Aug 29, 2022

If only to me.

I had an interesting dream last night, which I would like to share.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – other people’s dreams are usually only interesting to themselves, and the freedom from any rules or conventions makes them contextually hard to follow (…and then this green viking turned into a fish and dived into the pink sea after the swimming laptop…). I get that, but my point is that a dream can sometimes spark an idea – and this one did exactly that.

The idea for this article, naturally.

I don’t usually remember my dreams for more than a few seconds after I awake (if that), but this was a particularly vivid one, and stayed with me in some detail. I suspect that I also woke up right in the middle of REM (the sleep state not the pop group), which also helps with recall. The dream itself was very simple. I was working in an office – the headquarters of some faceless multinational corporate (OK, so maybe it was closer to being a nightmare). The point is that I knew I had all the answers – the right marketing strategy, the perfect HR policies and so on, but every time I tried to explain these to my colleagues, I was shut down with a comment that such thinking was not needed right now, thank-you very much. At one point I even tried to get a colleague to one side to explain my thinking in a one-to-one, but we couldn’t find a quiet space alone, until we came across the CEO’s office and it was empty. I was part-way though explaining my thoughts to the colleague, when we were interrupted by the CEO, who had apparently been sitting at his desk all along. He then explained that all the ideas I was setting out were – how should he put it? ‘…my opinions only, and not aligned with their wider plan…’

I woke up with a burning sense of injustice and frustration. How dare my colleagues be so dismissive and condescending? How could they not value my contribution when I had all the answers? Why was I not being heard? But once I had been through the whole ‘it’s only a dream’ thing, I got to thinking. [more]