Trouble With Dreams

What could possibly be the problem with chasing your dreams?

It’s Sunday evening – the thought of Monday hangs in the air like a death-sentence. No matter how you spent it, the entire weekend feels wasted. What’s the solution?

I spend every Sunday afternoon sat at my shiny new planner with my highlighters in hand, scheduling the upcoming week. The enormous new set of highlighters I own is an unexpected side-effect of living with 5 girls for the last 6 months. Colour coding my pretty new planner is almost my most effeminate passtime, second only to wearing my housemates dresses and makeup when they’re at work (shh, don’t tell them).

Much like cross-dressing, this planner has left me both satisfied and confused. Let me explain.

About a month ago, I was given a new planner. This was not just anyplanner – this was a Passion Planner.

The selling point of the Passion Planner is that it encourages you to structure your time around achieving your dreams. You map out your goals as a sub-series of achievable goals, then you work towards them; blood, sweat, tears and highlighter pens. A lotof highlighter pens. By the time I’ve planned the week, the page looks more like a remembered LSD trip rather than a time-efficient schedule.

I was so excited to turn into a ‘Planner Person’, I awaited my transformation from a mere mortal, hitting the snooze button every morning, to the kind of person who arrives at work early, drinks decaf and does 30 sit-ups before breakfast.

What’s the catch? What could possibly be the problem with chasing your dreams?

The problem is that it feeds the voice.

The voice that reminds you that you’re single. The voice that reminds you never did that online Spanish course. The voice that reminds you that you didn’t get a summer internship so now you’ll be unemployed forever.

This is where the Passion Planner comes in. Feed the voice with highlighters. 6AM jog, highlighted in green. 7PM Spanish lesson in orange. 9PM date on Friday in pink. I’m being productive. I’m chasing my dreams. It feels good. Feeding the voice with good intentions silences it. Temporarily.

For the whole month, you stick to your plans; your Spanish is bueno and you’ve been texting the pretty girl from Tinder. What happens now?

The voice starts up again. And no, I don’t mean the one on TV with Tom Jones in the big red chair.

It felt so good to silence the voice for a month – and because of that, the voice is back. And with bigger demands. Like babysitting a spoilt child, giving in to their whining just encourages more whining. More goals to set. More dreams to chase. By indulging its demands, the voice has found a method to make you listen to its demands, and that method is the Passion Planner.

There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement. If you want to learn the guitar, go for it. If you want to train for a marathon, good luck and enjoy the blisters. However, if you bought a 12-pack of highlighters and a new planner and find yourself scheduling early morning jogs to prove a point to yourself, the voice isn’t going to get any quieter.


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