chasing the dream

Chasing the dream

Author Radhakrishnan Pillai takes a modern day approach to explain Chanakya's invaluable principles on life.
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The world is full of people overcoming difficult situations and achieving success in the face of unimaginable odds. Entrepreneurs who were broke, musicians who were rejected, painters who couldn’t make ends meet, actors who delivered flops and then rose from the ashes like a phoenix—you get the drift. People who had no means to succeed—the means that we take for granted—have managed to scale mountains that lesser mortals can only dream of.

We are all unique in our own exquisite ways. Some of us want to write, some itch to dance, some want to build, some just dream of packing up and travelling. However, our reality is being stuck in a daily routine that does not leave us with much time to pursue our dreams. Many accept their fate, often venting on social media and among friends. But a few of us give our all to desperately wriggle out of drudgery’s death grip.

So, what is it that sets the two apart—people who chase their dreams and those who let go?

Psychologist and hypnotherapist Tishya Mahindru Shahani observes, “People are usually torn between dreams and their immediate materialistic desires. While regular jobs offer instant gratification, chasing a dream requires patience and discipline. Those who do not have the patience, find themselves stuck in monotonous jobs and getting immediate results, but losing themselves and their dreams in the long run.”

The internet has a plethora of quotes suggesting that chasing your dream should be your priority, everything else can take a back seat. Books and movies too depict that the otherwise sad and dull protagonist always has a tonne of adventures in the end, even if possibilities looked bleak at the start. But in reality, dreams haven’t been easy to chase, and we mostly find a way to talk ourselves out of them. Here’s looking at some of the most common doubts and excuses that we need to triumph over:

What will people say?

This question has killed more dreams than anything else. When you care more about what everyone else is thinking of you instead of what matters most to you, you inhibit yourself. The fear of criticism is such that you prefer to do nothing and not be talked about rather than do something and be at the risk of judgement.

Focussing and stressing on the opinion of others will continue to hold you back from doing something potentially ground-breaking for yourself. It is important to understand that ‘people’ are not aliens. Everyone around you is struggling with panic, fears, and worries, just like you. The magic motto is to simply ignore the doubtful stares, invest your energy in fostering your interests, and follow the heart.

There will always be someone who seems to be doing better than you, is better looking than you, or has better credentials than you. But they can never be you.

Can I even do this?

While it is normal to sometimes question your abilities and doubt yourself, it is important to overcome the feeling before it takes over your confidence. If you find yourself doubting your idea before starting up your own business or questioning your talents before signing up for the competition, you need to remind yourself that most people learn on the go. Those who chase their dreams simply dive in headfirst and learn from every setback and mistake. Eventually, they get a hang of it and so will you.

I don’t have the time for this

News flash! You are not getting any younger, this is the youngest you will ever be. So, if you think you don’t have the time or bandwidth to follow your dream at this moment, remember you will never find the time unless you make it. Everyone we know is busy, it is almost like a fashion statement to “not have time”, but those who make it big ensure they created time and space for what needed to be done to achieve their dream. Be it taking night classes to finish college or taking up an extra job to save up for that world tour. Everyone who built their dreams did so by working extra hard for it, not by spending the weekends scrolling on the phone or in front of the television screen. Remember, anything you want to achieve is worth the extra work.

I have nothing new to offer

You are unique, your contribution will be too. There may be many similar to you but none of them are you. While someone may be doing extremely well at your dream job, your contributions will still have something different and distinctive to offer. Each of us has our own sets of talents, skills, personal vision, values, and perspectives for any given situation. There will always be someone who seems to be doing better than you, is better looking than you, or has better credentials than you. But they can never be you. Trust your abilities and go for it!

The dream is yours, and so it is your responsibility alone. It’s your job to not let your aspirations become splinters in your mind. Maybe the right time is now, or maybe it’s later. Whatever you decide, regretting it is not an option.

You make the final choice—follow your dreams or let them go forever.

1 Comment
  • Tishya Mahindru
    on November 24, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Mallika you’ve expressed it beautifully!!

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