They Called Me Crazy for Dreaming While Awake

They Called Me Crazy for Dreaming While Awake
Álvaro Cabezuelo

Written and verified by the psychologist Álvaro Cabezuelo.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Dreaming while awake is to imagine a world we cannot see nor touch, but one we can create however we want. We are not crazy for dreaming. The madness lies in never dreaming, and remaining paralyzed by the fear of being unable to achieve that which we dream.

Many times, other people tell us not to dream. They tell us to come back to the real world and see life just as it is. But dreams are the sketch of what we would like to do. They can help us start to take the first steps on our path. 

“We are made of the same material of which dreams are woven. Our small life is surrounded by dreams.” 

-William Shakespeare-

Dreaming is free

Our mind is capable of imagining fantastic worlds, situations both possible and impossible, millions of colors, and infinite opportunities. Dreaming is to build a bridge between that which does not exist, and that which could come into being. 

surreal image girl kite dreaming

Others may think our dreaming is a sign that we are lost in an unrealistic world from which we cannot return. However, by not dreaming, we miss out on great opportunities we may have to create new realities. 

It is true that there is a point at which we must reason out whether or not what we are dreaming could actually become reality. The key in this is to maintain a middle ground in which our dreams can be passed through a filter of what is actually possible and what is not. Dreaming is unlimited, but reality does have limits. 

When we dream while we are awake, the best thing to do is to know what we are doing. We must take hold of those wonderful, crazy ideas and ask ourselves if we can actually carry them out, or if they must always stay in the realm of our dream world. W e must fight for the dreams that are realistic and reachable. And as for those dreams which must always remain dreams…we can express them through some form of art. 

“I am actually a practical dreamer; my dreams are not trinkets in the air. What I want is to turn my dreams into reality.” 

-Mahatma Gandhi-

Dreaming creates realities 

Without dreamers, great works of art and creations of society would never have come into existence. Maybe all magnificent ideas come from dreaming and questioning what is possible. Dreaming can transform the world. Without the ability to dream, we would never have been able to advance so far in social struggles, science, arts, and human relationships. Without dreams, we would always conform to that which we see, and we would accept a single reality as the only possible option. 

girl looking over city dreaming

As they say, dreams are dreams. However, the truth is that these abstractions of the real world allow us to observe reality from a different perspective and even better, create entirely new perspectives. We can dream of a better tomorrow and it can be whatever we want it to be. 

“Over thirty years ago, a North American sociologist said that propaganda was a formidable seller of dreams, but as it turns out, I don’t want to be sold the dreams of others if they simply do not accomplish my own.” 

-Mario Benedetti-

Dreams are dreams

On the other hand, we can become obsessed with accomplishing our dreams at any cost, and this can lead us to be unhappy.  There are realistic dreams, and there are others that are fantasy. 

We must also avoid falling in the trap of believing that “following our dreams” is the only path to happiness. There are instances in which a calm and simple life with good company is enough to live a full and happy life. Wanting to reach our dreams is a personal choice, not an obligation. 

Sometimes it is said that happiness is found in the little things, and maybe that is right. It is also said, however, that we should not settle for that. Dreams are unique, just like each and every of us. 

If you have decided to set out on a path towards accomplishing a realistic dream, you have to know that it won’t be realized without putting in a great amount of effort, and depending on other people. A dream cannot become reality over night. It requires sweat, determination, and hard work. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.