A dose of reality can help you make big dreams come true

While popular culture encourages everyone to “achieve big dreams,” say Rutgers University researchers, it’s important that future dreams are based on a dose of reality.

The researchers say they are all free to dream about any possibilities such as becoming a global movie star, traveling the world or getting a new promotion, but future dreams are not the same.

unexpected developments

According to Neuroscience News, ‘social location’ – where class, race, gender, stage of life or unexpected upheavals in one’s life in the wider community – can have an influence on what, when, how and or a person dream the future or not.

Karen Cirullo, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, co-authored with Janet Rowan, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Montclair State University, the book “Dreams of a Lifetime: How We Are Shapes How We Imagine Our Future” after collecting data questionnaires has. and personal interviews with nearly 300 volunteer participants about their dreams for the future.

Various social backgrounds

Cirullo and Rowan selected samples from different social backgrounds, whether in terms of gender, ethnicity, social level or education. The elements of the research sample were also diversified to include different stages of life, such as newlyweds, new parents, people starting new jobs, new immigrants as well as people experiencing serious problems such as poverty, homelessness, serious medical diagnosis or unemployment.

Jimny cricket cartoon character

Professor Cirullo says what was mentioned by the fictional cartoon character Jimny Cricket, who influenced several generations and became a cultural heritage for many societies, that “when a person wants to become a star, there is no difference between him and himself. “Anything one desires will come to him.” This may be true for some, but for others it is nothing but false promises.

Professor Cirullo explained that it must be understood that class, race, gender, age and tragedy can create inequality of life chances, and that although popular culture says anything is possible, it must be recognized that dreams are limited in many complex ways.

men and women

According to the research study, men and women are more likely to dream of professional achievements and the opportunity to help others or donate large sums of money in the future.

Gender differences become more pronounced with the spread of dream themes along traditional gender lines. For example, men were twice as likely to define adventure as a dream topic, or 16% versus 9% and women were 15% more likely to talk about fame, wealth and power, compared to 11%.

In contrast, the probability of identifying the family as a subject of dreams was twice as likely as men, especially since the family is related to motherhood and family unity, at 18% versus 10% and more focused on appearance in line with gender socialization.

Women were more likely to say they never gave up on their dreams (74% vs. 63%) and 86% vs. 63% for men, and 86% compared to 63% for men. About two-thirds of women felt there was a 70% or greater chance that their dreams would come true, while only 48% of men felt the same. Both groups said dreaming was important, but women insisted more, with 93% of women defending the dream versus 77% of men.

American dream

Cirullo and Rowan studied how future dreams are represented in American popular culture, identified positive and negative lessons about future dreams, and used the data to identify future dreams at different times.

Survey data found that four times more Americans expressed optimism about the nation’s future than pessimism, while 82% of Americans said their “American dream” had already been achieved or was within reach. 67% of respondents to national opinion polls said they were optimistic about their personal future.


Even among minorities, who are more likely to experience structural disadvantages as they pursue their dreams, optimism was high – sometimes higher than among whites.

Professor Cirullo says that American culture encourages the citizen to dream of a brilliant future. But it is important to ground these dreams with a dose of reality. “When teachers tell their students that they can achieve anything they want, including becoming president of the United States,” Professor Cirullo explains, without explaining how the interests of politics, money and power are intertwined. basis for feelings of failure and personal resentment.

Prof. Cirullo explains that the study of future dreams is a new way of understanding the inequalities that precede actions or outcomes.
The researchers said that increasing the burden of inequality would really help make all people’s dreams come true, not just some people.

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