2022 / February 2022

Talk about things you’d like to do

Happy Talk by Captain Sensible

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific explores the themes of romance, duty and prejudice and forms the perfect backdrop for the song from it that we are considering in this edition of Retune. This week will be considering the 1980’s reworked version of Happy Talk by Captain Sensible.

This is one of those instantly recognisable songs as soon as you hear the chorus:

You got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream. How you gonna have a dream come true?

So, I’m guessing you know where this is heading. Without having any vision for the future, we can only ever be average or ordinary. We might get through each day happy enough, but things are unlikely to change, if change is what we want. And I guess it is that second part of the phrase which is the important starting point here.

There is something fabulously simple and wholesome about being content. Being happy with where we are now and not wanting change. In effect, already living our dream. If that is consistently our daily experience, then job done (unless it is one which is achieved through injustice or harming self or others).

Then at the other extreme is those of us who are always looking for a dream to chase. Always thinking that the metaphorical grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes, this sense of dissatisfaction might come from a sense of injustice that needs to be righted or a sense of disenfranchisement. Sometimes it might just come from a sense of self-importance or greed.

It is when we are in this second state of dissatisfaction then the power of dreams needs to be combined with the grounding of contentment. But where do we start? Well, the chorus at the end of this song changes slightly and gives us a hint:

If you don’t talk happy, and you never have dream, then you’ll never have a dream come true!

How we talk about life often creates our experience of life. Have you ever noticed that the more you say you are busy, the busier you feel? Our language can form our emotions and experiences just as much as it reflects them.

So, this week, if you are feeling a sense of dissatisfaction, why not try verbalising what the positive alternative vision is to the situation you are facing. It then gives you the opportunity to consider how realistic what you want might be, and what steps you might be able to begin to take to enable you to get to your vision. In effect it provides us with the opportunity to consider whether our vision is a romanticised unreality, whether it is formed out of a sense of duty (this could be healthy or unhealthy), and if our dream has been prejudiced by our own life experiences. And this takes us right back to the start and the themes of South Pacific.

Click here to book a coaching session with the author of Retune, Dr Dave Wood.


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