“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”
⏤ James Allen, Author of As a Man Thinketh*
What a loaded quote we have this week, from the British author James Allen. It is packed with tons of deep inspirational thought and in the next few paragraphs, I hope to unlock some key messages so that you can practically apply the wisdom into your life meaningfully.
First, let me ask you a question: Are you a dreamer? A dreamer - not someone who doesn't intend to act on their dreams but someone who know how to dream in order to take right action?
Think about it for a second. Dreamer.
I want you to begin to unravel the gifts that this word comes with. Too many people have used the word dreamer as a derrogative term. "Ah, you are just a dreamer." "Don't just be a dreamer." And other variants of such statements.
But to me the word "dreamer" equals "visionary". It conjures up to me images of people like Dr. Martin Luther King who was a great visionary who could see people being judged by the merit of their character not the color of their skin. It conjures up to me the image of Mother Theresa who could see the vision of Jesus in the faces of ailing, suffering people who were deemed as outcasts and unwanted by society.
Dreamers are visionaries who can see a higher reality for humanity. They can see the potential for good, for benevolence, for compassion and for equality. They are people who can see a more refined world where solutions to today's problems are easily solved with collaboration and dedication. They are people filled with faith in the true kindness that is seated in the heart of every human being. These are the people who have created amazing art, beautiful experiences, and worthy solutions for humanity. These are the dreamers.
That's what I see when I walk in the woods and see acorns on the forest floor. Lying there lifeless, from a distance they look like unwanted throwaways of the forest. But they are dormant. They hold within them the potential of not just one tree but millions of trees. Or when consumed by a squirrel, they give food to not just one squirrel, but millions of squirrels yet to be born. When they neither become food for a squirrel nor find the right conditions to sprout, they may merge with the earth and become nourishment for countless lifeforms.
That's exactly what is inside an idea. An acorn. A seed. A starting point for something that can have endless impact on numberless beings.
That is why you ought to dream. And dream big. You ought to dream the dream that is emerging from within you. Care not what has been done. Care not what people think about you. Care not whether you feel ready. You dream is waiting to take root. Because your dream is a seed for your new reality.
"Dreams are seedlings of realities", said James Allen. What new reality can you dream up?
Here's an exercise that you can do today to cultivate the art of dreaming:
Think of a problem that you have seen in your life. It could be something you have experienced yourself. Or it could be something you have seen out in the world - which you feel can be improved upon.
Ask yourself: If I could have it all my way, what would this look? Or if I could have all the resources in the world, if Bill Gates, Oprah, Richard Branson and all the billionaires of the world were to give me their influence, money and resources, what solution would I like to bring into this world? And allow yourself to think outrageously.
Just to get your juices flowing, I will share with you my very own Big Dream. (I actually have three but let's start with one).
My Big Dream For Animals:
If I could have it all my way and these fantastic billionaires are supporting my dream, this is what I would want:
I would transform every animal shelter on this planet into a life-shelter (meaning a no-kill shelter). I would then turn the existing shelters into animal sanctuaries and build new animal sanctuaries where dogs and cats can touch the grass under their paws and breathe the fresh air through their nostrils. They can climb trees and run around in peace. They are taken care of by compassionate, well-paid caretakers who feed them good, healthy food and give them access to compassionate, highly trained vets and healers.
I would find a way to get every single dog and cat off the streets where they are going unnoticed, neglected and filled with diseases. Yes, EVERY SINGLE animal. I would also use the resources to reach into schools so that our next generation can learn the beauty of caring for an animal and they too can take action to protect these animals. All animals are either free in the wild or lovingly and humanely taken care of and allowed to live their entire lives out peacefully. This is my Big Dream for animals in general but dogs and cats specifically.
What is Your Big Dream that you dream of?
You are allowed any big dream you like (of course, it goes without saying that it is beneficial to our world - animals and ecosystems included). Go ahead and share it in the comments below. I am eager to learn from you.
Other Quotes from James Allen:
Here are a few more quotes to spark your imagination:
"Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought."
"Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves."
"Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself."
Sidenote: Whenever I read inspiring quotes, I often wonder who was the person who said or wrote those words. Reading quotes, I find, is a good way to do some digging to find out just a little bit more of the writer/speaker, as their lifestory and life's work gives us much to ponder about.
So whenever I can, I will add a little introduction from Wikipedia to start off your research and add it to the end of the post in a teeny section called: About the Author of The Quote.
*About the Author of the Quote:
"James Allen (28 November 1864 – 24 January 1912) was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement. His best known work, As a Man Thinketh, has been mass-produced since its publication in 1903. It has been a source of inspiration to motivational and self-help authors". ⏤ Wikipedia