As a young child listening to Cliff Richard’s song, ’we are going on a summer holiday’, I became fascinated by a line in the lyrics which was, “… to make our dreams, come true…” Since then the subject of ‘dreaming’ has been one of fascination for me. Being an ardent fan of Napoleon Bonaparte, and reading his several biographies, who also talked of ‘dreams’, I remain committed to the significance of dreams - inclusive of dreams while sleeping, but not in the category of ‘day-dreaming’, in the over-all context of ambitions.
We only live once-but if we work it right, once is enough. The need to measure yourself regularly against the size of your dreams cannot be under-estimated. Dreaming is about possibilities lying is the realm of achievement, if only focused upon, with sweat on the brow.
Most of us in our peculiar education system, do not decide what discipline to study, it is mostly done by others, like the parents, elder siblings, good friends or even teachers and professors. While they may be correct in the selection of your choice of the subject to study and graduate upon, not all of them, may have the ability to gauge correctly, what you represent, in terms of unique skills, thoughts, aspirations, dreams and of what you think you want to do? And above all, what you are good at?
The consequence is that a very large majority of medical doctors, who had taken a prestigious and limited seat in a reputed medical university, at the cost of many other aspirants, decide upon qualification to appear in CSS examination or wish to end up with a job in the private sector, sans hospital on health care areas. Such of these who move according to dictates of others, are essentially pushed to follow the dreams of others, and not the dreams, they may have been dreaming since childhood.
Dream, for it is key to success. Life is a one-way street and nobody returns. Do now, what it takes to pursue your own dreams. Any delay will prolong achievement or at worse you can become directionless. Be passionate about dreams; the end of passion is the heralding of repentance. Regrets give despair, not hope.
One must engage oneself in doing only that which we believe to have a unique and distinct strength. An engineer who ends up being a great, singing pop singer, actually may have pursued his dream, but in the process he may have driven out another student who may have passionately wanted to be an engineer. We find such individuals revealing I did become a doctor, engineer, artist or banker, because my parents desired so, while I had desired to be something else. It is a pity we loose sight of our dreams and also of our uniquely blessed gifts from Mother Nature. If a student is good at numerics, it is criminal to push him to take a masters in English literature and vice versa.
Dear readers, particularly the younger ones, can you recall when and at what price, you pledged your dreams, aspirations and ambitions, to an institution. Once getting and joining the then perceived ‘prize job’, you have to either genuinely buy and believe in the ethos of that organisation, or else, here is the beginning of a life of corporate deception, that you may begin to lead. And more as an appreciation of the wrong we do to ourselves, most of us wake up late to the reality of being a peg in the round hole.
Unfortunately this is usually the time when the organisation begins to look for sheep to be slaughtered on the perceivably noble bench of ‘right-sizing’; ‘re-organisation’ or sometimes have to face blatantly remarks, “I don’t like your face, so you ought to be on the guillotine platform”. This is within inverted commas because this was said in real time by a CEO to his report in the aviation related industry.
Now look for a job within the same industry, which by definition is narrow, the possibilities become far and few; and since the naturally gifted talents remained undiscovered and unpolished, it becomes increasingly difficult to alternate between various disciplines. Lesson, it is best to focus on what you are good at and carry therefrom and acquire a job and assignment within its realms.
Compulsions of family life above can weaken and impact upon the decision making process. The fear of abandoning one job for another or moving into a different industry is a wrecking experience for resolve and determination. Managers in the age bracket of 30-45year get to be hostages to the dreams of their better halves; sometimes the children and sometimes to other demanding perspective relating to the threat of timely rental payments, insurance premiums, education fees, utility bills, etc. This is the age bracket when an individual gives his best to whatever he is engaged in; in later years we tend to evaluate, the assignments, against the fulfillment of our obligations.
So, it is clear that very early in life, each of us unbeknownst to us, resort to jettisoning our dreams, aspirations and unique ambitions one after another. We start to live and lead someone else’s life. Most parents, who fail in their own individual pursuits of their own dreams, without realizing the fatal consequences of it, push their off springs to achieve and accomplish, where they failed. Such attitude is perilous to the growth of naturally blessed talent.
Rapheal was a great painter, but any attempt to push him to be an orator like Socrates, would have meant that he ends up abandoning what he is good at and ventures to do what he is not good at or may have no excellence attending to his effort. Naturally gifted talent should ultimately form your profession. Any dichotomy will not result in excellence of performance. Madan Mohan Started off as a singer, but soon realised, he was more good as a music composer. He changed gears.And what wonderful and lilting tunes, he belted out decades after decades.
Those wish to live in the valley can never get over the hill, to see what lies below. Death is by quitting desires . It is only ambition that makes people diligent. Montaigne aptly says, “Dreams are faithful interpreters of our inclinations, but there is art required to sort and understand them”. Dreams have no limitations or demarcation of time and space, so they allow each of us to be quietly and safely insane every moment of our lives.
Most of us professionals, clock in and clock out, each day. We do a job that gives us a pay-check at the end of a stated period. Over time we become a victim to the monthly pay-check. We entrap ourselves into a mould of thinking, that the present job is the ‘ultimate in life’. Many work for a life time at single institution. In doing so, they also go completely astray in defining to themselves what loyalty to an organisation is about? It is a long drawn diminishing of productivity - a good yard stick for judging loyalty! Not, at all, Enslavement to a job or an organisation is no reflection of any loyalty. Such commitments have no new in -built loyalty to value.
Dreams are mostly pure. They have no room for deception or hypocrisy. To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream: (Anatole France).
Dream manfully and nobly, and thy dreams shall be Prophets (Edward Lytton). Dreams matter, in what they are about. Those who only dream of the past and not of the future are condemned to unhappiness in life. See, the recent past for short time and see the longest the near future. It is a managerial poverty at its best if any supervisor fails to inspire team mates to dream. Dare and dream should be the slogan for adoption in life. I have seen those who resolutely stick to their dreams, they found life advancing and unfolding itself in the direction of their own dreams, so that they ultimately found themselves extremely successful. Follow your dreams…
The writer is a free lance contributor