Feed a dream and starve a worry

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:41 pm

It’s cold and flu season again and as we suffer the nasty symptoms and wish we could feel better faster, we think of the old adage, “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Or was it the other way around?

Whichever way it was, this advice represents a remedy that is within our reach.

Using this analogy, I think we can all agree that as a society we’re sick. Whether it’s a cold, the flu, or something much more serious, I’d like to propose a remedy that’s within reach for personal use on a daily basis.

Feed a dream. Starve a worry.

Imagine the power of this simple idea. Do you have a dream? Can you close your eyes and imagine something you really want to have, achieve, or be? Are you sure? Write it down. Carry it around with you for a week and think about it. If at the end of the week it doesn’t give you an instant boost of energy, toss it out and try again.

You’ll know a dream when you have it. You’ll feel happy, energized, determined, and eager to get to work on it. A dream gives you a reason to try. If your dream is to be a professional athlete, for example, you design workout routines, participation in school and community sporting events, diet, and sleep routines to help make your dream come true.

I’ve heard it said that a lot of people don’t have dreams anymore and that the poorest and most deprived among us don’t even know what they are. I don’t believe that. Every human being has some tiny hope beating inside. It may never be voiced, but it’s there. Our job is to find it and feed it. Within ourselves and inside the people we care about.

Worry is a cancer. Worry kills dreams, sometimes even before they can be discovered. When we wake up worried, we have precious little energy to hope.

Starve a worry. Don’t give it time to take hold. When you start feeling worried, turn your thoughts immediately to your dream.

Start making a list of things you can do to move closer to your dream and add to it every day. Do something specific each day to feed your dream. Study. Talk to someone who can help you. Talk to people who have done what you’re striving to do. Visit places that help you learn more or experience what you’re trying to accomplish. Cut out pictures from magazines that represent your dream. Talk about it. Wonder about it. Make notes about it.

If you’re a parent, find out what your kids dream about. Help them feed their dreams a little bit each day. Encourage, correct, guide. Help them starve a worry by showing them how. If you’re a boss, try this with your employees. Teachers, help students. Friends, help each other.

If this sounds a bit obsessive, it is. But before you dismiss it as crazy, think of how often you obsess over your worries. Change your mind. Change your actions.

Find a dream and feed it. Starve a worry. Repeat as often as necessary to change a life.

Susan Marshall is a consultant and founder of Executive Advisor LLC in Oconomowoc. She also is the author of “How to Grow a Backbone.” For additional information visit www.executiveadvisorllc.com.

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