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Read THIS First..
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Sunday, December 27, 2015

The road to dreams

Taking the road to reach your dreams is not easy. In fact, getting started on that road in itself is an achievement. After all, you must have overcome so many obstacles to have been able to get started at all. You would have had some sort of moral support, to begin with. You would have had to be mentally strong enough to wade through your fears (and those of your loved ones), many expectations, social culture, etc. It is entirely possible that it'd have been easy for you, but because of all kinds of pressure we live under in these times, most of us are faced with difficulties if we want to pursue anything our parents, family or society thinks is not lucrative, ideal, interesting, or whatever else. Many people, especially those who've lived enough to know, think that the best way to live these days is to follow the most practical way. They're not wrong. Practical ways make life so much easier, as anyone who's had to survive a difficult job would understand. Practical ways are liked and preferred by many people, which is both safe and, well, practical. If you're one of those who's tired of being asked to go the "practical" way, and think that these people who so willingly live that way are people without ambition, this post is for you.

The first thing to understand is that perhaps those people are also ambitious, but due to some reason, they're stuck with their "practical" ways. Not everyone can be wildly successful, can they? The world won't work if it's like that. Besides, they might have grown used to it and thought that their dreams were just those, dreams. Do not judge or resent them. Try being more with people whose thinking matches yours. The company you keep will influence your own perspective, so choose where you spend the better part of your time.

If you really, really want to do something but no one else seems to support the idea, do a bit of work yourself. Go out (or online) and find people in the same or related fields who could help you. You cannot act shy if you've to do this. Even if it means going out of your comfort zone, do it. But please do not be too naive or clingy. Read up on the subject/field first, decide what questions you want to ask, and show genuine interest. People, especially those who work genuinely in whatever they do, do not appreciate time-wasters. If you get some advice, it's highly likely that it's going to be useful. 

After you've done that, draw a time centered plan of your career/life, chart in as many details as possible, and then go talk to your elders. More than the unfamiliarity of what you want to do, they are scared of you being as lost as they are. Since they don't know much about, say, being an artist, they wouldn't support you because they can only support you unless they know what to do, or when they're sure that you know what to do, and trust you to do it. If you work hard without wasting your time over the things widely considered 'cool' (but are actually cool only to those who've got it all settled, or those who don't want to have anything settled), you're more likely to gain their support, which will be quite useful. You could obviously go against everyone and do your own thing, but then you will lack mental peace, and stress never makes you happy, even if your job does.

If all goes well and you've begun on the road, you start feeling like a heavy load is off your head and you taste the sweet fruit of freedom. Life is yours to mould. It's yours to enjoy, to do whatever you like.

Beware. It's not going to last. After the initial exhilaration, you might start to think, "I've got enough of working in one place. This is nowhere close to my dreams. Will I really have to slog hours and days and months just to 'gain experience'? What next?" Once you begin to think so, you might look to your close ones for support, just as you've always done before. However, this time, despite wanting to, they might not be able to help you, because they don't know much about it. You're on your own. Being on your own is exciting, but it entails a lot of responsibility. You have to work harder than others, even if it means sacrificing your holidays, some friendships (in the sense that you can't give them time), everyday pleasures in the same quantity as you had before, and many other things and activities you have been used to. I'm not suggesting you have to isolate yourself and forget everything else, but you must be aware of the things (and people) that waste your time, and consciously try to stay away from them, and spend that time in improving yourself as a professional and as a person. 

It's also likely that you might initially have to work in a place where you feel that the majority of people are different from you or your ideas, even if they're all working in the same field. Do not lose hope, because even then you would be learning something valuable. No kind of learning ever goes waste, really. Just be sure of where you want to go and what you want to do, be on good terms with people (ignore those who try to intimidate you), and concentrate on your work. Be on the lookout for opportunities to get better (because you can never learn enough) and keep taking up those, even if it means sacrificing your sleep in winters!!

Keep going. If you look at everything you learn as a reward, you're going to start liking it more and more. :)

I'm not giving gyaan out of generosity but because I need to keep telling these things to myself.

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