When dreams die, it is painful. The sense of loss of direction, the feeling of failure, and the soul searching question of “why” are all felt strongly. And yet . . .
Out of the ashes comes the new. It may take a while to be defined. It may not seem logical. It’s probably not all that exciting initially. But in the end, it’s right. It is where you are supposed to be.
Dreams are great. They provide a framework for direction and motivation. But we are human. And we don’t always dream in the right direction. If we always had the right dream, there would never be any nightmares while we sleep.
In work life, dreams can be broken at the organizational level (bankruptcy, closure, market shifts, etc) or they can be broken at the individual level (project collapse, marketing plan failure, promotion not given). Sometimes the organizational impacts the individual.
How do you tell when a failure or setback requires a new direction or just more/harder work on the same project? Failure can be a learning tool. It can bring about a sharpening of the senses. But sometimes it is terribly difficult to tell the difference between the need for a sharper focus on an existing project vs the need to abandon the project all together.
Not all dreams are worth pursuing at all costs. Finding that point, that clear indicator of the death of a dream, is the challenge.