The Dream Still Lives!

Dreams Awake

19th Century Great Ones

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake. Henry David Thoreau, the great Transcendentalist, penned that. Awesome stuff. The 19th Century Great ones –Thoreau, Emerson, Lincoln, Twain– these are among my heroes of literature, social integrity and leadership. Of course, most of we motivational speaker-types love these guys! And why not? Together, in their Golden Day, they collectively redefined great speakers, great minds and just plain greatness. That’s why we wordsmith types delight to quote these literary masters in our own presentations and essays. Nothing like world-famous wit and wisdom to substantiate our own talking points!  My quotes may not be memorable; but when Henry David Thoreau has something to say about it, people listen!

The Dream

Go confidently, Thoreau says, in the direction of your dreams and you will meet with success unexpected in common hours. That’s another great quote. Thoreau was a positive guy!  In many recent common hours I have pondered my big dream since early childhoodHere goes:

.I am standing in a vast auditorium; overlooking a huge crowd; spot light on me.  The crowd is delighted by my discourse. My message is profound and important and everyone wants to hear it. It is right and good and genuine. I feel my own voice resonate across the venue with power and conviction. The people cheer wildly. They are moved by my preaching; they are inspired.  Cameras are popping, lights are whirling and the ovation appears thunderous. The scene overwhelms me with pride and gratitude. I feel a warmth and love and connection with the crowd. It’s magical!

.Some dream, huh? I’ve never actually experienced anything close. Few people do.  Oh, I’ve had participants at seminars clap before. It’s very nice and more humbling than I expected.  And it is a true delight to share a great belly laugh with a captivated audience. And, yes, a couple of times when I facilitated, the gathering was large and the mood exciting.  But none of that is my dream. Particles maybe, but not the castle in the sky. The Dream is beyond spectacular.  Imagine this awesome rock concert-like scene where…well, I just told you.

What Lies Within Us

Just like Thoreau said, my “truest life” is wrapped up in that dream. It’s personal.  See, that deep-seated childish notion sparked my earliest ambitions.  The Dream is why I ran for Class President. The Dream is why I obtained a Masters in Education. It is the reason I selected a career in service. The Dream is why I taught college students in the evening. It’s why I wanted to be captain of my company’s softball team. And it’s why I wanted the team to win! The Dream is why I sought executive positions in business above and beyond my traditional field.  It’s why I love training and leadership development.


In fact, The Dream has been at the heart of nearly everything constructive and positive and rewarding that has occurred in my professional life. Mark Twain understood the practical connection: “Oh, yes, and how soon and how easily our dream-life and our material life become so intermingled and so fused together that we can’t quite tell which is which, anymore.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson wasn’t a big “dream” guy. He liked his facts over “dreams and fables.” Still, he offers inspiration about The Dream within. Said Emerson, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Create It

Finally, for good measure, Abraham Lincoln tags on this timeless advice: “The best way to predict your future is to create it,” Lincoln said.

So there you have it.  I have a game plan now with guidance from the Great Ones. Time now to “create it.”  I know now, for example, a little more of what I might say to mesmerize my fantasy audience. When wide awake in “common hours” I’ll quote the Great Ones. And the audience will see up close that it’s personal. That I mean every word from the bottom of my heart. They will experience for themselves that The Dream is real. Me too.

See you on stage.


1 reply
  1. David Mitchell says:

    Great stuff Brian. I think the important point you make is to take some action on those dreams. As Kipling wrote in “If”, “If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;” we need to “Go confidently in the direction” of our dreams. Thanks for more thought provoking messages.


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