Unlike most of my other posts – this will be a very personal one where I’ll share with you my life story, my past experiences and explain one of the main reasons I started this blog.
My previous 4 blog posts were all related to one topic: dreams and a sense of purpose. The main reason why I chose this theme is because I have noticed something that is incredibly saddening: people aren’t making full use of their potential.
You may think I’m being melodramatic or just want to capture your attention but bear with me while I share my story.
Primary school – I was a bright kid, always working hard and getting good grades. I had the habit of finishing my classwork very quickly which led to me being quite the troublemaker for the rest of the class as I was often bored. Life was good haha. Now comes secondary school, Continue reading “#5 – Be your own hero: My story”
“There are two ways to reach the top of an oak tree—you can climb it or you can sit on an acorn and wait.” – Zig Ziglar
In my last few blogs i explained why dreaming is important and why we shouldn’t let our fears and doubt get in the way of us realising our dreams. I also reblogged a brilliant post by my friend Colas that explains why most of us are making excuses.
So now that you know all of this – what’s left? You need to put in the work.
No one will climb that mountain for you, no one will write that book for you. It’s up to you alone to start taking action. Having dreams without taking action won’t get you anywhere. Two main obstacles that you will face along the way are: Continue reading “#4 – Work”
Mental masturbation can be defined as “any pleasurable or stimulating but unproductive mental activity that is usually used as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action”.
I first came across this term a few months ago and it really hit me how so many of us are doing it unconsciously. In my opinion, there are two main reasons why we mentally masturbate:
- The first category includes people that have drifted away from their dreams and sense of purpose and thus their job or daily activities don’t provide them with enough internal stimuli in the form of happiness/positive emotions. As a result, in their spare time they search for external stimuli to make them feel good – which results in mental masturbation. For example: John wanted to be a businessman, however he had to settle to be an accountant and is now stuck in a 9-5 job that he hates. Everyday, he wakes up and goes to work and comes back home unhappy and discontent. This is when he will search for external stimuli to make him feel good about himself.
- The other category comprises of people that are aware of what their dreams but have something holding them back (usually fear). Therefore, as a way to not having to face the fact that they are only fantasising and not actually doing anything that brings them further to that dream, they mentally masturbate. They will use their time to watch successful people, read about what they do, fantasise about how they could one day be successful, etc. – without ever taking action. They are still experiencing the feelings they’d get if they were successful but they aren’t any closer to their dreams.
This is an overly simple description of what mental masturbation is and sadly, Continue reading “#3 – Quit masturbating”
“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 Continue reading “#2 – Society killed the dreamer”
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”- T.E. Lawrence
The world is filled of dreamers. Or at least, it used to. When we were kids, we were filled with dreams and had very clear visions of what we wanted to achieve growing up but, somewhere along the way, we stopped dreaming. Instead, we drifted into fantasy land. While dreams and fantasies are very similar, there are a few important distinctions:
- Dreams are made up of desired goals or a sense of purpose. Fantasies, h0wever, are only improbable mentally constructed images about the life one wishes he could live.
- Dreams require action and commitment. They demand your time and sweat whereas fantasies require only your imagination.
- Dreams have deadlines as they need to have a very specific desired outcome. Fantasies can be forever changing and will last indefinitely.
- Dreams produce results. Fantasies don’t. When you act on your dreams, it changes your life for the better. If you don’t, your dreams turn into fantasy and you remain stagnant.
- Dreams stretch you whereas fantasies stretch your imagination. Dreams have the power to make you grow and evolve whereas fantasies will only grow your imagination.
There are multiple reasons why one stops dreaming. For example: social pressure, lack of motivation/inspiration, self-doubt and fear of failure; All those will be discussed in future posts on my blog, but the reality is this: We only have one life and if you don’t start pursuing your dreams, who will?
So stop fantasizing and start dreaming again.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.