“I want to become a cricketer,” said the 8-year-old.
“I want to be able to continue playing cricket,” said the 18-year-old.
“I wish I had continued playing cricket,” said the 40-year-old.
“I regret not continuing,” said the 60-year-old.
As we grow older, our zeal to be ambitious reduces in the wake of becoming more practical and due to that apparent practicality, we manage to kill our dreams, eventually, in the end make our lives completely different from what we originally wanted them to be like. My question is simple, why do we do what we do?
An average human has dreams and the life that they dream of is in most cases much happier than the life that they end up living. That dream gives them the hope and aspiration to lead that life someday, but what they fail to realise is if he fails to act on it, it ought to remain nothing but a dream, forever.
Most of us think that we are happy in the life that we are living, although that might not be the case. We are not really living the life that we want to live if that would have been the case, why would there ever be a difference between our dreams and reality?
Some may argue that everybody has different priorities in life but everyone’s main objective is to be happy, even if they are not able to realise their dreams. Let’s take the examples of two such people who have different approaches to attaining happiness.
Person 1: My priority is family, friends and companions, I just want to earn enough to live a comfortable lifestyle. Thus, I do not feel that fighting against the odds to realise my dream is worth it. As long as I can spend 4-5 hours of quality time with my family while maintaining the perfect work-life balance, I am happy.
Great, but come to think of it, this person just reduced the target of the quality time of their life from 24 hours to just about 4 hours in a day. What is astonishing is the fact that they really don’t need to do so. If I pursue what I really like, there would never be any distinction between work and normal life. I won’t treat it as work if that’s something I like doing.
Wouldn’t it be great if each hour of the day, each minute of an hour, each second of a minute feels fulfilling?
Person 2: My priority is to earn a lot of money. Whatever helps me achieve this, I’m ready to spend the rest of my life dedicated towards it.
Great, but why not do something that makes you happy while earning money at the same time? The problem is that we choose our career on the basis of the incentive and then try to give ourselves reasons to be happy with it. Wouldn’t it be better if it were the other way around?
Some might even say that it is the practical thing to do, but I say no. It absolutely isn’t. If we are able to work on something and completely dedicate ourselves to it, in order to reach the pinnacle of success relevant to that particular field, without even having any kind of attachment to its cause, we are really being ambitious without a purpose.
If we can kill our dreams to fulfil some practical objectives, should we not think of the possibility of success if we manage to put that kind of an effort to pursue our dream, our passion, one with which we are attached, one with which we are able to really find a purpose?
In short, in both cases, one evidently has better chances to attain maximum happiness and even success only when one pursues their passion. And what are we scared of? Competition? Uncertainty? Unconventionality?
There is competition and uncertainty in every field today and it is going to stay that way forever. What seems conventional today was completely unconventional some years ago. If you get the chance today to live the dream that you have always wanted to live, without much of an effort and if I come to your doorstep with that opportunity, would you be ready to grab it? If the answer is a yes, you are truly not on the path to achieving maximum happiness.
I say if I have a dream that is different from the life that I’m living, it simply means that I’m just dreaming of living, and not living my dream and I will never be able to do so if I continue to live the way I am currently living. The problem is simple.
We have been taught to live in a way that seems to be the most simple and realistic, a way in which following the herd is considered to be practical, a way in which what seems easy is thought to be the most rewarding, a way in which what seems unconventional ought to be forbidden. The solution is simpler.
Ask yourself a question. What is the one thing that you would want to pursue even if you aren’t paid even a penny for the same? That is indeed your true calling and that is indeed your passion. And once you’ve found it, you just need to give it your all because, in the truest sense, there is seriously nothing but you who stops yourself from living the life that you have always dreamed about.
There is a possibility that you may not agree with my opinion. But if you do, you might reflect upon this for a few more hours and day, but you will soon forget about it in the wake of convenient opportunities that keep coming your way.
We are in an era, where we really need to follow a 3-step approach, Pause, think, reset; and then ask ourselves: is living our dream, and realising our passion really that difficult?
Stop working towards a career that seems rewarding, and instead start building a life that is fulfilling.