It dawned on me the other day, that people say this phrase so freely, yet seem to have no concept of what its value actually represents. LTD…Living The Dream. So simple, and still profound. I saw it as a sticker slapped on a climbing helmet of a man I can’t help but admire. And it made me stop and think…. Now THAT’S living the dream…..What is the dream? Do I have the dream?
First, what is the dream?
To dream implies that one has a goal in mind, a fantasy, a vision of what could be possible. Dreaming is what moves man forward, it inspires, it motivates, it allows us the freedom to imagine the unknown and to viciously pursue it; own it – conquer it. It is the nature of being human, what sets us at the top of the foodchain. It is creative. It is intelligent. It is brave. But what have we collectively sucumbed to in our society as our standard of ‘the dream’?
Let’s take a closer look…..
Living the dream A: Watching the superbowl on Tevo using a combination of 4 different remotes
Living the dream B: Books on tape, the I-pod/pad/broke, and kindles (because if Hitler can do it why can’t we?)
Living the dream C: The KFC doubledown (610 calories, 37g fat, and 1990 mg sodium, um yeah…..)
Living the dream D: Drinking beer in the shower
Personally, I’d go with option D. Nothing beats a tall cool one after a long run…. in the shower. But that’s just me. The point is, our ‘dreams’ have gone down the crapper and are replaced with completely asinine social norms.
Is it our culture? Our generation? Our geographic location that influences these weakened ideals? Or is it because everything has already been done. All the pinnacles have been reached. All the books have been written. All the discoveries have been made. All the landscapes explored and named. I frequently like to reflect back to a different time. An era of the past, of the firsts. The first men who where brave enough to dream, who first conquered their realm.
I think about the pioneers of this land and how they dared to dream of a new tomorrow. They had the courage to break away from the way things were, from everything that had been done before them; everything that brought them to where they were. They picked up and left, to start a new way of life with a new way of thinking. I imagine the first men who summitted mountains. The first ascents. The first true risks. They had nothing; no gear, no equipment, no REI, dryfit, or nalgenes… they relied soley on courage and their own ingenuity for survival. It hadn’t been done before, hammering the first pitons into a solid slab of granite to ascend to unreached heights. I think of the first underwater explorers, the men who discovered that air could be channeled through tubing from a tank to a metal helmet. They found untouched depths, an entire macrocosm undisturbed by the expanses of man. It hadn’t been done. And now it had.
Because they lived. Because they dreamed. Because they did.
They were the greats. They were first. Everything after them, is just walking in the footsteps of giants.
Nowadays we’re all just hanging out at Starbucks waiting to die.
So put down the skinny chai late, get off your ass, and go do something. We may just be tracing footsteps, but we are re-living a dream worthwhile. Chasing a pursuit already conquered, but we can at least glean from it the victory of accomplishment.
Life is too short to put off living the dream.
LTD……today, not tomorrow.