Tending to Our Aspirations
Right now, think of an aspiration you have:
Write a book of poetry, run for City Council, build a sailboat, be your own boss, make enough money to have fresh flowers every week, meditate/paint/swim/sing daily.
If you don't have an aspiration, go ahead and come up with one. Or 21. I give you permission.
Now, here's what determines the difference between an aspiration and a daydream: We must tend to our aspirations.
Share them with good people. Not people who will downsize them, but people who will hold us accountable to them, send that occasional email asking, How's the poetry coming along today?
Move towards our aspirations regularly. Which may mean inch by slow inch; if an inch doesn't seem substantive enough, we must remind ourselves it's more substantive than no inch.
And moving doesn't mean buying another boat magazine. Or thinking about how great it'll be to push off from the dock. Moving means doing. Clearing a space in the basement for the sawhorses. Laying down money for planks of cedar.
At its essence, tending to our aspirations means respecting them. Making them matter in reality as much as they do in our minds. Investing in them - with our time, our energy, those precious resources. Because unlike a daydream, an aspiration is not an end game. It's one step on the path to becoming real.
Our aspirations aren't flimsy, fantastical things. In their highest form, they are a piece of our soul made manifest in the world.
There's no assurance that our aspirations will come to pass; I may never be the next Patsy Cline. But it's not the outcome that matters. It's the very act of sharing, moving, tending to our aspirations that matters. For it is, at heart, the act of taking our souls seriously.