Friday, August 14, 2009

Deciding to Dream

When I was five I wanted to be a football player. I was almost certain that it was going to happen. The reason: because I loved it. I loved playing it, watching it and thinking about it.

Most children have similar dreams and aspirations. There is nothing they cannot do. It is inspiring to see a child believe they can do whatever they set their mind to. They do not care about probabilities or difficulties; if they want something they will go for it.

I love this idea, but in the back of my mind I cannot help but think: how realistic does a dream have to be to chase it?

What does realistic mean?

One of the hardest parts in deciding whether to chase something you really want is deciding is it realistic? Is it worth it? These are good questions to ask.

If you are a single mother raising four kids, then moving to Hollywood to chase your acting dream is risking a lot. Becoming a famous actress would be great, but you have four kids depending on you. To a certain extent this internal cost-benefit calculation is important to ensure you are not risking too much for too little.

But what is realistic is different for each person. We define what is realistic. Sometimes putting all your effort into accomplishing a goal with a small shot of succeeding is worth it because you love what you are fighting for. If you want it more than others you will probably out work them. If you out work everyone else you will probably succeed. Several other factors come into play, but these are the biggest.

If you want something bad enough, who I am to tell you that you cannot do it? Who is anyone else to tell you that you cannot do something? Everyday I am amazed at the things people accomplish. The mother of four could have all the talent and drive in the world and only needs to be discovered.

All of this taken into consideration, we can learn something by being more like children. While sometimes our childish fantasies fade, as we get older new dreams emerge. Dreams of being a better person or having a better job. Dreams of a better life. Do not be afraid to be like a child and follow your heart.

I have a what?

It is one thing to dream, it is an entirely different thing to turn these dreams into reality.

Big dreams require big drive. Reaching goals and dreams requires you to want it. To overcome people telling you that you are not good enough. To overcome the countless difficulties you will encounter along the way.

The only thing worse than chasing your goals and failing is deciding not to even try. Not deciding to chase your dreams is a decision. It is one big decision yielded from countless small decisions of inaction culminating in a life of accepting what you have been given. A decision to be like everyone else.

Why settle for average? Why be happy with just getting by? When do you actually go for it? There rarely is a defining moment that will tell you to just go for it. You have to create it.


The hardest part about chasing these dreams is failure. Failure is scary. No one likes to fail. But chasing your dream and failing is better than living a life filled with regrets. Though you may not reach the ultimate goal, the things you gain from chasing it and the experiences you go through are truly invaluable. And when you do set out for a dream and succeed...well there truly is nothing like it.

Photo: Hamed Masoumi

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