The first step in understanding dreams is to define what we mean by the word 'dream'. There are many interpretations of this word in the English language. One set of these meanings include such things as nightmares, day dreams, REM sleep, and such - these are not the dreams that I speak of. I am talking of the dreams that belong along with hopes, desires, aspirations, fantasies and goals.

First off, a dream is a type of goal, it is a goal that is not necessarily attainable. "Not necessarily attainable" - What does that mean? Something that is necessary is within the control of the dreamer. An example: When I was working at a company, one of my coworkers was a young Indian intern, he had three goals in life:

  1. Become an engineer at the company
  2. Get married
  3. Buy a house
When my contract was up, he had been hired on as an engineer, as was expected. He was from a religiously strict family, and thus had an arranged marriage in the future. I can only assume that the purchase of a house is not very difficult for an engineer (shoot, I'll be able to in another year, and he had a year head start on me).

He had no dreams as I define them, he had three goals. Each goal he can attain if he so desires, and thus they are necessarily attainable. Nothing prevents him from attaining any of the goals.

So where does that leave dreams? Think to the words we stick after 'dream' - 'dream date', 'dream job', 'dream girl' and others. These are things that we don't necessarily have control over. A dream job and dream date, while we may seek and look for them, they may be forever beyond our reach; even if we do everything correctly in attempting to attain them. Thus, they are dreams.