Don’t people traveling into the sunset who

Follow Your Dreams

            “Follow your dreams,” is the most
common self-help white lie known to man. Following your dreams may or may not
be wise depending on what they are. Today’s media decrees “follow your dreams,”
and “live your dream life” promoted by a beach with hammocks and palm trees off
in the middle of nowhere with a piña colada in hand. These statements insist
that you stop everything in life right-this-minute and pursue Dorothy’s yellow
brick road leading to a care-free life filled with happiness, contentment, and
passion. It’s the fairy-tale ending everyone wants.

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            Doesn’t that sound like the perfect
dream? It’s exactly that – a dream. If the piña colada and beachy shores didn’t
sell this to you, then maybe the reality that people do it all the time will.
There’s an overabundance of real-life anecdotes describing people who did follow
their dreams instead of reality. The stories of when a bank teller had his personal
Come-To-Jesus moment over his bowl of cereal, handing in his resignation later
that day; saying sayonara to a 9-5 grind to move to Africa to help refugees for
the rest of his life. A mother who revolutionized childcare and sold her idea
to Google for 50 million dollars. In our world, there are an infinite number of
stories about people traveling into the sunset who lived the fairytale “happy
ever after” by following their dreams. The two examples sound like the best
outcome for anyone, right? Service or wealth. Well, it can’t be achieved by
every individual. It’s time to come off that imaginary high, wipe the drool of our
chins, and face reality.

            Millions of children declare ‘when I
grow up, I want to be . . .’ followed by a doctor, lawyer, surgeon, policeman,
firefighter, or any other prestigious occupation. Well, reality says ‘no’ very
sternly to many people in response to this statement. Not everyone will obtain
the occupation they want. If everyone were to become any one thing, who would
take care of everything else? If the world was full of surgeons, who would
fight fires, discover new technology, or flip burgers? The same can be said
about any other occupation. Not everyone can obtain their dreams because what
child thinks ‘when I grow up, I want to be a septic worker.’ Who wants to
collect garbage off the streets for a living? Who wants to be a coal miner or a
hazardous material remover? For some reason, there’s a lack of people who want
the essential jobs in society.

            Upon receiving a paycheck, it would
be strange for someone to say, “I really wish I was never paid.” A cold fact
about reality is that life isn’t free. To survive, one must work. Riding off
into the sunset to enjoy a beach with piña coladas will not earn
life-sustaining money. The youth of today are a self-entitled generation. They
believe that they should obtain the best this life has to offer for doing
nothing. A phrase that is long-forgotten by the next generation known as “Generation
Z” is the wisdom of “There is no elevator to the top, you need to take the
stairs.” Hard work is progressively becoming rarer in our world today. Young
people these days want the best jobs without having to work or study in order
to achieve their dreams. The high average salary of a surgeon is attractive to
anybody who seeks riches. Although surgeons may have one of the highest paying
salary in the world, the next generation doesn’t want to work and study to
become a surgeon to earn this pay.

Rowe, a legend in the field of hard work and dedication, during his Ted talk
stated, “we’ve declared war on work, as a society — all of us. It’s a
civil war. It’s a cold war, really. We didn’t set out to do it and we
didn’t twist our mustache in some Machiavellian way, but we’ve done it.” (Rowe,
2008) Rowe explains how that we either describe hard workers as heroes or
punchlines. Advertisements all over the globe inspire people to avoid hard
work. Often times, they say life would be so much better if you could retire
early, work less, get paid more, avoid hard things, and so on. If you’ve ever
worked hard, however, you know the satisfaction of accomplishing something

             There have been stories of people who have
worked hard throughout their lives and are about to receive better financial
standing, but suddenly hand in their resignation. In essence, they’re saying
adios, au-revoir, goodbye to a beautiful paycheck. On the bright side, they
don’t have to work anymore. Never having to stress about other people’s
problems is something they can now look forward to because of a cleaned-out
schedule. Why resign from such a successful situation? To go accomplish those
dreams of owning a yoga gym in Bangladesh of course. How do we know for certain
that our dreams will come true? Imagine the shame of coming crawling back for that
old job twelve months later. Then again, if you don’t take risks, what good is
life for? Well, just because you take a risk doesn’t mean that you will
succeed. Taking a risk and failing was apparent when the company Hewlett
Packard aimed for creating their patented Touchpad. It was a meager attempt to
compete with Apple’s iPad which was taking the market by storm. Without a
doubt, Hewlett Packard had bright hopes and poured over a billion dollars into
this asset, yet it still failed (Frohlich, 2014). Still toying with that idea
of opening a yoga retreat in Bangladesh? Better prepare for eye rolls,
criticism, and facepalms from loved ones. If one has dreams similar to this,
they might stand out from the crowd, be ridiculed by family and friends, and
receive the unwanted title of ‘that guy’ at social gatherings. Imagine how
awkward it’ll be when they’re the town gossip because people can’t comprehend
why someone would want to move to a third-world country.

             Some may counter the point of not following
dreams by saying “well what if my dreams are to become a civil worker, and help
society?” If that is your dream, then don’t follow it. Dreams don’t come true,
but reality is. Become an accomplished individual and help society, do what
positive things you can in this life. Don’t follow your dreams, instead, turn
your ‘dream’ into realistic goals and achieve them. If it doesn’t honestly seem
attainable, then adjust it. Concerning goals, one author wrote “The easy way to
realize a dream is – divide the goal into small parts and achieve those parts
in a planned manner. If goals are worked on in a phased and stepwise manner,
they can be realized” (Nishank, 2013).

            Everyone wants to have perks in
life. We as humans want to work from home, an overabundance of wealth, amazing
job flexibility, early retirement, and a superfluity of vacation. This isn’t
what the world needs. The world needs people who will abandon childish,
unrealistic things and work hard to accomplish something. Those who work hard
and sacrifice live better lives and are happier than those who do nothing. To
have the best this life has to offer, one must work sacrifice time, energy and
resources to achieve it. If our generations don’t overcome laziness and
languor, we will have wasted our time and resources and consequently handicap
the next generation. It’s never too late to late to expand our skills, get our
hands dirty, and realize the work that needs to get done.