Have you ever been dreaming, woke up and instantly thought, “Wow, I’m glad that’s not reality?” I’ve had some crazy dreams in the middle of the night. Some have been where my feet were so large that I couldn’t find any shoes that would fit me and I kept falling down. Another time my contacts were too big for my eyes and I couldn’t blink.
Somehow, I’ve never had a problem having dreams in the middle of the night – but when it comes to life; I’m not a natural dreamer. I often thought that finishing my to-do list would be a dream come true! Now, on the other hand, my husband is a visionary and has constant dreams bouncing around in his head. We have worked together for 19 years now and figuring out these differences in our personality has been a challenge.
For years, this is how it would go down… Matt would start sharing an idea (a dream) with me and I would instantly start using my “analyzing and problem-solving” gift to dissect it and start making a to-do list. Most of the time, in the middle of this process, Matt would get frustrated. For so long, neither one of us understood why this was. Once we learned that it’s okay to have a time to dream and a time to do, it brought so much clarity to our working and marriage relationship.
So, if you can relate to this at all, here are a few practical things that we have learned along the way!
1. Dreams are fragile. In their infant state, dreams are often delicate and the one sharing the dream can feel insecure even putting it out there! For the doer, we have to realize that when someone is sharing a dream, it doesn’t always mean it’s a problem to be solved, most of the time it’s just a dream to be realized. Become a good listener and get excited about the big picture possibility!
2. Doers are great with dreams, when they know that’s what it is. For the doer, they usually just need to know that the visionary isn’t ready to problem-solve. So, as a dreamer, a pre-emptive “Can we dream for a while?” or “I don’t know if this would ever come true, but” or “I’m not asking you to do anything with this yet, but what if…” can go a long way to letting the doer off the hook!
3. Have separate Dream-times & Do-times. This isn’t a perfect science, but having a time where you dream and a time that you do, will set both parties up for success. The dreamer needs a space to dream and the doer needs a time to chart the path to the dream. Figure out which time or season you are in and be on the same page!
For me, I now love to hear Matt dream if I know that I’m not responsible to do anything with it! And he understands that I equally enjoy using my problem-solving gift when it’s time. So, dream and do and keep figuring each other out along the way!!!