What is Your Dream?

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about the merits of working and what we would do if money was no object. If, for example, the government started a true universal basic income plan and everyone was handed enough money to buy food and pay rent on a good place, what would people do?  He was convinced that people would despair and waste away but I thought differently.

I think that everyone has a dream and that everyone has something they would do if money were no object.  For me I know exactly what I would do, I would do what I do now outside of work.  I would work on my programming and building interesting things.  I would work on my film making and I would work on my writing.  I would work on what I do in my time that does not make me money now.  I would finally have time to devote to things I actually enjoy doing.

Even he admitted he would be fine and would keep doing what he does because he is actually lucky enough to enjoy his job. Where we differed is that I think most people have something that they enjoy, something they love to do, something that if you removed the profit motive, they would keep doing.  Something more than video games and television.  I believe that everyone has a dream.

The key I guess is finding that dream.  It can be hard because we have this idea that everything we do has to be driven by earning money.  I know I sometimes get caught up in that, getting depressed because I can’t sell my books or because the only programming I’m interested in (game development) is just as difficult as becoming an author.  Sometimes that need to earn from everything we do leaves people pushing their dreams down.

Sometimes those dreams get pushed so far down that they get forgotten but I think that everyone has a dream, that everyone has something they would love to work on if only it was a viable way to earn a living.  I also hope that one day I can live in a world where people are free to make these choices (but I don’t think that will happen).

I am slowly coming to accept that my dreams will forever be relegated to the realm of hobby but that does not mean that they don’t help me.  They help me get out of bed every morning, they help me find meaning, they give me something to do other than work, sleep and eat.  They give me an outlet that I can be proud of, something I can do with my life that matters to me.  They make my dead end job bearable, and give me an excuse to keep going to it.

They are also a distraction.  A distraction from my job, I look forward to my lunch break when I can work on things that actually matter.  I take advantage of downtime to sneak away and work on my writing.  I use my dreams to make my days bearable.  They give me something rewarding to work on.

If tomorrow I won the lottery I would still work on them.  If all of a sudden the government decided to give out a universal basic income I would quit my job and focus on those dreams.  Sadly both those things have about the same chance of happening, but that does not mean my dreams are not important.

So take a moment to think, it’s the classic question, “What would you do if money were no obstacle?” When you answer that question don’t try to turn the answer into a new way to make money but instead consider pursuing that dream without tying profit to it. Find a way to work on that dream and have it give meaning to other parts of your life.

Don’t get caught up in the need to have everything you do be profitable.  At least that’s the conclusion I’ve been coming to. I think it helps, it makes me a little less angry that I can’t spend 12 hours a day working on my dreams. It makes me less angry that I have to essentially sell my dreams to a company I don’t care about.  There is nothing I can do to make what I love earn enough to keep me alive, but that does not mean I have to give it up.

I mean, that’s probably just me though.  I don’t know if this applies to everyone, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about.  Thanks for reading.

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