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One of the deliberations in life is the many choices we get to make, and then the question if any chosen way makes sense – in both practical and emotional ways. Making a choice can be simple, deciding between a yes or a no; or choosing the lesser of two evils when things get a little convoluted and no best route in sight. Regardless, having a choice is a gift in itself and more so if we get to choose something compelling like going after our dreams! It’s really of choices, dreams and eventually being our true selves.
What dreams are made of
Chasing dreams seems to become an uphill task as we grow older. I’ve heard friends speak about ‘losing the momentum’ or ‘the spark’, having inertia and what-not. Could this be partly due to life getting more complicated as we load on more complex experiences, or partly because we accumulate stuff over time and so have more to lose if we should one day decide to take off on a different tangent?
In my mind, a dream is much more than just an interest that can easily go away with the passing of time or changes to our life’s circumstances. It is evergreen and conjures hope for a better you at any point in time. Dreams come in a multitude of manifestations. They can be ambitious, like to become a millionaire by 40 and travel the world in 80 days; or take on a more humble form. Whichever the stance, the essence of it is compelling, unwavering and tend to come up early in life when we are young and raring to go! What were your best dreams when you were say, 20?
For me, there were 2 of them: (1) to be a mother, (2) to be a blogger/entrepreneur and run a successful home-based online business. These were strong impulses that resonated in me, stemmed from my natural tendency to cheer little people on, as well as a deep desire to create, and build things up from scratch (hence, my passion for DIY stuff too!)
The best time to pursue dreams
However, what I found out sometime back was that despite our best efforts at strategizing and planning, there are things in life that don’t always pan out exactly the way we want them to. Honestly, the analytical side of me utterly hates it this way because it feels like I have no control over my future. Take for instance me becoming a first-time mom. My motherhood dream took me 5 years to realise with a traumatic experience in between, but I’m glad I stood by the faith that I’d become one some day, because that was exactly what happened! I’m happy where I stand today with my 3 awesome kids but looking back, there was no best time it seems that dictated this motherhood dream of mine. There was without a doubt, the unknown of what could or could not be that was very uncomfortable to deal with!
And so in the pursuit of dreams, the more appropriate question is whether it is worth it to step out of our comfort zones and put ourselves out there into the unknown. With limited resources, what would we also need to give up in order to give in to a new pursuit?
For me, I had lived the corporate life for the last decade and fast forward today, I’m still wondering of dreams unfulfilled despite being thankful for the pluses that came with holding a corporate job. Paradoxically, it’s a mental game that we deal with if we don’t follow our hearts. In this respect, I’d say it’s a lot less safe to be in the comfort zone and lose out on the what-ifs! What I do also know to a certain extent, is that dreams do materialize if we care enough to prepare and position ourselves for them. Some people classify this as the ‘Law of Attraction’ and there are well-known resources out there on this, one of which was vouch by one of my all-time favourite celebrity gurus, Oprah Winfrey. By preparing ourselves, this also indirectly puts us through the process of assessing what we can afford to trade in, in return for the promise our dreams bring.
The proverbial pot of gold at rainbow’s end
At the end of the day, we only have one shot at life and in the long run, it is worthwhile to play to our strengths, pursue strong interests and basically choose to do things that exemplify our values in order to realise that authentic version of ourselves. Trust me, as we grow older, we’ll instinctively find ourselves wanting to be less like the next person and more like who we really are inside. It’s a force within that pulls us to think, feel, behave in a certain way, but we breathe easier and are at peace because what we do on the outside aligns with what we are on the inside. What’s your pulling force?
I’m naturally inclined to treat others as equals (even with my kids!) and relate in an easy-going manner. I value genuine exchanges, believe in building people up, doing good, and passionate about cutting excesses because that gives me the space to get creative and re-think convention. At the end of the day, life is more than just logic. Sometimes, magic comes from feeling that something deep down inside and tackling what life hands you from the heart. Wish us all much luck to go with the flow and pursue our dreams!
Let’s he-ack it!