“Follow Your Dreams”! You might wonder that why suddenly (and that too after such a long time) have I started the post with such words! Well, actually last week I was talking to some students (at IIT Gandhinagar, where I am working at the moment) about believing in and following their dreams!
I told them, that while clearing a cupboard (on my mother’s insistence) filled with old books, diaries and tons of memories, I discovered an old diary which I had started writing when I was 10 years old. On the last page of the diary I had written a line, “I want to travel the whole world” about which I had completely forgotten over the years. As time passed, I got my engineering qualification and was going to join a reputed software company. However, the dream etched in my sub-conscious stopped me going after that job. Instead I went to Australia to do something completely different – work in the field of education. Coming back to India, my work required me to travel across India & Nepal. Last year, from Bangalore, again my dream led me to take, what people called, a crazy decision to quit my job and go to Europe for three months! And I ended up visiting 14 countries the last three years!
Reading that line from my 15 years old diary made me revisit this entire journey in a flash. I realized that my dream as a child was influencing my decisions and leading me towards it.
But how many of us know what our dreams really are? What are the things we really really want to do or go after? And what are the things which we end up doing or taking up because of family, peer or societal expectations? And if we do discover that this is something which we really want, would we have the courage to follow it, fight for it!
I had read a short story sometime back. Two brothers while climbing to their apartment on 80th floor (as the elevator was not working), decided to dump their bags on the 20th floor. They could not carry it further and decided to come back later for it. They quickly climbed the next 20 floors hardly talking to each other. During the climb to the 60th floor, they were getting tired and irritated and fought with each other complaining about the situation they were in. After reaching the 60th floor, they decided as there were only 20 floors left, they would climb quietly in peace. On reaching the 80th floor they found out that they had forgotten the key in the bag, because of which they would not be able to rest in peace now!!
This story is an excellent reflection of our lives. When we are young, we have too much load of others expectations and so we decide to dump the key to our happiness – our dreams, and then think that we will come back to them later. But we forget them. From the age of 20 to 40, we get busy doing various things and forget to think about what we left behind. At the age of 40 we realize and complain that we are not happy doing whatever we are doing. And then at 60 we make peace with ourselves, deciding to spend the rest of our life quietly. And at the end of life’s journey, we can’t rest in peace because somewhere there is an un-fulfilled dream within us which we left ages ago!
I would just conclude saying that if there is something which we truly love and want to achieve in life and if we truly believe in it, then there is nothing stopping us to get it. Just go for it!