Sunday, January 5, 2014

Your Dreams that 'Never Came True'

Perhaps once you too were influenced by that dreaming big culture, and some time ago you dared to dream big. And then the dream never came true. You became so disappointed that you stopped dreaming, and now actively avoid that dreaming big culture. In other words, you would rather become old prematurely rather than get hurt again. You just can't let yourself get hurt again. Perhaps you also know quite a few friends in the same situation too.

That really doesn't surprise me much. I know quite a few friends who feel the same way too.

Let me ask you one thing: how long did you give that dream to come to fruition? One year? Maybe two or three years? After all, in the movies dreams always come true in a year or two, or even sooner, right? Therefore, if it hasn't come true in three years or so, it's surely time to quit, right? By the way, it wasn't just that it hadn't come true in three years, I worked so hard during this period and have absolutely nothing to show for it. Shouldn't I just quit trying?

The truth is, there's a great chance that the dream which 'never came true' wasn't doomed, you just gave up too soon. As I said before, dreams take much longer to achieve nowadays, even though ironically people these days have much less patience.

When you think about it, working hard on something for five years or more and having nothing to show for it isn't really unusual nowadays. It also makes perfect sense. When you have a dream and you set out to achieve it, you have almost unlimited hope and energy that you can pour into it. But the world is so big and complex nowadays, and there are so many possibilities everywhere. Just searching through these possibilities and opportunities to find the right path for you can take years. And with a complex system comes more barriers too. This applies to relationships, careers, and goals of all types. Realistically, you may need to work on something for ten years or more before you see some results, and it may take even longer for you to feel like 'you have arrived'. Meanwhile, if you don't have the right strategy and the right worldview, your energy and optimism can fizzle out within a few years, when you are likely just at the beginning of the long journey.

Popular culture is unhelpful here again. I guess movies generally have a limited time frame, and it also sounds not hopeful enough from a marketing perspective if dreams are shown to unfold throughout many years. But way too many movies show dreams that come true within a year or two, and that has created unrealistic expectations in many people, similar to teenage millionaire celebrities and 20-something IT CEOs. The fictional world is reinforcing an illusion of the real world here, and it just makes the possibility of almost overnight success all the more real. But it is ultimately unhelpful, because people inevitably find that their dreams haven't come true yet two years down the road, and that false hope turns to despair.

Therefore, it's time to set yourself free from the dreaming prison now. If you have a dream that 'never came true', it's time to have a look at it again. Surely, many years may have passed, and conditions may be very different in your life and in your worldview. You may need to adjust many parameters of the dream. But if you still believe in the spirit of the dream, the essence of it, that is all that matters. It's time to give your dream(s) another go.

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