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California Dreaming

March 20, 2012

Today I am heading to a conference in California about creating a Dream Culture.  This is a church related conference, but it is majorly applicable to us in our schools, workplaces and families.  The idea is how do we create a culture where “dreams and aspirations” are encouraged and actually executed on.  Intuitively, we know that the biggest ideas all started as someone’s crazy dream, but that does mean dreaming is easy.  In fact, I would posit that it is easier to be a dream killer than a dream igniter.  Dream killing is easy.  Many of us are dream killing black belts.  When a dream killer hears about a new dream, here are some of the responses heard:

“That’s been tried before, it didn’t work.”

“You don’t have the skills or resources to make that happen.”

“You have to be practical.”

“Stop wasting your time and be realistic.”

“There are already a lot of people doing that who are better than you.”

Talk about a buzz kill!!!  So, Dad’s here’s the question:  What do you do with the dreams of your kids?  Do you rush in and immediately point out all the things that are missing or why the dream cannot happen or do you talk about possibilities and what it would look like to get there?  Dream killing is easy and it is often done by people who are not real happy with their own lives.  The dreams of others can quickly expose our own fears, insecurities and jealousies.

So, next time one of your kids tells you about a dream, here are three responses that will help ignite the dream:

1.     Tell me more about the dream.

2.    What do you think it would look like if the dream actually came true?

3.   What are 1-2 steps you can take right now to move towards the dream.

I think about a generation of men that are dream igniters in their families and workplaces.  Now that is something worth dreaming about!!!

Patrick Donohue is a Life Coach in Oak Park, IL.  Contact him at

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