What kind of dreams do you have? I’ve always been fascinated by mine, even though I’ve never figured out whether they’re just nocturnal patterns of nightly neuronal weirdness or if there could be something deeper about them. I read something Tuesday from a man who’s certain that his dreams are meaningful, because a dream he had when he was 16 years old changed his life.
I don’t know much about this guy. He lives in Great Britain and was a loser early in life. Nobody expected anything of him, including himself. Well, I’ll let him tell his story, which he told Tuesday on a message board:
I was written off at school when I was 10. The teachers at this massive school decided that there was nothing that I could learn and it was pointless to try and teach me. I followed the lead and paid no attention in class. Life was pretty bad at home so to get attention, I’d ruin class for everyone else. Parents would ask the school for their kids to be in classes where I wasn’t. No future.
At 16 years old, I’ve somehow scraped through my exams with the minimum grades required and into senior class. And I have the dream.
I’m in a room, stone pillars with oak panels, old, worn, antique furniture. There’s a lead lined lattice window, and I climb onto something, struggle to open it, and look out – I’m looking over the spires of Oxford. I’m at Oxford University!
What am I doing here? I shouldn’t be here? Oh. My. God!
I woke up crying, tears running down my face, went to school and paid attention, contributed in class, asked question after question after question. I studied like my life depended on it, got my grades and went to University (not Oxford, but one of the top ten in the UK). I’ve since worked in some amazing companies in amazing jobs and currently work in the City of London, right next door to St Paul’s cathedral.
It all happened because of that dream. When everyone else had given up, including me, something deep inside knew I wasn’t an idiot. It showed me a different world, and my world changed.
Perhaps your dream is showing you what you can do, who you can be, what can be yours.
Most of the time when we talk about our dreams, we’re meaning the things we most want out of life — our biggest goals and aspirations. But what if they’re sometimes the same as what we dream at night? What if our minds are trying to tell us something, even when we don’t think we’re ready to listen?
I’ve never had a dream that’s changed my life, but I’ve had plenty of dreams that made me wake up and wonder what my unconscious might be trying to tell me, because some dreams have just felt important, even if I couldn’t put my finger on the reason why. But I want to point something out about the story the man just told you.
When you listen to his story, you can tell that he clearly believes the dream changed his life. But the truth is that the dream was more like an ink blot. There was nothing signifiant about the specifics, as far as we can tell. He might have interpreted it to mean that the dream represented other people mocking him about what he would never achieve. There are a dozen different interpretations he could have given to it.
But he chose to believe it meant something positive. He chose to use it as a turning point. The real lesson here isn’t that we should wait for random mysterious dreams. The lesson is that we can change our lives when we decide we’re ready to. Nothing changed about his outer life. When he awoke from that dream, something had changed inside — and he became the person he had always been capable of being.
You don’t have to wait for a mysterious dream. You can have a waking dream. You can decide who you are and what you want to be — and you can turn yourself around anytime you really want to.
Whether they’re your sleeping dreams or your waking dreams, they don’t matter until you bring interpretation to them. Only you can do that. And only you can decide when to do it. So have a dream — sleeping or waking — but determine in your will that you’re ready to make your dream come true. It worked for a 16-year-old loser. It can work for you.