Business Relationships, Change, Decisions

Smoking Don Draper’s Pipe

Four plus years ago I woke up in a hotel in San Francisco. I had just had a nightmare that I had quit my stable job and took a job with a small company that was making its way down a risk filled and very niche market. Really. I thought it was a nightmare. When I realized that it was real I felt even worse and, as cliche as it sounds, the thought crossed my mind to pinch myself to see if I was really awake or sleeping.

Those moments resurfaced in my mind today. I was watching Mad Men on Netflix and trying to wrap myself around the reckless life of Don Draper. He seems to lead with past, addiction, and desire. Yet, he is confident in his behavior despite consequence. What has two thumbs and can’t smoke that psychedelic pipe? This guy. I’m nothing like him. I don’t despise his character. In fact, in many ways I sympathize with his inability to shake his past, but there seems to be moments before and shortly after I make a decision where I freeze and think, is this really happening? Did I just say that or am I really going to start all over again?

Truth be told, I woke up this time from my Mad Men TV trance with those same questions. Did I make the right choice? It’s undoubtedly bipolar decision making, but what I am realizing is that when I wake from my sleep, day dream, trance, or a rare and surreal experience and I’m freaked out, I am no longer dreaming and I’ve made a dream (good or bad) a stark reality. Dreams, those far fetched notions or desires sitting at the tip of reality, are just moments or a solid decisions away from existence. Dreams are safe because they reside in our minds. Dreams set to the march of a goal or serious change are serious and have eventually stepped from night to day and are transfigured into life altering dimensions. That’s powerful. That’s change.