“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.” – Les Brown
Every human being is, be it consciously or unconsciously, aware of his purpose/dream. In other words, every one of us has a dream that we want to achieve before we die and it is the pursuit of that dream that brings us the most happiness.
To most people, however, this dream or sense of purpose has been suppressed as they grew up, by the constant social pressure that they faced everyday. Social pressure is detrimental in two ways:
- If the dream of an individual is not categorised as a high-earning/safe job by society, people, mostly family and friends, will constantly remind that person that his dream is not feasible or that he should first seek a ‘good’ job so that he can earn some income and have some form of job security before pursuing his dream. The reality is, however, that he will keep delaying the pursuit of that dream to the point that it becomes a mere fantasy. For example, Mary wishes to be a writer and John wishes to be an artist. As kids, they were free to indulge in their art; however when it is time to go to university, their family and friends will constantly subdue that thought of becoming a writer/artist and instead encourage them to chose something with a higher career prospect such as law or medicine. As time goes by, they grow accustomed to their job and give up on their dreams because it would require tremendous courage and effort to change their lifestyles.
- Fear of failure. Failure is a vital part of success and as long as someone isn’t willing to fail, he won’t take any risks and thus remain stagnant. Winston Churchill described success as the ability to “go from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm“. What we need to realise, however, is that our current education system does not cater for nor encourage failure, instead it chastises anyone who fails. Since we were kids, we were hammered with the notion that failing is a shameful act but that’s NOT how life works. In life, our greatest teachers are failures, not successes. We need to start learning to fail, or else we will fail to learn.
So my plea to those of you who feel that you are not striving towards your dream: it is not too late to start again. Get back in touch with whatever it is you want to achieve and work for it, for there is no greater happiness than knowing that you are working towards something you truly desire. Learn that it is perfectly okay to fail, as long as you are able to learn from your mistakes and get back up.
If you learnt something here, i encourage to share this post with someone who needs to read this too.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living out fears.” – Les Brown
Bonus: Here’s a brilliant 5 min Tedx Talk about why failure is key