Dream Big

Over the years, from time to time, I have taken the time to sit down and, pen in hand, put my most fantastic dreams and wishes on paper.  No dream or wish is too outrageous or impossible to express and reality is temporarily suspended.

A few days ago, I suggested to my now 15-year-old son —  he had his birthday on July 18 — that he sit down and write about the most perfect computer system he would want for himself if price was no object.  When all was said and done after several hours sitting quietly at his desk was a list that was most assuredly not for the faint of heart.

He came into my office near the end of my business day and presented me with a very clear picture of his dream computer system that would have given even the hardiest of parents a heart attack.   

I have to admit I wasn’t surprised to see that at the top of his list was a MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz with 500 GB Serial ATA Drive at 7200 rpm.  I was, however, impressed with the amount of detail he provided about this dream computer with its 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit anti-glare widescreen display with 1680 by 1050 pixels, 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2 x 4GB, with the iWork Family Pack, Aperture 3, Final Cut Express 4, FileMaker Pro 11 and Microsoft Office Mac 2008 – Business Edition installed (with discs included) and AppleCare Protection Plan for MacBook Pro.  Right there, that was my dream computer and more.

But Lewis is a brilliant teen who is coming into his own where computers are concerned, and with the most amateurish of programs, he’s created some amazing videos in the past year alone, so I wasn’t surprised or alarmed when I saw just how much thought and dreaming had gone into putting all this on paper.

This dream also included the My Book Studio Edition II with Dual-drive Storage System with RAID and a 4 Terrabyte Quad Interface (that would be an external hard drive in layman’s terms) and ScreenFlow 2.1 with 64-bit support for audio capture, Audio Ducking and Audio Detach.  At this point I realized we had just stepped out of the mom zone and had landed far beyond terra firma of fiscal responsibility land into techno-geek teen territory.

And, of course, such a computer would also require QuickTime 7 Pro for Mac, Poser Pro 2010, Anime Studio Pro 7, Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, Autodesk 3D Max, iStop Motion Pro 2 and a compatible camera such as the Canon EOS 20D DSLR Camera.  It would also have Autodesk Maya 3D (2011) for Mac, Renderman, and Camtasia for Mac.  All of that would also require the CanoScan LiDE210 Scanner and a Color imageRUNNER LBP540 Printer. 

To create the sort of regular and flash videos he had in mind, he also needed support equipment for this incredible system consisting of no fewer than 7 Luxo Lamps L-1 8151, a Tube Tape Green Screen and Support Stand, a 64 GB Kingston DT200 Flash Drive, a Computer desk suitable for all of the above mentioned items, a new air conditioner (the ball bearings in his  unit went last week and I am currently sourcing out a reasonably placed replacement unit for his room) and, of course, he would also need a much bigger bedroom.

My eyes nearly popped right out of my head as I reached the end of his list.   “Holy moley, kidlet,” I laughed, “I can’t afford that!”

He smiled and said, “You don’t have to. You said it was one of your “dream situation” scenarios so I went big ’cause you know what they say …. go big or don’t go at all.”

“Where did you hear that saying?” I asked him.

“Oh, some political guys on CNN used it and I thought it would come in handy some day,” he said casually, “so I’ve been waiting for the right moment to drop it into a conversation. I thought this was as good a place as any to drop it in.”

Now some of you will say that the list is excessive.  Some may even say that my son sounds like a spoiled brat.  But who among us hasn’t purchased a lottery ticket at least once in our lifetime, holding tight to the hope that we would win the big lottery prize of a few millions dollars? And who among us hasn’t said or thought after purchasing a lottery ticket, “Even if I only win a few thousand dollars, I’ll be happy.”

I think we would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t gambled on a ticket (even a 50/50 ticket counts here) and in gambling, hasn’t harboured the secret wish that they would be a lucky winner.

My point in all this is that there is nothing wrong with dreaming as big as we possibly can.  It’s in dreaming big that we challenge ourselves to work harder and aspire to greater things than what we can achieve at this point in our lives.  It’s in dreaming big that we can clearly see where the parameters of reality lie and we can begin to set the foundation for making the improbable possible.

And through it all, there is no dream that is too small or too big, too simple or too complex, to dream  With this thought, I leave you to ponder your own dreams, perchance to take that leap of faith that makes them come true.

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