Own the dream – Don’t let it own you



If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

From If by Rudyard Kipling

I first read this poem a couple of days ago, and the line that really struck me was this:  “If you can dream – and not make dreams your master“. It struck me because I was thinking about that fine line of balance between using a dream as a source for fuel, and being burnt out by it. To be pulled or to push. How many times haven’t I found myself thinking “If only … then …”. THEN I’d be happy. Then I’d be satisfied. Fulfilled.

And by doing that I’m pushing that dream before me like a shield against the world. Pushing, pushing, pushing. Effectively making sure the dream will never come true, because I’m not ready to receive its greatness. But why?

Because I fear success? Maybe.

Because I fear failure? Maybe.

Because I fear sharing the dream? Maybe.

Because I fear that I’ll succeed and still don’t feel good? Maybe.

Because it is safer to avoid all of the above? Definitely.

It is a message I’ve been sharing for such a long time. and yet – the world keeps reminding me to tell it again and again. Because making dreams come true is a practice, not a one-time deal. So I’m telling it again, to remind you and myself: When you make your dreams your master, you’ll never succeed. And you’ll probably never fail. But you’re also running like a hamster in a wheel, wearing yourself out without getting anywhere.

So don’t make that special, magical dream a chest full of gold at the end of the rainbow. (Remember, that rainbow is constantly moving.) Take a close look at your thinking habits and check if you’re running around thinking “If only [insert wonderful dream here] THEN I will be [insert dream emotional state here]”.

Own the dream – don’t let it own you.

Don’t postpone [happiness/fulfilment/joy/excitement/other dream emotional state]. Go live. Now.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tabitha December 5, 2011 at 6:44 am

Just what I needed. I’ve been having self-doubts about my dream and have been being so hard on myself on my way to pursuing it that I get frustrated now instead of excited.

Thank you for this post, Marthe :) Have a great day.


Meekah December 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

i love this post! i notice now that you wrote it yesterday. i didn’t get to it until today AFTER i wrote my today’s post on my blog…i am astounded to find the synchronicity in what we both wrote about and at this same moment in time without influence from each other. thank you kindred spirit for having the courage to put yourself out there for others (like me) to connect to…to know i’m not the only one!


Debbie Panning December 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Great post! I have some of the same fears about success too. It’s so funny how I can be afraid of success and failure all at once. Thanks for the encouragement!


Angeliki December 7, 2011 at 11:45 am

Great post and great quote. Very powerful! Thank you so much for the reminder. When we strive hard to achieve goals, the obsession can consume us and not let us breath and enjoy the journey.


mari kolbeinson December 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm



Marthe December 13, 2011 at 7:34 am

Of course, darling!


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