update: I am not running a business anymore (I gave up trying), and the major dream mentioned here died with it. So am keeping this here for its historical value... it's also not bad writing.
I was having a discussion with a colleague over chat software, asking her about her major dreams. After some deliberations, and after revealing my own dream of helping a million people, I was touched when she stated she wanted to open a clinic offering free services as well as a place to help unemployed mothers. I immediately wished I was rich enough to grant her the dream.
One reason I asked this question is I'm actually interested in what's in other people's minds and am often looking for inspiration. Her dream reminds of a fantasy I once had, like if I had a billion Rands (divide by ~8 to get US$), what I'd do is build a hospital and fund it for years on end. That's largely because SA public hospitals generally stink, both literally and figuratively. And while on that topic, I was recently discussing with a friend that there were other issues that escalated the problem before we even talk of insufficient funding: efficiency and corruption.
While still on the dreaming side of things, someone mentioned that a dream that truly drives a person is normally ego-driven. Reminds me of a great dream of becoming a DD (Debian Developer) which kinda died. An acquaintance also has an ego-driven dream of owning a private medical lab. He did however admitted that it was a negotiable dream, and that qualifies it as a fantasy.
While still on medical things, there's yet another acquaintance whose dream it is to build a clinic of some sort, but I actually forgot the details. What's interesting however is that when I asked specific questions like how big it is and some such, she couldn't answer, stating not having visualised it that far. I have learnt the importance of visualising a dream thoroughly because that solidifies it pretty well, helping it get further away from the fantasy category.
Another friend also touched me when he mentioned one dream of setting up a soup kitchen for homeless people. Noble stuff that.
Dreams are great because focusing on them help reduce the pain of hardship. They can be as simple as "the salary will help me pay that debt, and maintain my lifestyle too", and those are worthwhile dreams too, at least enough to have millions of displeased workers wake up every morning to get to work. I've also met quite a number of people whose main dream is retirement. It used to be my driving passion and motivator in building my business, but I'm now more driven by what I'll do with the ample time I'll have at my disposal after that moment, and even more than that, am driven my the million lives dream (helping a million people), most especially the ways in which I'll make that happen: starting worker co-operatives, free IT training, FLOSS (Free/Libre an Open Source Software) development funding...
Actually noble dreams, the "I want to help improve the world" sort, are my favorites and I always get excited when someone mentions such, not those of "I want to have this house and that car". I probably am dishonest with myself, but as much as I drool at the sight and thought of a Bentley Continental GT, pumping the retail cost of that beauty into feeding a 100 hungry kids for a month is more my thing. I do of course have non-noble dreams: travelling Africa and the world for fun, acquiring a decent entertainment system and a serious gaming PC (am I a sucker for hardware-pushing high-end games!), visit international film festivals (am I a sucker for movies!), and even produce some short movies, preferably animated, preferably with FLOSS (I am a politically-charged wannabe!).
A friend of mine, a sports sucker, wants to sponsor one kid to go professional in that field. Having loved to have had such an opportunity as a kid, he wants to ensure some deserving kid doesn't meet the same fate (and end up in career s/he dislikes). I know at least two other highly-gifted people who didn't further their sporting careers due to lack of support (likely financial). That's painful actually and shouldn't happen to anyone. Another friend of mine wants to open a dancing facility to help get kids off the streets. I'm not sure if that's a negotiable dream or not (it didn't sound like a priority item, neither did the sports sponsorship thing by the way) but we are to find out in due time...
A brother of mine, a gifted and multi-talented (composer, producer, arranger, mixer, vocalist, sound engineer, writer) musician, wants to help groom and promote a number of small-time artists. That would really help in an industry where talent isn't enough to propel one further. Also, this is in an industry where too many lacking that talent are propelled forward regardless.