When You've Lost the Will to Dream

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Fitts Agency

"I stopped dreaming thirty years ago, " the old man said, "when I started seeing the world as it was rather than as it could be."

I could feel the old man's pain.  My mind, clouded with cynicism, had begun to shut out the dreams of my youth.  Oh, I know some of those dreams were wild and fantastic, but none were impossible, really.

"What happened to you that made you stop dreaming," I asked him.

"I settled with what life handed me, rather than the life I could have created."

"What would you do differently?"

The old man sighed, and with a tear in his eye said,  "I would have followed that still, small voice that kept telling me what I was created to do, and not listened to the average folks of the world."

I turn forty-two next month.  Forty wasn't bad.  Forty-one, okay.  But, forty-two, whoa.  For some reason this birthday bothers me.  I'm closer to death than I have ever been, and I'm average.  My dreams were never average.  I hate average, yet I find myself, like the old man, inching towards that comfort zone of accepting what life is offering me rather than creating the life I desire.

Everything fantastic in life starts with a dream.

For some reason this morning, I felt compelled to write about this.  Maybe it's because you need encouragement to dream again. Maybe it's because it's time for me to dust off my old dreams and get to work creating the life that my small voice keeps telling me I should have.

Whatever the reason, let's start creating.  I'm going to write down my dreams and goals and put a plan underneath them.  Let me know what you are going to do.

"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men." - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


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todd murphy
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Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

42 - closer to death!?!  YIKES . . . first off, I would get that thinking cleared out before letting in the dreams.

Jun 07, 2010 07:58 AM #11
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

The stage of life in which I find myself makes your 42 look mighty enticing.  For me, those years are a fading memory, but every day I'm excited about the dreams that propel me into arenas I might never have imagined for myself.  Never in my life did I listen to the voices of the naysayers   who would have all of us walk a narrow, uninspired path.  When I was told by a well meaning relative a long time ago to forget the novel that was as yet living in my mind, "what makes you think you can do that?" she asked.  My answer, without even a moment for thought was, "what makes you think I can't?"  I believe we are given many gifts in this life.  Too often they remain packages unopened.  I truly hope, before I close my eyes for that final rest, that I have explored all the roads that to this day whisper my name.

Jun 07, 2010 08:09 AM #12
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Todd, you are providing food for thought today!

Jun 07, 2010 08:11 AM #13
Daniel J. Hansmeier
Rochester, MN

Attitude is everything. If you dont believe in yourself noone will.

Jun 07, 2010 08:18 AM #14
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Todd, great post.  I turned 60 this year and inside I still feel young.  My dad died when he was 42, so you take care of yourself and go for those dreams.  This post is very moving and I need inspiration every day.  You are mine today.  I still have dreams to go after and I won't stop until I breathe my last breath.

Jun 07, 2010 08:24 AM #15
Irene Kennedy RealtorĀ® in Northwestern NJ
Weichert - Lopatcong, NJ


I've heard a red sports car helps...

Jun 07, 2010 08:30 AM #16
John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

Todd,  Great post!  As stated above, obviously thought provoking.  Reach out.....make it happen....be bold.....Be alive!  Have a Great Week!

Jun 07, 2010 09:25 AM #17
Lisa Bosques
Burien, WA

I love your post.  I just turned 40 this year, and it dawned on me that as of late I have not been setting firm goals for myself.  I've wanted to be self-employed since I was young, and I have that...not as fruitful as I'd like, but on my journey I've discovered how little material things really matter to me. My other goals were to travel, and to never stop learning foreign languages...have I made time for either in the past few years? Unfortunately, no.  I did take the time this year to set personal goals for myself that have nothing to do with work...just self-discovery and improvement.

Thank you for the post, you've inspired me to veer back on track with the goals I set on my birthday!

Jun 07, 2010 10:47 AM #18
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine

Todd, really good post. When you are in the middle of trying to achieve a dream and you are excited about it it is hard to sleep. You can stay up late working on it and not be tired the next morning.

If you quit dreaming you wake up even more tired.

Jun 07, 2010 10:48 AM #19
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

I have always been a calculated risk taker and love the excitement of jumping off into the unknown (although I found skydiving less scary than starting my own real estate company) but without dreams, I would be mentally so boxed in I think I would abe absolutely miserable.  Thanks for the inspiring post!

Jun 07, 2010 11:18 AM #20
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

I liked the post today.  THanks,


Jun 07, 2010 11:36 AM #21
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co. - Frisco, TX
Real Estate Agents

My 24-year old brother does not dream. He lives day to day. It's pretty sad and we are all hoping that someday he sees the beauty of his dream.

Jun 07, 2010 11:40 AM #22
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Todd- I am a dreamer, I love to dream and to inspire others to rekindle their dreams. Dreams keep us alive, they keep us moving forward. 

It is a problem to settle for mediocre when we were designed for greatness. We must follow the still small voice. That is the voice that leads us to our talents, dreams and eternal joy. 

Jun 07, 2010 11:51 AM #23
Marianne Cherico
Interiors by Marianne Cherico - Foxboro, MA
Home Stager -Massachusetts and Rhode Island


-We have to have dreams!!!!!! I am 53 like Andrea and work incredibly hard! Both my husband and I do. My dream is to start having more fun. So I booked a trip to Italy w/ our 3 daughters  that we ADORE and my parents that we ADORE and while we are working our a****es off this year we will dream of Positano and Sorrento and the memories that we will create! DREAM ON!!!!!!!


Jun 07, 2010 12:05 PM #24
Jody Keating
Jody Keating Connective Realty,LLC, Bryan/College Station,TX - Bryan, TX
Broker/MM/Realtor, Bryan / College Station, TX

Hi Todd,

Never stop dreaming and anything is possible! Always be optimistic and good things will happen!

I turned 40 last month and I'm loving it! I already feel like I have accomplished a lot but that is just the beginning! There is still so much more I want to do! Never, ever settle for anything because when you do that's when your options start running out!

Make your bucket list and set your goals, before you know it as your crossing things off you'll be adding more on! The opportunites are endless!


Jun 07, 2010 12:08 PM #25
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, RealtorsĀ®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Don't give up, Brother. Keep dreaming. Move forward. Do something new. I turned 40 last November and I've never been more excited about life, and the possibilities in front of me. My wife thinks i'm crazy now, but I wouldn't change it for anything!

Jun 07, 2010 12:23 PM #26
Damon Janis
the Raving Client - Katy, TX

I remember hearing that Walt Disney at the end of his life and confined to a hospital bed asked a reporter to climb on the bed and look up toward the ceiling where Walt drew with his finger as he enthusiastically explain his next big dream. He never stopped dreaming and was a happy man because of it.

Jun 07, 2010 02:29 PM #27
Garlinda Price

Thank you for such an eloquent post. What if Walt Disney stopped dreaming...what if children stopped dreaming...what if God didn't give His only son, we have so much to be thankful for and most of us have more than enough. I pray that you will dream in technicolor and that your light would shine so before men that they would be blinded. I wish you continued success and dreams the size of mountains!!!

Jun 07, 2010 04:36 PM #28
Garlinda Price
Peachtree Properties - Fayetteville, NC

Thank you for such an eloquent post. What if Walt Disney stopped dreaming...what if children stopped dreaming...what if God didn't give His only son, we have so much to be thankful for and most of us have more than enough. I pray that you will dream in technicolor and that your light would shine so before men that they would be blinded. I wish you continued success and dreams the size of mountains!!!

Jun 07, 2010 04:37 PM #29

Todd, Great thought provoking post you've presented. First of all, I hope you find great comfort in the fact that you have not been singled out! There is no experience that is not common to mankind. I'm 52 with the next Bday looming large on the horizon. This life is wonderful I know you'd agree, even if fleeting. Keep the DREAMS alive.

 I recommend you read Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. This is a quick but profound read.

Jun 08, 2010 02:51 PM #30
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