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What happens when you sleep? If you ask someone in the scientific community they’ll probably give you some long winded explanation about the different types of brain waves that occur during each stage of sleep. And they’ll definitely tell you about REM sleep and how it’s the longest stage of the sleep cycle and that during REM sleep you are more likely to experience dreaming. They’ll tell you this, but for those of us who don’t want to be bogged down with all of that sleep trivia, we’ll probably just listen and wonder when we’ll be able to go home and experience sleep for ourselves. And that’s because, for most of us, sleep (at its simplest form) is a chance for us to unwind. We don’t have to think about our daily stresses while we sleep; we just get to rest and get refreshed for the next day. And for those of us who do dream, we may actually get excited about the prospect of sleep because sleep means that we get to enter into another world where the rules and regulations of our waking world no longer apply. In dreams, we can jump off of a skyscraper, open up our arms, and soar through the sky like a bird. We get to marry our celebrity crush at a wedding that is so far-fetched and elaborate that it could only occur in a dream. Or we can eat and eat and eat some more and not have to worry about all of those pesky health issues. Each night we enjoy the world that our dreams transport us to because we get to indulge in our deepest desires with zero repercussions. There’s freedom and power in dreaming and that’s why so many people like to do it.

But alas, when the buzzer on our alarm jolts awake in the morning or when the sun peaking through our blinds forces us to awake from our slumber we must get out of our beds, leave our dreams behind, and start on with our days. We can’t sleep forever. We cannot dream forever. We have to get up and live our lives. This is what we have to do, and as much fun as sleeping dreams are, we have to wake up so that we can engage in the dreams that we seek out to pursue while we are awake.

And sometimes are waking dreams are just as exciting and invigorating as the dreams that we have while we are sleeping. We dream of being doctors, lawyers, fashion designers, artists, mothers, fathers, writers, actors, teachers, scientists, mathematicians, CEO’s, motivational speakers, presidents, and senators. When we dream we dream big, but sometimes when we dream in real life we forget to enjoy the new world that our dreams transport us to.

When you decide that you want to be a lawyer instead of an actor, your world is going to be a lot different than somebody who decided that they wanted to be an actor. You’ll meet different people, you’ll work different hours, and you’ll have completely different journeys just because your dreams are different. And sometimes your journey is more difficult than you expected, and when this happens you might even think about giving up on your dream altogether. You want so desperately to have your end goal, but the journey that you’re on may not be what you expected so you make the decision to bail out.

But you shouldn’t bail out positive thinker because your dream is worth fighting for. When you try and achieve a dream you should give it all you got, but while you’re giving it all you got remember that enjoying the process of reaching your dream is just as important as obtaining the dream itself. Do you really want to achieve your dream one day and start to wonder about how you even got there in the first place? When you dream while you’re sleeping you just end up on the top of that skyscraper, but you can never remember how you got up there in the first place. When you marry Brad Pitt in your dream, you don’t remember dating him and you don’t remember how you first met. And the reason that you don’t remember these things is because when you’re dreaming while you’re sleeping you don’t get the privilege of experiencing the journey to your end goal. You don’t get the satisfaction that you feel from working hard by climbing up to the top of the skyscraper. You don’t get to experience the joys and pain that comes from dealing with a relationship everyday. You don’t get to experience that because you’re sleeping and because those dreams that you have while you slumber (no matter how amazing they may be) aren’t real. And it’s true that you may not get to experience a journey during your sleeping dreams, but in real life you do get the opportunity to experience one. It may be a hard and long journey at times, but that’s how you know that you’re living. And putting hard work and dedication into achieving your dream makes that dream even better when you actually do achieve it. Because on that fateful day, when your dream comes true, you’ll know that it wasn’t handed to you and that you gave everything you had to reach it.

Positive thinker, achieving your dream is great, but don’t forget to live in the moment while you’re experiencing the journey to your dream.

And never forget, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” –Dumbledore, The Sorcerer’s Stone

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