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Inspiration Board: The Three Symptoms of Killing Our Dreams

I have a confession to make. I am in a rut. It’s the fork in the road, Searching Place, can’t seem to stop myself from spinning in circles kind of rut. And I’ve come to the conclusion that this may very well be the feeling a volcano gets before it is about to explode. But as my optimistic self chooses to believe, the explosion from a rut-captivated person can only lead to greatness. With that said, I, my friends, am about to explode.

In moments like these, I can always count on my very favorite writer and mentor, Mr. Paulo Coelho himself, to grant me with the reminders I constantly need to hear. His ideals wrapped in romanticism, blind faith and true belief that we all hold within us the capability to make our marks on the world tugs at my heart and mind every single time. But what gets me most is when he talks about dreams. Dream your dreams, he says … live them, nurture them, protect them, he says. But don’t you dare kill them.

With that said, I introduce you to the excerpt that is ringing loudly like sirens in my ears:

The Three Symptoms of Killing Our Dreams
By Paulo Coelho


The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight the Good Fight.

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we don’t want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the Good Fight.

And, finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes a Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we cease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement. We are surprised when people our age say that they still want this or that out of life. But really, deep in our hearts, we know that what has happened is that we have renounced the battle for our dreams – we have refused to fight the Good Fight.

When we renounce our dreams and find peace, we go through a short period of tranquility. But the dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being.

We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychoses arise. What we sought to avoid in combat – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice.

And one day, the dead, spoiled dreams make it difficult to breathe. And there’s nothing left to free us from our certainties, from our work, and from that terrible peace of our Sunday afternoons.

: : : It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting : : :

–The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho


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