Today’s popular culture seems to exploit the concept of dream. There is no single day when I wouldn’t stumble upon an “inspirational” quote posted on beautiful background that is supposed to encourage me to follow my dream and not allow circumstances to let me down on my way to my dream. This approach is considered mainstream and almost common sense. But it assumes that a person to whom it’s addressed knows exactly what his dream is and what direction he should follow. But this is not the case for everyone and merely following the path that someone thinks is right, going through pitfalls and failures, might actually be the wrong thing to do. Why the public image of “highly successful people” that had a long and hard road to success (who hadn’t, right?) became such a typical representation of what each of us should be doing with our life?
In my opinion when a person knows what his dream is, he’s already half done with his journey to success. It’s easy to help someone who knows what he wants. He doesn’t even need any help at all. It is much more difficult (and it’s much more needed) to help someone who is lost in his goals and priorities. These people need way more guidance and menthorship.
I’m writing this because I think people shouldn’t be ashamed that they are still searching for their dream and are not sure where to move. And the public should be more receptive to people who are in their search because it’s much better in the long run to stop doing things that you don’t like in order to save time for a major career change. Sometimes you just shouldn’t ‘keep trying’ forever. And be bold enough to say: ‘enough, I’m moving on’!
Dreams transform over time. What you thought is your dream often ends up being absolutely not what you thought it would be. I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but then I realized this is a bit different from what I thought it would be. And it took me years to admit it for myself.
The mere fact that someone encountered too many obstacles on his way to accomplishing his dream might mean that this is not what he really wants. Coping with rejections and failures might not make him happy in the bottom line. On the contrary, it can destroy his self-confidence and let go precious time that he will desperately need to rebuild his dream.
People should learn how to look inside their own desires and interests. Today we are so obsessed with ‘self-madeness’ that we forget that someone already ‘made us the way we are’. We can build skills, but we won’t be able to rebuild our nature.
In this light I would suggest an alternative to the popular saying “follow your dreams”. Something like “dare to reveal your true dream”, or “dare to admit that your real dream might not be what you are used to thinking”. Dreams are very personal, and nowadays they are very much influenced by social media, popular culture, success stories and sometimes instead of living our own life we unconsciously live other peoples’ lives.