Like grains of sand piled one on another

We want extreme change and we want it now. 

We settle for nothing less than a tornado of sweeping transformations and dramatic revolutions that come swiftly and broadly, leaving us permanently altered for better for always. 

Unfortunately, nature doesn’t care how we prefer to change. It has its own agenda. One that must be respected if we are to live in harmony with it. 

And in some cases, that might mean changing gently. Focusing on our slight, steady, constant flow of developments, rather than demanding grandiose moments of intense transformation. 

One helpful venue for playing out this incremental process is through our dream states. 

For example, academic anxiety is my most common recurring nightmare. It always takes place on final exam day when I forgot that I was taking the course, didn’t attend any of the classes all semester, never did the reading, and now I’m completely unprepared for the test. 

Ever had that dream before? It’s bad times. 

But here’s the spooky part. 

Over the past few years, my evolving dream self has started to have new and interesting responses to this situation. The first milestone was the dream when my teacher passed out tests to the class unexpectedly, but I looked down at the paper and knew every single answer. Perhaps that dream was a sign of my deepening ability to trust myself? 

And then in a more recent dream, my teacher passed out the final exams, but instead of my usual feelings of anxiety, helplessness and overwhelm, my consciousness suddenly came online. Right there at my desk. The voice in my head went:

Wait a minute, you’re thirty nine years old. There is no math class. You’re not in school anymore. This isn’t real. This isn’t real. 

And for the first time, waves of relief and peace suddenly washed over me like a gentle surf. 

Proving, that our dreams, just like our changes, follow a narrative arc. And when we step back and view them holistically, a through line emerges that we can follow and derive meaning from. 

New knowledge about ourselves shows up in tiny increments, like grains of sand piled one on another. 

That’s what happens when we let of our insistence on immediate gratification. 

We allow the changes in our life to build one upon the other, pushing us ever closer to the person we are supposed to become. 


Are you focusing on the tiny increments of change that come to you daily?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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