This is going to sound like something I totally made up, but I swear I’m telling it exactly as it happened – in a dream I had a few nights ago. It was early morning, actually, because my alarm went off and woke me up before it was finished. But that was good, because it kept the dream fresh and vivid enough for me to write it all down before it drifted away.

In the dream, I was attending a meeting of a women’s networking group. It was one I’d never been to before, and I didn’t really know anyone there. One of the women started talking about being fired up, and it seemed to be an inside joke. Everyone else knew what she was talking about except me. So she explained.

The woman had worked for a very small company that was going through hard times. Other people had been getting laid off at regular intervals, but she had managed to hold on to her job, in part because she and the woman she worked for – who was the owner of the company – worked very well together and had developed a strong professional friendship. Hearing this woman talk, I could easily tell how much loyalty, respect, and appreciation they felt toward each other.

But eventually, her time came. Her boss called her in to her office and told her she had to let her go. But she gave her such enthusiastic encouragement and such powerful praise – as well as glowing references – that the woman felt as though she’d been promoted rather than fired.

“I feel like I got fired up,” the woman told me in the dream. “And I’ve been fired up ever since.”

Still dreaming, I said to the woman, “This is exactly the kind of thing I like to write about in my column. May I?”

She hesitated before answering. Understandably, since we didn’t really know each other, and she wasn’t familiar with my writing. So I assured her – as I do in real life when I’m planning to write about things that other people said or did – that I would protect her privacy, and there would be nothing nasty or negative in anything I wrote. Before I could say anything else, my alarm clock went off and woke me up. Which was good in another way, as it meant I didn’t need to get the woman’s permission or approval before writing about her.

I could refer to this whole incident as “living in a dream world,” but wouldn’t that indeed be a great place to be? Just imagine a world where mutual loyalty, respect, and appreciation were the norm, not the exception. And not just between bosses and their employees, but among us all.

I can’t change how other people think or act, but I can start by working on the loyalty, respect and appreciation I show to others.  And I’m willing to bet it will have a positive ripple effect. I hope so. This may be an idea I dreamed up while I was sound asleep, but now – wide awake – I’m pretty fired up about it.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on July 23, 2015.
©Betty Liedtke, 2015

What are you “fired up” about (in a good way)? I’d love to hear about it! I welcome your comments, but please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog. This is to protect all of us from unwanted spam.