Debunking a Popular Myth: If you can DREAM it, you can DO it.

If you can DREAM it, you can DO it.

I heard this a lot as a child and each time I called Bullshit but quietly so my parents would not slap me for cursing. Let me explain a few things before I give you some examples of why this is complete bullshit. America is a frontier culture what that means is that in our history  our expansion from sea to shining sea affected our culture and how we see things.

America the Frontier Culture

A key element to this frontier culture is that if things are bad I can start over somewhere else. To California or BUST, To Texas or Bust.  This is the reason why I feel there are so many ghost towns out west. People go where there is money, where there is a chance of a new beginning. Many of us want to leave behind the past which in most popular cases means running away from it as fast as we can as far as we can. Often times our problems coming chasing us too because i feel we never dealt with things. But luckily there is the power of positive thinking and we can delude ourselves into thinking the problem is everywhere else but within us.

Calling Bullshit

Dreams are a symbolic language through which get a glimpse into the issues fixations and processes happening within our psyche. I happened to be skilled at dream interpretation. I dream once that I turned into a giant genetically modified corn plant, and infected the world with my progeny.  Clearly nacho chips,  salsa and masturbation before falling asleep impacted what I saw. The message clearly to this dream was to eat better before I go  to sleep, just bacon cheeseburgers instead. I did that then dreamed I was a the meat in a female hamburger named Sophia. Seems Sofie needed the company and didn’t mind some meat between her buns 😀

The Reality

Because you dream or aspire to something it doesn’t mean that you will achieve the thing you so desired. What you identify as the goal may not actually be the goal. A lot of our aspirations come from social and familial condition. I aspired to be a medical doctor because for years that was what my teachers and parents wanted me to be. It took a long time to realize that that dream I worked so hard for wasn’t my own.  It’s also not that simple I dreamed of starting my own business and I did, but though the idea was great, the people I was involved with, the place I was working in, and the conditional under which I had to work were  not  jiving.

But to put it more practically here are some examples

  1. Many slaves, holocaust victims,  victims of kidnapping and the sex trade died dreaming of escape and Freedom  before it came.
  2. Many people on drugs dreamed they could fly and jumped out of windows to their death.
  3. Immigrants risking their lives to start over anew, never got their dream dying on the way. The unfortunate ones lived and had the pleasure of being abused by the common populace in the place where they landed.
  4. Many dying people with cancer or with AIDS or other harsh disease dreamed of living but they did not.
  5. Many people dream of relationships working out and or being with someone forever but things fall apart.
  6. Many couples dream of having a kid of their own but they cannot and so they adopt.
  7. I dreamed of saying good bye to my great grandmother before she died but without my knowing she was dumped in a nursing home and died alone .

Don’t get me wrong

Ralph Fiennes played my favorite Hamlet

To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream; Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes Calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,

To dream is the most sublime of experiences. It takes us beyond our mortal limitations, it allows us to precipitate reality,  to create. To quote from Hamlet again:

What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty!
In form and moving how express and admirable!
In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!

The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

At the end of the day not all our dreaming takes us where we imagine we ought to be. Some dreams take us no where, and there is something in that that makes life beautiful to me.  Dreams are like Don Quixote’s windmill, they can knock us down into the ground bring us up to the stars.



E GUICHE (qui s'est dominé, avec un sourire):
  . . .Avez-vous lu Don Quichot ?

  Je l'ai lu.
  Et me découvre au nom de cet hurluberlu.

  Veuillez donc méditer alors. . .

UN PORTEUR (paraissant au fond):
  Voici la chaise.

  Sur le chapitre des moulins !

CYRANO (saluant):
  Chapitre treize.

  Car, lorsqu'on les attaque, il arrive souvent. . .

  J'attaque donc des gens qui tournent à tout vent ?

  Qu'un moulinet de leurs grands bras chargés de toiles
  Vous lance dans la boue !. . .

  Ou bien dans les étoiles !

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  1. Some great points. However, I largely do believe that whatever can be conceived can be achieved. You mention your experiences with your family’s expectations for you regarding medicine. I agree that if you’re not into it, it’s gonna be a rough road. But had medicine been YOUR dream, you would have snatched it up. To thine own self be true.

    Your point regarding slaves or prisoners is well taken.I would argue, however, that dreaming of freedom isn’t enough, if you’re waiting on some external force to free you. Even making the attempt to escape (however unlikely) is its own kind of freedom, because you are taking action for yourself.

    I think aphorisms such as “If you can dream it do it” are as true as a person makes them, depending on his or her point of view.


    • Smaktakula,

      It’s always a pleasure to see you on here.Behind the sarcasm, facetiousness and masturbation jokes of this post I definitely agree with you. My main point behind the post which I didn’t articulate was that I felt that dreaming was just the beginning of the journey and not the end all that some uses of the expression neglect to incorporate.

      There has to be hard work, blood sweat and tears, and maybe something else too beyond personal sacrifice, something we cannot see. For instance many slaves rebelled , tried to break free, and some escaped, some were caught and killed but some got free! Just the attempt even if failed speaks volumes for the human spirit. There is that transcendental sense of hope that without which we would have never been able to put a man on the moon or explore the deepest oceans or climb Mt Everest. I feel that this phrase is rapidly becoming a platitude. Without dreams and working to actualize them life would be bland and meaningless.

      There are many other questions I think that are pertinent. For instance Hitler had a dream for the world for Europe, as did Stalin etc dreams and there actualization are a political sometime. There is the collective dream like white or Aryan supremacy and there is the personal dream. it is interesting to see how they overlap sometimes and connect.

      Anyways I am pontificating outloud and am being quite verbose. I appreciate your comment and the chance to chit chat and share ideas



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