Dreams are great things to have. They’re something that we can get up to and hope for. But in life, we all need to have plans – workable plans – to reach our dreams (except if you want to become a unicorn, then carry on sleeping and dream away). But this is real life, not dreamland. We need to be realistic and recognize our own boundaries, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to go beyond them.
Here’s the thing about dreams; they are wonderful destinations in life but the journey to those destinations sucks. There’s a load of mountain-climbing, ocean-swimming, desert-walking and forest-crawling. Dreams are like love.
“It is a risk to love. What if it doesn’t work out? Ah, but what if it does?” – Peter McWilliams
Except this time, change ‘love’ to ‘dream’.
If your dream is to become a famous celebrity like Nicki Minaj or Ed Sheeran, then why the hell not go for it? You may not end up being super-famous like them, or you might. At least you can say that you tried and that’s the most important thing. If you have spoken to many older people out there, you will come to realize that one of their greatest regrets is always about not going for what they truly want to do, to deprive themselves of a ‘could have been’ and to dream about imaginary success stories.
But if you’re planning to throw away everything to be a celebrity, then really, really think again. As bitter and pessimistic it may sound, you need to accept the fact you might not make it. There are more than 7 billion people in this world; many have the same dreams as you and only a handful actually make it. Then there is this thing about being a one-hit wonder which wouldn’t carry you far in whatever glamorous career you had hoped for. The cruel reality then dictates that you need to do something plausible to make ends meet, because what are dreams if you can’t even feed yourself? Ah, cruel reality.
You need to carve a practical career for yourself, one that can feed you and make you proud but grateful. You can use your free time to pursue your own dreams. The only downside to this is the human’s lack of discipline to deprioritize work because we want to climb the corporate ladder, or need to make ourselves relevant to keep our jobs. We find ourselves spending a huge chunk of our time on work that we thought would matter. In actual fact, they don’t. Everyone, even the CEO (maybe not Elon Musk), in any companies, is replaceable and no one is indispensible. Do your work well, but leave time for yourself to pursue something else that is more important and is bound to bring you more joy than anything. Unless it’s your own company, selling your soul to your work and to the corporate world is akin to waiting for the storm in your teacup to overflow and crack the porcelain that is your soul.
In your pursuit for your dreams, you will fall again and again. People will be gathering around you to say, “I told you so” and, “Just give it up”. Don’t listen to them.
Dreams are what make us, us.
They are our motivation and hope. Just because one dream doesn’t work, doesn’t mean the next one won’t. There are many people out there who tried and tried again, improving each time. It doesn’t mean that they are stubborn; it just means that they are persistent. But if you’re trying the same thing over and over again, you need to evaluate yourself.
Dreams are wonderful, but there is a difference between being a dreamer and realist. Contrary to popular belief, everyone can be both; it’s just a matter of adopting which persona to what degree at which point of time. No one will tell you these truths; they’ll assume you know because it’s “common sense”. But at the end of the day, like the mantra goes, just ‘go with the flow’.