Dream A Little Dream

Written by Cort Peters

In the field of Sports Psychology, I have plenty of opportunities to develop dreams.  In fact, part of my calling started when I learned more about Dream Interpretation.  It inspired a passion within me, but at the time I didn’t really know what to do with it.  My vocation as a Sports Psychologist actually started with a background of Child Psychology.  I was a teacher and a principal. 

When I learned some of the basic principals of dream interpretation, I became fascinated by the sub-conscious brain.  That little eight pound ball of meat inside of our skulls is capable of so many rich and powerful things.  Some people dream of their relationships, some people dream of the future, and everyone dreams about their own life and how to take advantage of this tremendous gift.

In many cases, it is helpful to do some personality work so that individuals or athletes have the tools to learn more about who they are and how their gifts can change the world.  I tried to focus on where there exists the greatest need.  Oddly enough, it seemed to be among retired professional athletes.  This is an excerpt of a conversation with a real professional baseball player.
            “Who were you in grade school?”
            “That’s when I started to play baseball.”
            “Who were you in middle school?”
            “That’s when I discovered I was exceptional at baseball.”
            “Who were you in high school?”
            “I was popular because I so good at baseball.”
            “Why did you go to college?
            “To play baseball.”
            “What did you do after college?”
            “That’s when I got drafted by my first professional baseball team.”
            “How did your like your job?”
            “I made it to Major League Baseball.”
            “How did you like your job?”
            “I got to play baseball for a living.”
            “How did you like your job?”
            “Baseball has its ups and downs.”
            “Well, you’re in your thirties.  What are you going to do now?
            “Baseball? I mean maybe I can make baseball bats or be a baseball broadcaster or be a baseball coach or something.”

Dude, y’all are so much more than baseball.  Don’t get me wrong, he had a fine dream, and he made it a reality, but being in his mid-thirties, he was barely rounding first.  And yet, all he ever knew and identified with was baseball.  Look back at that conversation and see how many times he said, “Baseball.”  12 times!  They always hate my next comment.  “Now name ten OTHER things that identify who you are, or maybe a group you identify with, or that help you identify yourself.”  Often “Your Life” evolves from one of those twelve OTHER things.

I invite you to try this exercise:  name ten things with which you identify.  Most include their family, their hometown, their school, some friends, maybe a Church or another group.   You can also include your own personality characteristics.  Those are gifts that are truly unique to you.  You might be the “baby” of the family.  You may be the “mom” among your friends.  Maybe you’re the funny one, or the crazy one, or the level-headed one in a group.

It might be interesting to consider if there are any groups on your list of ten that may be in conflict with each other.  Be careful resolving those conflicts, and resolve them with an important sense of priority.  Now circle the three things from your original list that you think are most important.  Now put a star next to the #1 item on your list that is most important.   Are there items on your list that might just apply for right now?  Is there anything on your list that will never ever go away?

There is an initial frustration for most athletes when they make their list.  One NFL kicker once identified himself with four teams.  He said, “Irish, Bolt, Saint, Giant.”  I though it was funny.  The first, “Irish”, was from college, and obviously the other three teams meant something very important to him.  Interestingly, he had played for EIGHT NFL teams.  What about the other 5 teams? It’s true that different moments in our lives hold a different weight.  You might find yourself in a job or a relationship at some point in your life, but it may not be significant in the grand scheme of your life.  You might need a change, which is fine.  Everyone has transitions like that.  The important thing is to handle the transition gracefully.

We go through these periods in life that form us into who we were truly meant to be.  The high points are given for us to enjoy.  The low points are given for us to learn and grow.  We can, indeed, be thankful for both.  

I recently ran into some people that I went to grade school with 30 years ago.  We immediately recognized each other and hugged.  They don’t remember how I wore my hair, or what I wore, or even what happened that one time . . .  They remembered me and how they felt when they were around me.  I remember how I felt when I was around them.

Maybe one of your dreams for your life can be to make others feel better for having known you.  You can make them laugh or make them feel safe or make them feel comfortable or make them feel encouraged. 

Dream big.  Start with what you already know about yourself, and how it can only get better.  Make those dreams a reality that uniquely belongs to you, starting today.

Cort Peters is a Mental Performance Coach who works on and off the field to maximize the performance of competitive athletes. Specializations include injury recovery. He can be reached at cort@cortpeters.com or through his site mentalperformancecoach.us.