The Anatomy of A Dream (038)

In this episode (038) I speak about the parts and features of a dream, then expound on a few things that you should never allow to happen to your dreams. This is a heartfelt solo podcast inspired by my journey, as well as the passing of many legends and fellow dreamers, like many yourselves, who I wanted to honour. Enjoy.
In this episode (038) I speak about the parts and features of a dream, then expound on a few things that you should never allow to happen to your dreams.  This is a heartfelt solo podcast inspired by my journey, as well as the passing of many legends and fellow dreamers, like many yourselves, who I wanted to honour. Enjoy.

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This episode was initially inspired by the legacy of Kobe Bryant and his 2017 Animation short, ‘Dear Basketball’.  I saw it for the first time after the passing of Kobe and it was truly engaging, realistic, inspiring and honest.  Without spoiling it, it describes a young boy who falls in love with basketball and does everything in his power to make it his reality.  It made me think a lot about my life and journey falling in love with music and wanting to make it my reality.

In the January 2017 article by John C. Maxwell in Success Magazine, he gives a definition of a dream that I like.  He said, “A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it. A dream worth pursuing is a picture and blueprint of a person's purpose and potential.”
So today I wanted to talk a little bit about that blueprint, the features, parts or the anatomy of a dream.  Some of these features include:
  1. The dream has to be YOURS - The genesis of YOUR dream can only come from within you.  Caroline Myss (pronounced Mace) said: “People suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn't belong to them.”  This powerful quote made me think of the many people that are suffering because they chased a dream that belonged to other people such as their parents or partner or some other person of influence who led to them to believe a particular path was right for them, and derail them from a path that they should have chosen.
  2. A dream must make you uncomfortable ...if even only slighty - Though I ultimately feel the fulfilment of your dreams will make you one of the happiest persons ever, nothing that you want that bad rarely ever comes easy.  I remember my first days in music college in the United States sitting in the cafeteria alone, seeing many people that looked and sounded different from me, having conversations that I couldn’t relate to, thinking ‘What in the world have I done’.  Sleeping on an uncomfortable single dorm room bed at 27 years of age, enduring brutal winters and sharing a communal shower.  Barely the worst deal in life, but it made me come to the realisation that love has to be the root of choosing many discomforts in pursuit of one passion.  The journey absolutely took me through many unregrettable discomforts to get to where I am now, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
  3. A dream can mature, change or evolve - I remembered when I had my first dream to be an international recording artiste, it was linear and rigid, black and white, but as I matured I failed to realise that I would want different things in life and that these things would influence said dreams that I had been so unwavering about.  I’d soon recognise that life is fluid, and so it the dream.  So I had to be willing to allow universal flow to open new doors that would take me to places I had never imagined, and that my initial dream would never have gotten me.
  4. A Dream must be nurtured - In order for a dream to affect your future purpose and potential, then it must be fed to grow. Fed a diet of courage, support, research and love, and if you don’t get this nourishment from others, then you will have to find it within yourself.
  5. A dream must be connected to a purpose - This is probably one of the most important lessons I had to learn when I realised that my dream to perform couldn’t be self-serving.  If we really a talk truth, I think most singers decide to perform, to see their name in bright lights and to hold a shiny award, but the picture is so much bigger.  Charity, mentorship, influence, inspiration are just a few of the purposeful offshoots of the dream,  instead of fame, celebrity status or just mere consumption with self. I call is career masturbation, but narcissism aside, hopefully, your dream will help others.  

These, in my opinion, are some of the main features of a dream, but I couldn’t share these without also sharing a few important things I don’t wish for you to let happen to your dreams:

  1. Don’t allow another to prevent your dream from happening whether through discouragement, jealousy, ignorance or lack of support.
  2. Don’t sleep on, or overthink your dream to its death - Don’t let analysis paralysis be your best friend.  Instead, just start.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, and thankfully life gives you the opportunity to tweak it and make it better.
  3. Don’t diminish your dream - Keep your dream big.  Let it be just outside of your reach.  That way you will never get bored of chasing it, and it will always push you forward.  Columnist Maureen Dowd says, “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”  The truth is, being average isn’t for big dreamers.
  4. Don’t be afraid to pursue your dream - To those who lack courage, think of a life filled with the regrets of never knowing what would have happened if you had tried.  That definitely always fuels me.  You have a lot less to lose than you think, except for your peace of mind, and when your peace of mind is dead, sometimes all of you dies, and that’s something we never want.
  5. Don’t accept that you don’t have a dream - To those who say ‘But I’m not passionate about anything.  I don’t have a dream.’, I ask of you to think back to your childhood and ask yourself what you wanted to become as a child.  Think about what excited you and made you happy without the judgment of parents and the expectations of adulthood.  If you’re able to find that child, then tap back into that thing, that feeling, that activity that made you come alive.  It may lead you to your dream.

In the words of Joel Osteen, "Believe big and pray bold".  I believe this is good advice, and whether your dream doesn’t yet exist, stays the same, or keeps evolving...Just never stop dreaming.
I dedicate this episode firstly to music.  You are my 1st unconditional love, a stern teacher about the qualities of loyalty, commitment, discipline and perseverance.  I have always loved you and I still love you and I thank you.
And this episode I also dedicate to a few big dreamers that have recently passed away:
  • Jamaican singer, Millie Small
  • Singer, friend and my former lecturer at the Berklee College of Music, Jeff Ramsey
  • Friend and University of Technology Faculty Member, Jamar Thelwell
  • Multi-potentialite, NBA legend, filmmaker et al, Kobe Bryant and his talented and beautiful daughter GiGi
  • American Singer-Songwriter, Little Richard
  • Runner, young black man with tremendous potential, Ahmaud Arbery
May your souls rest in peace, and thank you, thank you and thank you for your contributions to this world.

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The Anatomy of A Dream (038)
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