Reality bites, but you can never bite reality. And at times, you will be forced to face the fact that sometimes it is better not to turn your dreams into reality.
When we were young, we were always asked what we would like to be in the future. Our dreams were far-fetched, yet they were tolerated because we were given the benefit of the doubt and because we were just children.
But in the process of growing up, we’re exposed to the messy reality of the things that are possible and those that can only be true when we are asleep.
One example may be the love of arts we had when we were still young. We were inclined to draw, to sing, and to dance. But such fondness for art may fade, or may be abruptly cut by people surrounding us who are “concerned” with our future. Many will say that an occupation in the arts will not bring food to our plate or lead us to greener pastures. Some of us are cut out for an artistic career, but others are not. It’s important to recognize the difference.
Your dreams might be selfish.
There are some personal interests that can indeed change the world. Rene Descartes, for example, developed the philosophy of the scientific method. This was the result of his dream of reforming and unifying the sciences. We can also name the well-known Beatles, who auditioned in Decca but were turned down. But now they’re considered as a musical legend.
However, some dreams are far too selfish, rather than beneficial for the common good. At times in pursuing a dream, we forget that there are other people surrounding us who need us. And at times, even these people must be sacrificed for us to pursue a dream. So you want to be a world renowned painter, but you already have a family to feed and the food that must be bought was turned to paint and brush? Maybe it’s about time to reconsider your priorities in life. Just like a painting, it’s not always colorful. You must make alterations.
Your dream is just a guide.
As we grow older, we develop a deeper thirst and hunger for what we want to become in the near future. Yet, most of the time we are deviated by circumstances that might either make our determination stronger or make us realize that it’s not worth it. The cost of living becomes higher, health risk soars, priorities change and options grow for other ventures. We might not realize it, but at some point we just need to acknowledge that we fell in love with the journey rather than the result. Then surely, your dream was just a guide to something better.
You dream to impress, not to express.
We were rich in innocence when we were young. But now that we are grown-ups, we are measured by our paycheck, our car, our educational background or our status in society. And we can rarely just say that we dream of being a lawyer to defend the poor, not for the money or the title alone. In most cases, why do we want to pursue these sought-after professions? Is it the money? Is it the fame? Or is it really the full realization of our expressed advocacy? Sometimes, wrong choice of underlying motivation can lead us astray.
We no longer live in a society in which “the dreams that we dare to dream really do come true,” or where “bluebirds fly in the sky, why can’t I?” We are now living in a world where not all dreams are possible, and birds can fly and humans can’t (at least not without help from technology). So don’t expect to fly like a bird, because we have airplanes to do that for us. Wake up!