes sense. Once again: a feeling, which is internal. While the aspect of recognition may be external – someone will appreciate us, making sense must appear inside you.
We need money for our brain – something very material, countable for our thoughts, for our self-esteem, i.e. something immaterial and uncountable.
Dreamers need money first of all to buy: time and belief in themselves.
Wait a moment, can time be bought? If we understand it as gaining more control over spending your time as you want – it can. Dreams are rarely not time-consuming, that’s their nature – whether you want it or not, you must devote your time to them.
A positive side effect will be the ability to make a living. Unfortunately, people sometimes build “sick pyramids”. If you like “godzillions”, keep on planning it classically like this:
If you choose this way, you’d better do it like this: godzillions, recognition, sense. Serious fulfilment of your dreams will always start from a financial plan. Here’s my paradigm of action:.
- Meet people, in reality, not only on FB
- Select your companions carefully.
- Your life partner should “push” you up, not down.
- Do not focus on your career, but rather on what you do.
- Do not get offended at money, it will not be bothered by your sulks. Grow up!
- Get tired. There is nothing wrong with falling asleep in a second and without time for reflection because of the amount of work you did and your activity at the end of the day.
- Don’t be lazy. “It ill befits a man to be lazy” Seneca wrote, and it’s one of my life credos. The same ill befits ladies.
PS Don’t be so serious. Consistent fulfilment of your plans will be easier when you’re a little less tense…
Dreams are characterised by their exceptional grandeur. I dream about making a space trip – and I’m almost half-way there at the moment. I have a plan connected with this. I want it very much! Will I make it? I don’t know! If I don’t make a space trip within the next 40 years, I will not criticise myself for this and say ‘You didn’t make it! You lost all your life!’ I might not remember any more that I had such a dream.
If you want, I have a gift for you, my book published in March 2015, in two language versions – Polish and English. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to obtain its electronic version for free. If you want to build your pyramid according to the principles discussed by me today, send me an e-mail email@example.com with the subject “Show Me The Money”, and I will offer you a job in a nice consultancy firm Bizlab.
I would like to encourage you to treat dreams in such a way that you may keep your head in the clouds as long as you keep your sense of direction and have your feet firmly fixed to the dusty ground.
People, start dreaming!
But please do not escape from money, do not escape into dreams from money, from reality!