I’m sitting on a bench by the East River, beyond the end of Wall Street. The traffic is thundering above my head on the FDR Drive as runners sprint and jog along the waterway. I’m watching the amazing variety of human existence. On one side of me, the administrators, security guards and analysts run for the Brooklyn ferry. On the other side, the billionaires step from their limos to get airborne in their helicopters, flying efficiently to their homes in the Hamptons from the Wall Street helipad.
What divides them is not the point of embarkation, nor their wealth. It is the expressions of life in their faces. Some look dead already, and some look like they are excited to be alive.
If people are watching me, do they see what I feel? Do they know I’ve found the secret to happiness? I would gladly tell them my secret if they asked, but they’re all rushing to get home, wrapped up in their lives, good or bad.
I know we should all try to live in the moment but that can’t be all. If all we are doing is living for today then we would be eating bacon, egg and cheese rolls for breakfast and not organic muesli with 2 per cent milk. And we wouldn’t be worrying so much about credit card debt and male pattern baldness.
Because true happiness needs a dream.
When you have a dream, you have something to live for. You have plans and goals and aspirations. You have a future that you can build and picture in your mind. You have a place to go in your head when you’re having a tough time of things.
There’s a little girl sitting beside me. She’s my daughter. She is talking incessantly about what she sees and what it all means to her. I’m telling her that her imagination is unlimited, that no one can control her thoughts. And no one can stop her from dreaming.
With all the energy we have inside of us, if we were to switch just a fraction of it from worrying and complaining to dreaming and creating, we would see a massive positive change in our lives and in the world.
It’s that simple.
We’re walking back up Wall Street. I’m going to buy a slice of pepperoni pizza with extra garlic. My little girl will have chicken wings, not too spicy. We will talk about our day and how there will be more days like this only they will be different. They will be astonishingly good days because we will make an incredible future with the energy and ambitions of today.
Together, we will build the dream.