Remember the time when your family members would ask you: what would you like to be when you grow up? Then there you are, confident and full of enthusiasm, announcing, “I want to be a doctor, scientist, lawyer, teacher, president, or artist.”
Fast forward to where you are right now. What changed? Did your dreams stay the same, became bigger, or smaller?
Reality check. Observe the vast majority of people aged 40 and above. Generally, you can sense and feel their skepticism whenever they hear a young person’s big goals. But honestly, these individuals are not to blame. They’ve had their fair share of struggles, failures, and disappointments along the way. Sadly, those who nurtured these negative feelings, were overpowered and caged, leading to hearts that encouraged so much self-doubt within.
Come to think of it. This is how the world conditions us to be: to accept whatever we have, settling for less than what we’re actually worth, and not living up to our full potential. A world that shames us for dreaming big. Because we have an obligation to make, a family to feed, parents to please, material wealth to achieve. We’re bargaining our passion that makes us feel more alive, to these things that we don’t have full control over, and will always be there. Hence, we keep putting off that which deeply matters to us, for something that we think will eventually end, but in reality won’t. Ultimately, we inflict the damage upon our own selves.
So what made me change my view on this? How did a millennial who’s on the verge of losing its fire and of being completely succumbed by the world’s ideals, resisted to persist, and regain her inner child full of dreams within?
1. Limited time. We are put here on earth for a reason. We all have our own invisible hourglass ticking- at times we’re conscious of, but most of the time we tend to take for granted. “You’re 22 and very young. You should enjoy life and make the most out of it while it lasts.”
Here’s the thing that I ask myself whenever I feel like I’m slacking off.
“If you knew that you would die a year from now, how would you be doing things differently?”
Would you still prioritize the external factors over your inner self? At the end of the day, I consciously remind myself, that when the time comes that I’ve already fulfilled my purpose and moved on to the next life, it should be worth the watch. And now at least, for my Dad with God above, I’m doing whatever is humanly possible to live a life worthy of their appreciation.
2. Self-love. If there’s one person that you should nurture and place the highest value for, that would be you. Not your other half, kids, or your family. Now it may sound selfish, but think of it this way. Our own selves are connected to a primordial being that actually is, and should be our main source of strength and love. If we are the cup, and God is the water that fills us up, how can we expect ourselves to actually bring value and fill others, when our own cups are damaged and filled with holes? At times, it’s good to think about yourself first, where circumstances need you to be one. Because you don’t wanna wake up one day, feeling that you lost yourself entirely, by giving in to the world’s demands and ideals. Therefore, once in a while, I ask this:
“In a perfect world, if you had the support of everyone around you, what would you be doing right now?”
3. Desire to be different. To stand out. To make a name of your own. To set a standard that actually matters, and fulfills you to the depths of your being- shying away from the superficial things. Sometimes, weird is actually good, because that means that you don’t have the herd mentality, and you’re like the lion that does not lose itself over the opinion of a sheep.
Hence, ask this to yourself, “If you were to become the next Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Mozart, where hundreds of future generations would take a look inside the life that you’ve lived, what would you want most to be known for?”
In the end, there’s nothing wrong with having a kid at heart and big ambition, so long as you’re not merely dreaming. If you’re taking consistent, mindful steps towards your goals, you have the right to be one. Because the most successful ones were never the settling types. They had the vision, the crazy big dreams, passion, grit, and most of all, the courage to continue fighting against all odds despite repeated failures, in the faith and desire that at the end of the road, will be the life that they’ve designed and hoped for.