My dreams sort of fall into one of these categories:
1. Running, being awesome. Usually involves escaping some higher power (think Jason Bourne) or blitzing my way through to an objective (think Halo Reach's "Deliver Hope" trailer). I don't normally fight, but it's more of a "dodge everything and look badass." Occasionally extremely nonsensical (run before the teacher gives you a twinkie!).
2. Confusion. I'm at a job or something and I'm being told that I'm supposed to be doing something. My dream self sort of goes through the motions right, but my brain is running on "WTF?" Bolstered by the common occurence of non-euclidian architecture (like that door from Matrix Reloaded's chateau scene)
3. Surviving. Nightmare material. I'm alone in some sort of scenario - or, at least, anyone I meet tends to die within a few minutes. Some higher power (usualy an expy of Slenderman/whatever SCP spooked me that day) is stalking me, and while I'm escaping random attacks, everyone around me dies horribly. Often, I'm actually allowed to live in order to watch other people get slaughtered/taken to elsewhere. Eventually, I'm the last person standing, and I wake up.
4. Environmental. Something I'm doing where I fell asleep influences the dream heavily. Music tends to shift the dream to match whatever genre it is (which is why I sleep with good running-dream music, to promote that category); physical anomalies are often reflected in the dream (blood-restricted limbs are wounded, burned, or otherwise effected); lack of balance or falling sensations are almost exactly reflected in the dream (if I'm falling out of my seat, my last dream moments are of me starting to fall). These dreams are extremely disorienting, especially in the case of physical conditions. Once I dreamt my arm was being eaten by ants (childhood flashback
), when I woke up my arm was tingling from being asleep and I flipped out.
The themes are always the same, though. Either I'm running from something, sacrificing myself to stop something, or hopelessly watching everyone around me get destroyed.And there was that one dream about the strip club but that was just
once twice a few times a while back
What I think is that people who have "mission-oriented" dreams are the sort of folks who are feeling like their lives don't have much purpose, presently. Dreams are, in part, subconcious fantasy, so the habitual dreaming about a set mission, especially one with observable implications, is a sort of wish fulfillment for a life with greater meaning. I say this from personal experience of my own feelings, anyone else care to corroborate?