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A crushed dream: How to recover

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I’ve been watching you, dear reader. So I know your dream has been crushed. Not even once. You wanted to achieve your goal, at least a little more happiness, but complications stepped in. Eh… Know that you are not alone. I’ve felt the same way many times.
crashed dream
My life has fallen through many times. In other words, I have a ton of experience. Oh yes, I’m veeeeeeeery experienced so I will share some facts that I believe 100%.

Most important facts about your crushed dream

1. We—humans—love to make an elephant out of a fly.

When I was young and stupid, I felt my goals were wow how important. I thought I was the center of the earth. But now I laugh when I remember my childhood problems. Not to mention the dreams I tried to achieve in 2013… What an idiot I was. And imagine, I allowed myself to feel sad when I failed to achieve those idiotic goals!!!! (One of the goals was to increase the investment in my project. After all, I was already successful.)

In other words, anxiety and stress that come from failing to achieve a dream are 99% overestimated.

2. The more we stick to a social goal, the less chance we have of finding more meaningful goals, goals that wise people pursue.

Wise people say that there are different kinds of dreams. Some dreams are superficial, others are meaningful. I used to want to be a famous musician. So I dressed like an idiot and sang idiotic choruses. (One of the choruses sounded like this: “I am your brother, I am your sister, I am your father.” In other words, I had a dream of becoming a clown. And I succeeded! I was shown on TV and my piece of music achieved 500,000 views on YouTube. I even received the attention of some fans. Young girls who don’t understand life even a little have started to write to me. This is the case if you are a pop performer that attracts the attention of immature people. And I imagined it all differently, so my goals changed. I decided to quit the show scene. I regret that I had focused on the pop scene for so long. Oh yes, I’m glad to understand Bruce Lee’s phrase: “It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!”

3. I have never met a single person who has always been successful and whose dreams have never been crushed.

Have you noticed that every time we encounter problems, we ask ourselves, “Why has this happened to me?” But others think the same way. We all have problems. We are not different. Everyone experiences it because life is full of complications. In other words, complications and not believing in your goals are integral parts of life. Therefore, the complications should not be overestimated. And if you feel bad now, just relax and see, time will put everything in its place.

4. We often think our dream is dead, but it just seems like it.

Remember how many times you’ve tried to lower your arms because you experienced a failure. And how many times have you been angry with your friends. It seemed like if you quarreled and never had a conversation again, the world would collapse, but nothing bad happened. You’re still alive. So things always fall into place. It will happen again and again. It’s a principle that always works and needs to be taught into your mind!

5. Every situation in life is temporary.

Yes, every situation is temporary. If you don’t believe me you can hit my head, but that doesn’t change the fact that day changes night. And if you are sad at the moment, I guarantee you will experience moments of happiness. These moments will visit you sooner than it seems. So why worry about the collapse of your life goals? 

6. The more your dream crushes, the more of a hero you can become.

Have you read the book “Way of the Peaceful Warrior?” (Speaking of which, there is a movie based on this book, very good.) The main character becomes the hero because his dreams crash when he breaks his leg and cannot play sports to win. This man has become a legend only because people like those who keep their heads up even if their dream has been crushed. Interestingly, the movies you love are about coping with losses. Don’t you believe? For example, the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” is about a guy who was fired from his job. And then his dream was crushed again and again, but he went on.

I can give a zillion examples. 

The movie “The Cutting Edge” (1992). It’s a romantic comedy about a professional hockey player who suffers an injury and can no longer play, and a “temperamental” figure skater who runs out of partners willing to work with her.

And also movies like “Gone With The Wind,” “It’s A Wonderful Life” (of course), “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Regarding Henry.”

In other words, almost all movies fit the phrase: “A character thought his life was going in the direction of X but it suddenly veered towards Y.” Without X and Y, movies would be dull and boring. Because we—viewers—like to watch movies that contain pain, emotions, we love heroes who solve problems. This is what makes the characters interesting. On the other hand, in real life we actually like these people too. We are very much inspired by real people whose dreams were shattered but they continued their journey. And the more they suffered, the more we respect them. However, when we face challenges ourselves, we try to avoid them so as not to become heroes and inspirers. And we are afraid to speak out loud about our failures, but it is these failures that make us heroes. That’s why I often talk about my mistakes and others don’t. Oh yeah, thousands read me cause I’m not a loser and I’m talking about how my dreams broke. Because people aren’t interested in what I’m trying to achieve, but in how much it hurt me when I didn’t achieve my goal. Do you understand what I’m saying? And…

“OKAY, Alex, I realized you are cool, you have a lot of experience, but I will never find happiness… My life is ruined” one of the readers will complain. Oh yes, since I’m open and don’t hide anything, I must admit that sometimes I’m also sad. You see, I have a lot of dreams. When you have so many dreams some of them crash. It’s like carrying 30 breaking balls in your hand—one of them will surely fall out.

the most balls juggled

(By the way, the most balls juggled is 11, this record was achieved by Alex Barron (UK), who managed to complete 23 consecutive catches; what is known as a “qualifying” juggling run.)

So how do I react when one of my dreams crushes?

In a moment I will tell you!

That’s correct, today I will share methods that will help ANYONE who tries them!

I will share not only my but also other people’s advice. Let’s begin!

What to do when you feel like your dreams crashed

There are many strategies to fight the bad thoughts that arise because you haven’t made your dreams come true. Directing my mind elsewhere helps me. Here’s what I do:

1. I grab headphones, turn on positive music (i.e. ZAZ – Je veux).
I listen to music not to escape from reality, but to change my mood.
2. I go outside. I walk down the street listening to positive music. Give yourself time to grieve—but not too much time.
3. When I come back, I meditate. After meditating, I’m at ease and then I can soberly look at what happened. Oh yeah, it makes sense to acknowledge your disappointment and pain.
4. If music and walks don’t help to change my mood, I dedicate time to relatives and children. You yourself understand why you should do the same if you feel bad.
5. I kill a few hours watching an inspiring movie. For example, “Peaceful Warrior.”
6. I listen to good music again.
7. I go to the forest or by the sea with my friends.
8. I go for a massage.
9. I have sex.

What do others advise? 

I like to share not only my advice. So today I will share the opinion of three people.

I’ll tell you what the psychologist, athlete, and Snoop Dogg think about crushed goals.

Why am I sometimes talking about Snoop Dogg? Because this self-development website is different. It’s not only informative, it’s… Okay, enough explanations. Let’s move on to Snoop Dogg’s opinion!

What would Snoop Dogg do if he suddenly noticed his dream crushed

If Snoop Dogg failed to achieve one of his goals, he would take and… Roll the joint…

“And that’s it?” you will ask.

Yes, that’s it.

Snoop Dogg

Attention, I’m not advertising pot! I would prefer to choose medical cannabis for relaxation, energy, and promoting positivity, but there are interesting people in this world who solve problems in different ways.

What would the professionals advise?

I doubt you’ve heard of Dr. Tchiki Davis. After earning her Ph.D. from The University of California Berkeley, Dr. Tchiki created The Berkeley Well-Being Institute to help people improve their happiness, health, and wellbeing. I will share her opinion. I will do it quickly and efficiently.

Dr. Tchiki Davis says that holding onto things and people that we can no longer have isn’t good for us. So she says, “Just let it go.”

Just let it go

And she shares some tips for letting go:

a. Expect the best.

Dr. Tchiki Davis offers to think mostly about the good things. She says, “If we expect to fail, we are actually more likely to fail” (Bénabou & Tirole, 2002).

b. Fuck it, enough to blame yourself and others!

When you blame someone you make assumptions about the intentions behind what they’ve done (Malle, Guglielmo, & Monroe, 2014). This raises many questions. Better not to blame anyone. Because science has not proven that blaming yourself or others is a wise activity that pays off.

c. Practice self-compassion.

Dr. Tchiki Davis states that practicing self-compassion can heal wounds. That’s why she offers to be kind to yourself, forgive yourself for any mistakes, and accept your needs as they are.

d. Look for silver linings.

I quote: When we get stuck in fear, we often only see the potential bad outcomes without looking for what could turn out good. Try to shift your mindset to let go of fear or anxiety and replace it with hope or optimism.

e. Try journaling! 

I believe that journaling really works. Science has proved it, and I tried it myself. I’m writing for many years. Blogging can also be called journaling, so you can say that I have been dealing with journaling for many years. And it helps to sort out the thoughts. Really my life changed when I started writing and sharing my thoughts with others. Because when you write, you help yourself to answer many important questions. Journaling, writing, blog helps to formulate clearer goals, understand what to strive for, and understand how to achieve it.

What would an athlete advise?

Once upon a time, a simple guy named Matt Mayberry decided to become a super athlete. It was his dream. He worked hard and life gave him a chance—game at Qualcomm Stadium in California, playing the San Diego Chargers.

The day of the game has come. Since it was so important to him, he began to worry. He even felt the taste of iron and salt in his mouth. Although he was determined to win, something was terribly wrong. Late in the second quarter, with four minutes left before halftime, there was a complication. 280-pound bulk came down hard across the leg, and… Fracture… His dreams were crushed…

Initially, the pain was only physical, through the entire leg. And then the pain spread. The pain became larger than the universe. The pain expanded, it spread like cancer, and it began to break the walls of the universe.

After this Matt slept really bad. After a week insomnia didn’t go away. He was consumed with anxiety and fear and slid into the deepest depths of darkness. His life was shattering; his dreams and goals were falling like shards of glass. There wasn’t Plan B in place. But time passed and now Matt shares his experience. Here are his thoughts:

1. Face the facts.

You see, there are athletes who don’t even think there is something more than sports. They deny any other plans. So when they lose a sport, it becomes unbearable. This is why in movies about sports a coach often asks his students, “What will you do if you lose? What will be your life?”

It’s important to understand the answer to this question because those who understand it feel more emotionally stable. Because your actions aren’t the only thing you can do in life.

2. Don’t overanalyze.

As you already noticed, when something happens and crushes your dream, different reactions begin in the mind. You start to overanalyze. So you keep thinking about what you did wrong, thinking why you are sloppy. Such thinking is of no use.

That is why Matt said in an interview about crushed dreams, “I eventually got to the point where I was telling myself that, yes, I had been injured in an NFL game, but this was not the end of the world. No matter how bad I felt about losing my dream, I was not going to die.”

3. Surrender. 

In the Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows,” there’s a line that says: “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream . . . that you may see the meaning within.” This is perfect advice: Since you can’t change the situation, you may as well turn off your mind and surrender to it.

4. Accept.

You can tear out my eyes, but I’ll say it again: Acceptance is crucial to forgiving yourself and moving on. Many athletes say so.

“Alex, but how does sport relate to my life? I’m not an athlete, damn it!” one of the readers will say, not realizing that every inhabitant of the world has to do sports every day with players, with enemies they have in mind. Oh yeah, you and I should be faster than the bad thoughts that come to our minds. Therefore, I propose to look at life as a sport. We must not forget the importance of constantly exercising the brain—training it. How to train your brain? Challenge yourself! Because life trials are exercise machines that help strengthen our emotional intelligence, resilience, and…  

Final thought

You can live with broken dreams and regret or you can be creative and inspire others to do good deeds. The choice is yours, not the president or bad weather!

Remember: All that belongs to the past cannot be changed. Don’t look back too long! Learn your lesson and please pass it on. Pick another dream and try again, try again and again, like Alex Monaco!

If your dream is crushed, you can dedicate time to glue it, but in doing this you only focus on the past which is not wise.

(So sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say, “Fuck your crushed dream, Alex. Long live new, unknown goals!”)

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