Earlier this week I was asked the question, “Does staying in the same company for almost a decade put you at a disadvantage like forgetting about your goals and dreams and moving further away from them?” The question was asked by a third year student and at the time I thought, “Wow, you have a lot of growing up to do” but after a little reflection I realized that maybe he was onto something. While I could answer this question in the negative truthfully, I think there is something gloomy about losing the “unrealistic” dreams and goals we had as children. How many of us can even remember what our dreams were 20 years ago?
At this point, many of you would argue that this is part of life and this is what it means to become an adult and my counter-argument is “Why does it have to be this way? Who says we have to forget about our goals and dreams and why must we stop pursuing them?” I recently read an article by Robin Sharma who stated that “If you are not being laughed at a lot your dreams are too small.” And this made me realize that the people we tend to laugh at the most are those who with the ridiculous ideas and crazy goals. And instead of being awed by their bravery to go against the system we try to discourage them from trying because of our own uneasiness. We focus on the negative question, “What if they fail?” We however should be asking “what if they succeed? Imagine the possibilities?” There are many stories and articles discussing why and how to follow your dreams but sometimes we tend to forget those dreams or alter them because we believe that this is part of growing up and becoming an adult. We also tend to find very plausible excuses (which we convince ourselves are noble or self-sacrificing) – we are getting older; we don’t have time to do anything we really want to do; we have so many things to do and not enough time. To the first excuse – the average life expectancy is increasing (predictions by the Office for National Statistics in the UK state that it will increase to 100 for females by 2057) so age is relative to what we believe and the way we think about it. Imagine living to the age of 100 but when you were 30 you were calling yourself old??? – and to the second and third excuse, time is relative as well – if you really want to do something you’ll do it, no matter how long it takes to get you there.
Here is my question to you – what was your dream when you were a child? Pick one and then ask yourself why you gave up on it. Was it because of fear or was it because it no longer fit the image of being an adult? If your answer to both of these is positive then maybe you should ask yourself if it truly was worth giving up on.