It's a fairly common question. It's a question that we ask people we're just getting to know. But what does that tell us, really? I mean, sure it tells us where they are in life right now, but in many cases, it's not going to be the most interesting thing about the person.
I know in my case, asking what my dreams are would reveal far more about me than asking what I do. Follow it up with "what are you doing to achieve those dreams?" and you've effectively got the important bits of my life story covered with just two questions.
For me there's very little that's more exciting than seeing someone's face light up when they talk about something they're passionate about. It really takes me back to when I had coffee with a friend at the start of last year; I was in the wrong job and we were talking about it, but then the conversation switched to mental health. When I'd finished talking, my friend said, "that's the first time you've smiled since we sat down".
When we have the ability to turn someone's day around just by giving them the opportunity to talk about what they love and potentially starting the thought process of "how do I go about making my dreams a reality?", why would we pass up an opportunity to do so? I promise you that the change in their face and body language will be magical and infectious.
Here's today's homework: ask the next person you see what their dreams are and what they're doing to achieve them. You'll make them happy, and it'll probably make you feel pretty good too.