Do You Have a Dream?
Today is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In order to commemorate the anniversary, NBC has launched a campaign asking people to share their dreams on social media using the hashtag #DreamDay. Do you have a dream to share? It turns out that having a dream for the future or a purpose is extremely important for your well-being.
A recent study by Barbara Fredrickson and her colleagues found that having a sense of meaning in life is associated with significantly better health outcomes than simply being happy. Happiness makes us feel good in the moment, while meaning in life emphasizes what matters to us. People who have a sense of meaning are aspiring to accomplish something.
At the World Congress on Positive Psychology last month Martin Seligman and Roy Baumeister talked about how focusing on the future, what they call “prospective psychology”, can bring meaning to our lives. In his book, Making Hope Happen, Shane Lopez explains how “futurecasting” by dreaming about your life in the future is a fundamental skill for increasing hope.
Dr. King had a very clear vision for the future and he committed his life to pursuing his dream. Your dream doesn’t have to be as big as his was in order to reap the benefits of a meaningful life. All that matters is that you have a sense of purpose; some reason to get out of bed everyday. Focusing on your dream gives you something to work toward, to hope for.
So what is your dream? What do you care deeply about? How can you put your strengths to use to make a difference? What action will you take to commit to your purpose? Go to Facebook or Twitter and let the world know that you, too, have a dream! #DreamDay