Many have referred to John Donne's famous quotation, "no man is an island, entire of itself." Human beings do not thrive when they're isolated from others. In fact, we depend on and need other people not only to thrive, but also to accomplish our own goals and the goals of the world.
How many things can you truly do all by yourself? Think about it. Even when you're doing something as simple as taking a shower, you're still depending on other people to make sure that water is flowing. As the world becomes more connected, we become even more dependent on each other – and more responsible for each other.
Your personal dreams and goals are connected to what has come before and what will come after you. A child's life can be the realization of the dreams of their parents and grandparents, who often have supported and sacrificed, perhaps even immigrated to a new country for a better life for their children. Our dreams as individuals and communities are built on the work and ideas of people who have come before us in history. And we can only solve the big challenges we face, like global warming, by coming together to achieve the dream of a healthy, peaceful world. Each of our personal dreams is also made possible because of the help of other people.
Choose a personal goal that's important to you, perhaps something that you'd like to do or achieve, a career or education goal, or something you're interested in learning more about. Draw a brightly-colored circle in the center of a large sheet of paper and write the goal inside the circle. You can even decorate the circle to symbolize your goal.
Now, start to create a Dream Web around your goal. What people are connected to your goal? Who has or is making it possible or helping? For example, if you want to be a professional basketball player, the person who invented basketball obviously made it possible for you to have that dream. Find out who it was. Write their name in a small circle (use another color) around the central circle, draw an arrow toward the central circle, and along the line of the arrow write in what the person did to make your goal possible.
Draw in other circles (all the same color) and arrows leading to your goal. Other people you might include in your Dream Web are a parent or grandparent who gave you extra money to buy equipment or special basketball sneakers, a coach who has spent time teaching you how to be the best player, a teacher who may be helping you get a college basketball scholarship, a friend who practices with you every day and pushes you in a little friendly competition.
Once you've thought of all the small circles with arrows pointing toward the central circle with your goal, start to think about people who can be affected by the achievement of your dream. Write their names in circles (use a third color), draw arrows from the central circle to each circle, and along the line of each arrow write in what you can do for each person. For example, if you make it into the NBA, you'll have money to help your parents, to start and take care of your own family, to give money to charity, to mentor younger players trying to make it.
One of the quotations in Dream is from Marie Curie, the first woman scientist to win a Nobel Prize: "You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity." Each of us must work hard to achieve our own dreams, yet also recognize our connections to others. That makes more dreams possible. It's all part of the Web of Dreams.