From the time I woke up this morning, I have been trying to understand the import of this very strange dream.
I am in a dimly lit open space and there are people – about 50 of them – who are terribly unhappy and grumbling about something. I find out they are unhappy about me. I am a trainer in this dream, and as a trainer, I have failed them a second time.
I am not even aware that I am supposed to conduct a training session for them. I have forgotten to pay attention to the information. With no preparation whatsoever, I am in no mood to take the session for the group.
I begin to panic.
I see Pope Francis in a nearby room in vestments worn during mass. I want to get some words of solace from him, but even before I utter anything, I see his scowl and I retreat.
I am relieved to find my fellow entrepreneur and friend, Rajesh who is over-all responsible for conducting the sessions. He is very concerned and keen to find out how I will avoid such problems in future.
I too am eager to brief him on my plans and take him on a short journey to show him my path forward.
The path leads to a long, narrow ledge on top of a tall building. Rajesh and I move very carefully dragging our butts inch by inch along the ledge – high above the ground below. Then we reach the end of the ledge. The moonlight reveals a turbulent river with rocks protruding above the water, more than a hundred feet below.
There is no more path forward. Because, progressing one more foot in the same direction would be an ominous embrace with void and a descent into the river.
Strangely, the height at which I am perched on the ledge does not make me scared. I am almost defiant and stubborn about my belief that somehow, there will appear a way forward. It takes a long time for reality to sinks in.
I finally concede to myself the futility and foolhardiness of persisting with this route.
When I woke up at 5.30 this morning, the dream was all over me. And I was determined I would think long and hard to find out what it was telling me.
The 8 km run this morning was about deciphering the meaning of the dream.
It seemed clear, the more I thought about it, the dream centered on the urgency to take charge of my life or else face the consequences.
The start of the dream where I saw disgruntled people indicated my failure to be mindful of my responsibilities towards my team.
And, it reflected on a lack of attention and mindful focus towards my role. I have a tendency to let things drift. I delegate and then abdicate my responsibility to monitor.
In some sense, Service Square often runs on the default mode – rather than on carefully thought out strategies and plans.
The dream is a jolting reminder about the need to immediately alter the course of my personal and business orbits.
The outer world is a reflection of my inner world.
So, the dream is a cry for self-leadership.
I reckon, Pope Francis and my entrepreneur friend Rajesh, are Bosses of my psyche, people I give disproportionate importance to. Their role in the dream was to tell me that I need to take charge and they are not my bosses in reality.
Often I put people on a high pedestal in such a way that I seem puny and diffident. There is a huge problem with making giants out of people while I see myself as pint-sized.
The dream hints of a giant lurking within me and till I unleash that power, I will keep travelling along narrow, unproductive paths.
It’s telling me – be the boss, act like one. Over dependence on people diminishes me, makes me weaker.
The ledge on which I was moving along indicates I am perched in a dangerous place from where it would be very tough to make speedy progress.
The dream seems to invite me to get off the ledge and move along a wide path – on another trajectory. The ledge is my creation, made by a life run on default mode, through constricted thinking – arising from trust deficit of my own abilities.
Life beckons me to pave a smoother, wider path – through conscious decision making and continuous focus.
In essence, the dream was about the dangers of abdicating my leadership role, leaving the people I am responsible for, to fend for themselves.
Almost always, all leadership begins and ends with self-leadership. Self-leadership is also about self-mastery.
Self-leadership entails knowing I am complete and enough as I am. And, what I am is very powerful when I operate from my true self, in awareness.
I know this dream was nudge from my true self to course-correct.
Fear of perishing can act as an incentive to self renewal.
This dream is a cheque to encash.