Three Ceaseless Cycles

July 24, 2010 at 3:56 am (Life Propelling Forward) (, , , , , , , )

I am currently in the thick of a major life shift. Like any life shift, it will involve my time, efforts and finances. In my eyes, there is something romantic about a new chapter. It’s completely pure and untouched, full of possibilities, heartbreaks and triumphs. Though I certainly don’t comprehend the end, my mind is continually captured by the intrigue of what could be.

One evening while driving home I was contemplating that unknown future that lies very near to all of us, when I was filled with excitement at the sheer volume of potentialities that lay before me. Though it was quite late into the evening, I was flooded with energy. I was ready! Let’s go! New chapter! It’ll be fantastic!

Before I was caught up too much in this one-woman cheerleader routine, I was struck by a thought that brought me swiftly back to reality. I remembered: I’ve felt this world-conquering euphoria before. And it never lasted. It’s as though that euphoric “anything is possible” feeling is a honeymoon period for any life change. This thought gave occasion for me to ruminate on the recurring cycles of my life.

Phase #1: You DREAMER!

Cycle one consists of a lot of daydreaming and excitement for what the future holds. However, the only reason there can be such a plethora of daydreams is because in the “dreamer” phase I am not in a position to act upon my dreams and ambitions. Whether it is because I am in school or held down by a job or relationship, I am not at liberty to act, but have full licensure to dream of possibilities.
(Personal note: I am a huge proponent of daydreaming. I think it encourages creativity and in the right frame of mind can conceive incredible concepts! Never discourage daydreaming – you know, until it becomes a full-time occupation in order to escape reality entirely)!

Phase #2: Time to PANIC!

At some point, the idealism that is the gravity that holds your daydreams together so cunningly is shattered, leaving you with shards of your dreams and a question of what to do now.  The beginning of the panic phase is the effectual end of the honeymoon dreamer phase. Reality sets in and you are generally presented with various choices. In my panic phases, these choices are never easy. Some are a great risk personally, others are an enigma to me, and all will impact my life with a fairly powerful force beyond my control. The panic (for me) only begins to recede once those tricky choices are made. In my life, somehow panic seems to be my default mode and I drift in and out of it throughout all my phases.

Phase #3 – Dream + drive = HARD WORK!

After the decision is made, there is only one thing that needs be done: work. Work hard. This is generally the phase where I keep reminding myself of the dream I am working toward, no matter how far off it may seem. The dreaming phase is so easy because it deals only in possibilities. The panic phase is overcome by a few decisions, but the hard work phase is the point in time when you show what you are truly made of when the fire gets hot. This is the phase where you are called to carry out challenging tasks in order to earn the right to step even remotely near your dream. Succeed in this phase and there is nothing that cannot be done.

Perhaps you perceive where I am going with this. Usually, the hard work is on a timeline. Maybe it’s school. Perhaps it’s a work project deadline. Or a creative idea that needs to be hammered out and fine-tuned. In any case, when the hard work phase timeline is up, I will be glad to introduce you to a phase I believe you may be familiar with: dreaming!
As I look into the brief history of my own life, I can see this cycle played out again and again, in numerous settings and scenarios, but with the same recognizable components. So no matter what phase of the cycle you may be in, take heart!, for the cycle will perpetuate into the future and ceaselessly continue in its carousel, imparting inspiration and drive, lending panic for a spell in order to propel us into focused work that is personally meaningful and globally useful.

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
-T.E. Lawrence

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