What is your dream? Or more importantly, what was your dream?. That dream that you told adults excitedly as a child but got ashamed to say as you become older. The raw dream that brightened up your childhood and made living every day interesting. Did it change? Why? Did you or others think it was unrealistic or impractical? Did you start and fail? Did you read some statistics and decided to “wake up” from the said dream? This is not your normal write-up telling you to “F*** all people and chase your dreams”. I’m here to point out an unconscious reason that holds you back that you might not have seen. That is the box.
It’s all around you. Growing up as an adult means gaining more experience than a child but it also rids you of something special to children: innovation and imagination. As an adult, the world tells you to follow your dream as usual, yet, subtly manipulates you into boxes. For example, you wanted to be a doctor as a child -one that takes care of people- probably after seeing a doctor treat a patient. You then try to nurture this dream and finally you enter medicine. Medicine is understandably divided into different subjects to ease your learning and assimilating of its parts. After medicine, the world then nudges you again into a speciality because that’s the norm- to have to specialise in a branch of medicine. What happens at this stage is, because of these boxes created, some boxes have become more spacious or more lucrative or more elite than other boxes, your choice then becomes cloudy. At the end of the day, you end up becoming a doctor and fulfilling your dream but you might also be trapped in a work cycle you hate and you don’t understand. Why is this? Your childhood dream wasn’t actually fulfilled because the world made you give up the idea of a “doctor who cares for people” for the more realistic adult version.
So ask yourself, “why should I let the word determine what the adult version of my dream is?”. The world’s already doing a not-really-okay job of making you into an adult. Why are you trusting it with your dream? If a company is renowned for startups but is known to short-change the owner of the idea, why should you bring to it your ideas? You could just start it yourself because at this point the failure to success ratio of your venture is similar and you will be on the receiving end of the outcome eventually.
In the next few decades, due to nature and economic predictions, the world will have shifted far from where we were and where we are. So do not let your dreams be limited by principles from the last century. Ask yourself “what exactly is my full dream?” not the watered-down or supposedly practical version.
Write it down and plaster it everywhere around you so you can internalize it. Embrace the diversity of your dream. Let it then guide every step you make. You’ll see that there are actually a whole lot of different paths to get to where you want to be. “I want to be a doctor who cares for people” will become anything from a surgeon to a biomedical engineer to a lab scientist to a paramedic to a lifesaving bystander all the way to a writer and Actor separately and all at once.
That flexible version is what will keep you afloat in the tough natural selection of life. When things get tough, confusing or dark, your dream will be able to transform into a new shape and help you out. Thus, You’ll wake up every day to fulfil different versions of your dream. You’ll feel less and less stagnated.
Let us make this the future of our dream. Let’s be happier healthier adults that make a happier healthier society.