Common Sense Living

Do You Know How To Dream?

Many people visualize something they want, and hang a picture of it on the refrigerator as a reminder.  Perhaps it’s a photo of their “dream home” or their “dream vacation”.  They then confuse this visualized “thing” with their dream!  It is not a dream, but rather  an object of desire.  To dream effectively, you have to dig deeper.

Dreams are emotions, not objects.  They can be described by the word “feel”.  However, the objects of desire can provide clues to the underlying dream.

If someone desires a new expensive automobile such as a Ferrari, and they visualize themselves driving that car accompanied by a beautiful partner in the passenger seat with others looking on in amazement, the underlying dream may be a need to feel important.  The dream is not the car, but rather the dream is to feel important.  The car is just the object of desire.  There may be other ways to feel important, while spending a lot less money!  If the dream to feel important is recognized, one can pursue many avenues to achieve that dream.

Similarly, a person who dreams of “feeling strong” may find themselves attracted to homes built of solid rock, like castles.  They may be attracted to larger homes, or to a bigger team.  The real dream is to “feel strong”, and it can be manifested in these things, or perhaps in some other way.  As the dreamer, once you understand the underlying emotional need, you can then craft the reality, and make that dream real.  You “realize” your dream.

Too often, we desire objects belonging to someone else.  You may have seen that “dream house” or “dream vacation” on the internet or in a magazine, and felt you just wanted it.  Once the acquisition is achieved though, it seems unfulfilling, and you go instead to something else.  The good feelings are fleeting.  Why?  Because what you really achieved is the result of someone else’s dream, and not your own!

To dream effectively, you will need to say to yourself, “I want to feel….(name the feeling here)”.  I want to feel strong.  I want to feel important.  I want to feel respected.  I want to feel calm.  When you know how you want to feel, you can then create the surroundings to help you feel that way.  The environment you create then becomes an expression of yourself.

Cornelius Vanderbilt was the first person in the United States to amass a financial fortune exceeding $100 million.  With his wealth, he created a mansion in Newport, Rhode Island known as “The Breakers”.  This palatial home is covered in gold leaf, thick imported marble, and very expensive craftsmanship. The fences outside are massive and made of solid wrought iron.

When I tour this home (pictured above), I am left with a feeling of cold, raw, power.  It does not invoke a feeling of warmth, but rather a feeling of power and symmetry.  When you study Vanderbilt’s life, that is exactly how other’s saw him.  A power to respect.  Through the creation of this home, he clearly expressed (realized) his need to feel powerful.

Describing how you want to feel can be difficult if such expression has not been modeled for you.  You may even think you don’t have a dream.  If you struggle to complete the “I want to feel (name the feeling here)” phrase, you were likely taught growing up that it is wrong to express feelings, or desires.  It may even feel awkward.  For those in this situation, it is important to recognize that dreaming and creating your reality is necessary to be content.  Without the dream to steer your direction, you will drift through life, moving from goal to goal, and yet never feel fulfilled.

So to dream effectively, you must first state your emotional needs using the phrase “I want to feel (name the emotion here)”.   Only then will you be able to realize that dream by changing your surroundings to invoke that feeling in yourself and in others.


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