Living your dream Tools for life improvement

Why dreamers and doers desperately need each other

photo by James Nash (aka Cirrus) (flickr)

You know that one about “opposites attract”? What if that is not just a cruel trick by nature, but it actually serves a purpose? Dreamers and doers, for example, often run into communication problems, ending up in despise of each other. But can they really live without one another?

The last week I´ve been working on writing and sending out invitations for the workshop I will hold this summer.  Since one of the lessons I´ve learned from Barbara Sher is that “isolation is the dream killer” I´ve engaged two friends to help me on this project. So before I sent out that invitation I asked them for feedback.

One of the thing´s one of them found really strange in my description about what the workshop is going to be about was the formulation “we will talk a lot about how to turn concrete project plans into reality”. “If they are concrete, aren´t they basically already reality?” She argued.  My answer was a totally “NO!” From my experience, once the plans are there, that´s when trouble comes. When you see your dream lined out in black and white, with a time line and real action steps to take, things start to get scary! So I wrote her, that what I had been thinking about was all those things that can stop us from realizing a plan. Like that we get scared. Or feel that we don´t have the time. Or that we all of a sudden get a strong impulse to clean our wardrobe instead…

Her answer to this was for me totally surprising: “Oh, for me, doing is the easy part. Once the plan is there, you just have to follow it! But creating the plan – THAT´S difficult!” Or to be honest, I wasn´t totally surprised – after all, this is one of the reasons why I asked her for help: I know that she´s a doer. And when you want to realize a plan, you want doers around!!!

This episode started a process that ended up in me waking up at half past four this morning with an idea for this week’s blog post. Because that´s how my brain works. I don´t do much planning. I don´t “create” ideas. They hit me, like visions, very often while I´m sleeping. And so I wake up with this ready-made picture in my head, with all the details already in place, and all I have to do is write it down. And then find a way to actually DO it, because this is my weak point. So I guess I´m a “dreamer”. A word that doesn´t have very good reputation. Dreamers dream, but they don´t DO.

But DOERS on the other hand, often find it hard to DREAM – and if you cannot dream, it can be very hard to find new solutions. Because new solutions is something that is not already there. You have to somehow invent them. So if we all where doers, it´s very probably we still would be living in caves, eating bugs and leaves. But if we were all dreamers, we would probably also live in the same cave, eating bugs and leaves, but speaking about how wonderful it would be to build a house or kill a mammoth…

So this is my point for this week. Be grateful for our differences. And when you want to make a plan come true, make sure you have friends of both kinds to support you!



ps. Ok, I admit I´m pushing it a bit far – of course most of us have a little bit of both in us (after all, I DO do things once in a while… and my friend has dreams:) )


Over to you: Are you mostly a dreamer or a doer? And how do you do to keep the balance? Please share your insights with the rest of us in the box below, so we can learn 🙂


1 Comment

  1. I love the terms ‘Dreamers’ and ‘Doers’! They’ve such beautiful and poetic ways to describe the two very different characteristics. I notice this a lot when I teach art workshops. Some people want to dive in and get started on the ‘practical stuff’, whilst others may need to know all of the ‘theory’ before they even feel ready to make a start.

    I think in general I’m a ‘dreamer’ – I like to mull over ideas, let them brew and ponder my options. But there are other times when I jump straight in and charge forward with incredible momentum. I wonder what causes me to respond differently? And could I harness the skills so I could choose to act as a dreamer when I would normally be a doer, and vice versa? Fascinating blog post – I’ll be thinking on this one for quite some time!!

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