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What Did They Pay You To Give Up Your Dreams?

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A girl follows a boy, setting a course away from her own opportunities.

A man loses a job that pays him big bucks, simultaneously being reminded where the road once headed, which had all to do with heart and his soul's code, not simply cash.

Someone so in the moment forgets that an impetuous decision could derail another person's whole life.

Now independent, with our own cash and careers, women can be as treacherously self-centered as men.

Family forgotten, with emotions awakened, your part in the drama becomes a piece replanted, your role fulfilled.

The film Up in the Air is a walk through America right now, the movie that captures our current economic moment more than any other. It is the best film of 2009, whether it is nominated for (let alone wins) the Oscar or not. It resonates like an instant when you say you'll never do something knowing the moment you've uttered that sentiment whatever you said "no" to is headed your way.

New Year's dawn is an opening. A fleeting break in routine. A crack in life's window that allows you to momentarily dream about what still could be. Joseph Campbell talked about "following your bliss." On New Year's Eve I rephrased it as grab a new dream and deliver it to yourself.

We attract the life we want. We envision it first, and depending on the courage we have to hold it in our mind's eye ignoring the noise of habit and rules, through our infinite patience, as Wayne Dyer says, we are delivered the life we dream possible.

Or not.

The first trademarked column I ever had was on the pages and online for the LA Weekly and it was entitled What Do You Want?, way back in 1996. Now's the time to ask yourself that question, before the toboggan of life's details, responsibilities, habits, and other people's demands impinge on the free-flowing, sky's-the-limit ruminations of your mind.

What do you want?

Finding the answer to that question is the first really big, important step. But follow-through is the whole ballgame.

That's because, in the 21st century, survival of the fittest is now more about retrofitting at every new stage of life. If you stop moving, quit exploring, settle in and down, it's only a matter of time before you get eaten up, either from the outside or the inside.

Mind, body or possibilities, age is simply a fence.

Taylor Marsh is a political analyst (video), with podcasts available on iTunes.

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