A person tells you about their dreams. They tell you they want to change something. Something significant, not mundane or dangerous. Something big and meaningful. One of those life-altering decisions we face in life. Career, family, job, independence. Staying. Leaving.
How should you react?
Being supportive, especially if you are close with each other. Wanting their world to be as wonderful and fulfilling as possible. Encouraging them to reach for the sky. And offering to catch them if they end up falling.
But what about your concerns and worries?
Sometimes, concern gets in the way. Are they taking on too much? Making decisions without thinking them through? Focusing too much on one aspect while neglecting others?
Maybe we don’t understand how serious the other person is. Maybe we don’t understand how much they need to move into a new direction. Or any direction. Maybe we. Just. Don’t. Understand.
And when that happens, and we let concern take over, pointing out those weaknesses in their plan, suggesting to sleep a night on it, maybe two, or ten. We slow them down just when they were gaining speed to launch themselves at the sky. We make them hesitate. Falter. Stop.
At that moment, we’re not supporting them. We’re keeping them from living their life in a way that could mean happiness. Or, at the very least, let them discover themselves and gain a better understanding of what a happy life means to them.
Do we have the right to hold someone back just because we are concerned for them? Because we can’t grasp the full situation? Don’t understand the dream, or hope, or aspiration?
I think we should only ever be enabler in another person’s life. Unless the other person is actively asking for pros/cons, I will not slow someone down just because their dream seems too much, too fast, too daunting. I want to be the person cheering you on from the sidelines – ready to celebrate your successes, and catch you if you stumble.
If a person tells you that they want to live their dream, especially if that person is a close friend, then you support them every step of the way and no matter the outcome.
PS: I think some people have the oddest dreams. But then again, maybe they say the same about mine. How about we’re all a bit less judgmental and more open-minded.