Living A Secret Life

aka Hiding Your Dreams and True Self

This post changed tracks on me, but I'm putting it out unchanged. 

I’m writing a short story for philosophy class about the superhero whose origin I wrote last month. The focus is on maintaining a secret identity in today’s hyperconnected world where you no longer need to scan your passport for immigration to know it’s you. We’re gonna’ need better masks, Batman!  

I hear that my scifi writing and fire dancing has come as a surprise to people who know me as a professional tech investor. I was very open about my dream to pass the baton and write novels, but it turns out that people want to believe what they want to believe about you…and dreams don’t come up that often in business meetings.   

Should we discuss our dreams with people? When we do, why don’t most people associate us with them?   

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There seems to be some unwritten rule that we can’t have dreams and focus on our jobs/family/obligations at the same time. It’s one of those things I can’t make any sense of. Without dreams to build into reality, what’s the point of all this? Caveat: you're allowed dreams of a family, nice home, nice car, and obtaining other status symbols, but those aren't the dreams I'm talking about.   

I think many people wanted to believe that what I used to do for a living was my only dream. It turns out I have a lot more…and that one was realized. My vision was simple – Texas will be one of the top 3 centers of innovation in the world by 2025.   

I worked on the grassroots then watched it unfold. Like MAGIC. Hello Great Migration! I don’t even live in Texas to enjoy it, but that was never my plan. As my old company motto says, “We Start Shit”.   

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With my novels, I’m not supposed to say it, but I want to see some of my ideas become common language and see them built one day. This means I need to get a lot of copies in circulation. Apparently, writers aren’t taken seriously if we have a big dream. It’s ok…I’m accustomed to not being taken seriously (including by yours truly).   

Yet, while I’m building that dream, I’ll also fire dance. I’ll probably start another company. I’ll travel the world with my favorite guy and visit friends in many of those cities. I’ll even keep investing in startups.  

Turns out we’re multifaceted people, but we tend to think in single dimensional ways about others. It’s a lot to keep up with! So then we start thinking that our dreams don’t matter to others, when usually, it’s that they can’t keep that much info about so many people in their heads. Sometimes though, it’s because they gave up on their own dreams.    

That last group of people – those who have shelved their dreams for one reason or another – they are the ones who desperately need to hear your dreams. Even if they scoff at or tear them down. Because that’s not about you. It’s about them. And it’s in that moment that you can choose to inspire them, or join them.   

If you need a more left brained approach to dusting those dreams off, I really enjoyed and put into practice the ideas from Big Five for Life about ten years ago. There are plenty of other books on the subject, but this one helped me the most.   

So what are YOUR dreams?