What it means to be a dream developer
“What is your biggest dream?”, ask Hermann and Harald, founders of DreamAcademia as soon as I start online call with them. Have you previously heard about dream developer as a profession? This article is about them – two fantastically inspiring persons who founded DreamAcademia – a center of dream development that explores, presents and develops extraordinary dreams of people. You can also call it a community of innovators and inspiring people from all over the world who work together developing their dreams and solutions for a better tomorrow.
We hear more and more stories about people quitting their tiring, uninspiring jobs and starting to do what they are truly driven by. Do you dream to design clothes? Go for it! Do you want to help people to live healthier and you have excellent solution how to do that? Go do it! Or perhaps you feel the happiest on earth when you play a piano and all you wish to do is to fill the hearts of joy people listening to your music? Hermann and Harald would respond to these questions with full confidence – dive into it and give all your heart to it – your true passion and positive energy will not stay unnoticed and the dreams will become a reality.
Dream Academy is based on the teachings of Leonardo da Vinci, a free community whose members fertilize better through networking and general exchange. It stands for an idea that people can share their dreams and will find support to develop them. Hermann and Harald believe that by spreading good stories we can create more of them. If eventually people start doing what they love and what they are the most passionate about – wouldn’t that be the best model of a society?
Hermann Gams and Harald Katzenschlager were very sincere to openly share their story towards dream development as their main occupation.
How and why did your path towards dream development start?
Harald: it was 8 years when I had really bad times or crisis. I have quit my dream job, where I had been coworking for 16 years – I was a steward at airline. I have always wanted to see the world from above, travel and meet various people. I was happy doing that. But after years I realised it had become my comfort zone – I had to change something. That is when I did the step. It was hard. I had no clue what I was going to do afterwards. Soon after I quit my job I traveled around the world with my wife and two daughters (1 ½ and 3 at that time) and then I came back to reality of life and started to question what I would love to do further? How does my life ideally look like without thinking of anything that was told me before? It was difficult to question the very essentials that would set my path further. A mind will keep repeating that you cannot do that, but you shall overcome those thoughts when loading mind with positive thinking. Hilariously, some years later when you look at your life from a bird’s view, you realize that many of the things you do now are exactly the things that your mind once told you are totally unrealistic. The art behind that is attentiveness to realize: this is exactly what I dreamed some time ago. Once you realize that, you will feel a deep thankfulness and you know you have to continue. I realised If I can do that, everybody can do that. It’s deep inside of everyone of us, so we shall listen to what’s within, not what ads on various media channels or your neighbours say.
I am wondering about your past and childhood. Was there something significant or different that could have made you become who you are now?
Hermann: Both we grew up without fathers, but we had loving mothers. Mine was always saying I can do whatever I want and she built a strong confidence inside me. I believed that I would succeed and that I can make my own decisions. She gave me freedom, confidence and encouraged me to follow my dreams. But I was always very serious about everything and truly responsible. I took things serious. And so I was serious about developing my dreams.
Harald: My mum would have been super happy to see me as a flight attendant, however nobody in my family could imagine to work there. My goal was to see the world and in my family nobody could imagine how this is possible and I decided let’s give it a try.
So are there challenges of dream developers now once you followed your intuition and decided to do what you love the most?
Harald: of course there are bad days involved in this process, days of doubts because of lack of financial security, but the feeling of luck that you can do what your heart tells you to do will help you overcome the bad moments. People naturally see value in what we do and that brings us confidence and strength. We get astonished every time when people ask “can you send me an invoice”? It is mindblowing. It simply pays forward. People believe in us. And thus we shall believe in ourselves every time the doubt occurs. But yes, surely there are tough times. In my life there were situations where I had to face the challenges and told my kids with painful heart that this year we could not travel, I was really short on money. You won’t believe, but in this situation kids became dream developers and would be the ones who supported me and kept me up. They asked: “Dad, where you want to travel? We will help you.”. Eventually with this trust everything becomes possible and it, indeed, turned out that we could travel and things just worked out. Uncertainty, instability is the tricky part, but it’s all worth it.
What would you advise for people when they start doing what they love so they keep up and find strength to continue?
Don’t listen to neighbours. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, have strength to leave those behind who discourage you. Practice and train your brain to notice positive things and see signs that would help you on the way, let it be stories, people. Focus on good. Your kids are your power and if they believe in you, how can’t you? Make dream lists.
Wouldn’t it be the best if people from very early age had belief in their capacity and found courage to live from what they love to do the most? How can we foster their dreams from very early age? Perhaps it should be included in schools as a part of education?
Hermann: it is so rewarding to see younger generations already acknowledging this. We love seeing our own kids listening to their inner drives and being free in choosing their own path. We trust in their capabilities. It is so fantastic to see them growing up with belief in their true selves. They have courage to choose their path according to what they think would be their dream to do. For instance, my daughter finished a high school and instead of starting studies as most of her peers did, she travelled a lot and now she is going to start stewardess education. She thinks that would be so amazing to do. And so I support her.
Harald: Besides lighting up the sparkle in our kids, we encourage dream development by going to different universities, organizing workshops, giving speeches to students, telling not only our stories, but many other people’s that we met in different parts of the world; also those that we had as guests at Dreamicon Valley. It is amazing how you can change people’s lives only with this one question “What is your biggest dream?”. Some just suddenly become super silent. Some get confused. It takes awhile to realise that they actually have never had a chance to ask this themselves. It is important to believe that it is possible to live doing what you love the most. Therefore we are also super glad to be featured in a book “Das Silicon Valley mindset” by Dr. Mario Herger, in a section “Paying forward”. With this we hope more and more people will be reached and hear about dream development. At the end, we think that everybody can be a dream developer; you just have to find your personal attitude about that and courage to start developing it.