“I might be dreaming, but I’m not sleeping.”
Lots of people have dreams. But the Ponevezher Rav was a master of “active dreaming.”
His vision included no less than the complete rebuilding of the Torah world decimated in the Holocaust. Of course, people told him he was dreaming.
“I might be dreaming, but I’m not sleeping,” was his answer to the naysayers.
We, too, need to dream big. And when we do, we need to make sure we’re dreaming without sleeping. We need to dream actively as well.
What might that look like?
First, we need to acknowledge something.
We need to admit that if we want to fulfill our vision, we need a huge amount of money. We need what I call “dream donations” - 6-figure-plus gifts truly big enough to allow us to actualize our dreams.
Second, we need to acquire a certain mindset.
It’s the mindset necessary when hunting for “dream donors.” The willingness to go out there and keep putting in effort until we get to our goal.
Even when the path isn’t clear.
Even when we have no clue where our big money is going to come from, and we’re literally stabbing in the dark at every turn.
We need to be willing to just keep taking one step after another, knowing all the success we will see is from Hashem.
Third, we need to concretize our dream donation. Bring it from the realm of thought and wishes into the realm of practicality.
What does that mean?
It means speaking the following sentence out loud: “I’m looking for a $XXX,XXX+ dream donation to help fulfill my vision of ____. I don’t know how I’ll get it, but I’ll put in all necessary effort until I do.”
It means repeating that sentence multiple times.
It means writing it down, and reading it over.
It means writing yourself a check for your dream amount and putting it somewhere you’ll see often. Just to bring the dream further into reality.
And fourth, we need to actually go out and make those efforts. We need to keep putting our next foot forward, no matter how hazy or discouraging things look.
Because when people follow these four steps - when they stop simply dreaming, and start dreaming actively - they DO see results. They DO achieve those dreams.
I’ve seen it happen. And heard the incredible stories people experience along the way (can’t wait to hear yours!).
Like the Ponevezher Rav, our dreams spell crucial help and benefit for Klal Yisrael.
So, like the Ponevezher Rav, we need to dream without sleeping.