Alyssa Carson was three years old when she watched an animated TV show wherein the cartoon characters went on a mission to Mars from their backyard. The show gave Carson the greatest dream of her life—travelling to Mars. Encouraged by her father, she pursued this dream all the way until she could finally turn it into reality. The 17-year-old space enthusiast is training under NASA to become an astronaut. If all goes well, she could be the first human to land on Mars in 2033.
Hima Das is a sprinter who made history by winning gold at the 400-metre final at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships. The daughter of a rice farmer, she is the first-ever Indian track and field athlete to achieve this rare feat. From a young age, Hima was a sports enthusiast, but the life that was confined in a remote village was far from pursuing a career in sports. However, this did not deter Hima from kicking the ball around with the neighbourhood boys. Of course, instead of football grounds, it was mud pits next to the rice fields, and in the place of expensive studs, it was barefoot children playing a sport alien to the audience of the far-off hamlet. However, talent doesn’t stay hidden for too long. Hima was eventually spotted by a local coach who decided to train her in athletics.
Chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu is the world’s fourth-youngest Chess Grandmaster. ‘Prag’, as he is fondly called, was only three and a half years old when he learned the rules of the game from his sister. What started out as a hobby, eventually became his passion. And ever since, there’s been no stopping him.
These youngsters have had an ordinary beginning, just like you and me. Yet, they have gone on to lead extraordinary lives. While many of us struggle and grapple with life and purpose, clueless about where we are headed, these young achievers have managed to set their goals and plan a journey towards those goals. With a clear vision, they have chosen their calling, and the life they want to live. So, what does it take to figure out the direction of life?
The courage to dream
When was the last time we allowed ourselves to dream? When was the last time we believed we could achieve anything? Truth be told, not often. We all have dreams, but not all of us know how to take them seriously. More often than not, we simply brush them under the carpet because we think they are unrealistic; that they are farfetched, impossible to achieve or downright crazy.
But, what if we simply started believing in them—no questions asked? Perhaps, they wouldn’t seem so incredible anymore. They’d become our life’s vision, the destination of life’s journey. And then as we’d work to reach that goal, the ‘unrealistic’ dream would manifest in real life. As American actor Christopher Reeve once said, “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”