So, this evening, as I was relaxing after work, I heard an ad play in the background on our one and only television (a little 20″ no brand unit), about the upcoming “Dream Big Expo” at the Perth convention centre. For some reason, that got my attention. Maybe because I like to think it takes some seriously big dreaming to do what we are doing? That probably sounds a bit pretentious, after all, who am I to say that my dreams are bigger than yours?… but bare with me for just a few minutes, that’s not what this article is about.
Now, admittedly, I’m not 100% sure what the purpose of this expo is, but the poster certainly seems to be indicating to me that it’s just more of the same that is dished up at us all day long, every day: an attempt to convince your psyche that the reason you feel that eternal dissatisfaction; that void inside; is because you don’t own a sports car, Ducati, 65″ high definition TV, magic blender thingy that does everything for you short of plucking the chicken before cooking the soup, etc…
You see Venilia is a big boat by any standards, there are cupboards and other storage spaces everywhere, cavernous bilge compartments, lockers in the cockpit, a large aft lazarette out on deck and plenty more. Despite this, it’s still a small space and there is simply no room for junk. This meant we had to go through a big cull before moving on board. As we sifted through quite literally everything we owned and put it in the keep pile, the sell pile or the toss pile, a few things were sold, a few more things were brought on board and MOUNTAINS of stuff was tossed. As I was quite literally shoveling all this stuff into the back of the ute, all I could think was that, at some stage, I actually went and spent some hard earned money on all of this. For every single item that was tossed, at some point, I took out my wallet and handed over some money to a store owner, because I desired it. There were kids toys, diving gear, tools, appliances, televisions, camping gear, computers, furniture, mobile phones, suitcases, sports equipment, soft furnishings, bicycles, motorcycle gear, and it goes on. I was even blown away to realise that some of these items were unopened, still in their packaging from the store! I’m not proud of it, but I think if you’re honest with yourself and have a really good look around, chances are that we are no different.
Since we have committed to making our big dream happen and cleared out our junk, for the first time in my life, I can honestly look inside myself and say I am contented. I am not weighed down by stuff and I have no desire to acquire new stuff – there’s simply nowhere to put it. I have a goal and clear plan to achieve it.
Oh, I still want things. But I want different things. What I want these days is time with the kids and my wife. I want barbecues down at the park. I want to spend time with my Mum & Dad while they are still here. I want to cut the ropes, get out there and see this beautiful world before the kids grow up.
If you want a sports car, a jet ski, a diamond tennis bracelet, and you can afford it, then by all means get yourself one. But first make sure that the desire comes from you, the real person you are deep down, not the person who gets blasted 12 times per day by a TV ad carefully crafted to tell you what you should be desiring. Most importantly, don’t fool yourself by calling it a “dream”. Chances are it’s just stuff and it’s going to turn out just as fulfilling as the rest of your stuff. Despite anything that the marketing professionals would have you believe, you simply can not own a dream.