A Dream in Writing is a Plan

If we put our dreams on paper, they are no longer dreams, they are plans.

Street Art photographed by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)

There is a lot of power in putting pen to paper. The physical act of placing an idea outside of ourselves, in the open, where we can see it, where anyone can see it, transforms that idea and it transforms us along with it. Writing down an idea, especially an idea that scares us or challenges us, makes it more real than if we simply kept it to ourselves.

When our ideas are written down, we cannot deny them. What were once fleeting or nagging thoughts are now words on a page, looking back at us, reflecting back at us, forcing us to admit that this is who we are and this is what we think. As our hopes and our fears find their way onto the page, they simultaneously gain power and lose it because, once they are written down, they are no longer ours alone.

By writing down that which we hope for or that which we fear, we gain clarity. That which was once merely floating around like a raindrop in a sea of other thoughts is now captured on the page, visible and actionable. We do not have to do anything with our ideas once they are written down, but putting them on paper gives us that choice.

If we choose to do nothing with an idea we have put paper, we can push it aside and move along, for we have now freed ourselves up for new ideas to flow in. On the other hand, if, after seeing our thoughts clearly and objectively on the page, we feel inspired to follow through with those ideas, to dig deeper into them, and to see where they take us, we now have the beginning of a plan. If we keep writing, fleshing our ideas out, we may find that what started as a trivial little note can actually change our lives and transform the world around us.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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