I missed a lot of my dreams already. You might say I'm still young to achieve them. If we're talking about being a professional athlete then I'm old for that. I dreamed of becoming one just like the other young sports fans. But the main problem that I had was I didn't know on which sport. Not that I excelled on many of them but I tried playing a lot and had been part of school competitions and represented our city once on one of them. I'm not really that good but at least, I know the basics. I played ping pong, track and field, basketball and tennis. I didn't became the best player in any of them though. So I just dropped the dream and went on with my life.
Most of us know the acronym SMART in relation to setting goals, plans or dreams. For the others who don't, it means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. I used this acronym a lot before. Sure, we need to have a specific, measurable and time bound life plans. We can't just wait for the time to come but we must make the time for ourselves to do what we plan for. And by knowing how to measure what we had achieved gives us an idea of where we are. And we must also be specific on what we want to do or happen. But when it comes to being attainable and realistic, I started having doubts about it.
Believing that there are only few things which you can attain is the same as limiting your capabilities and boundaries. Sure, there are goals which you can easily pick and say that these are the things which you think are achievable based on what you are now. You say so based on what you’re currently capable of doing. But how about those which you scratched off your list just because you think that they are unattainable on the same basis of measuring your current worth in terms of skills, knowledge, strengths and weaknesses? That’s almost the same of telling people to be realistic with their dreams. That statement itself is an irony. Dreams are supposed to be limitless and beyond the boundaries of reality. But telling people to become realistic and make attainable dreams is sort of discouraging them on their potentials.
Let’s say I have a time machine and then I’ll travel back to the days of a young Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Lebron James or any other living person who are the current biggest fishes on their respective industries. Then I’ll ask them what their goals in lives are. If they say that they want to become the most successful and on top of their chosen careers and make billions of money, how will it sound if I tell them to change their dreams? I’ll tell the young Gates that no, he must change that into something more attainable. Maybe he can be the best programmer in another company but never the owner of the biggest computer company in the world. And then I’ll also tell the young Buffett that he must not think that he’ll be the most successful investor of his time and he can’t possibly surpass the others who learned the business earlier and longer than him. But he can still dream of becoming a millionaire at least while managing funds of some people under a big financial firm. Then if I get to see the young Lebron and he tells me that he’s dreaming of becoming the best basketball player in the planet someday, I’ll tell him that it’s a great goal but at least try saving himself from disappointments by at most dreaming that he’ll be able to enter the NBA someday, get some quality minutes for his team and earn some bucks to save for his family and his future. And what if they listen to me?
Who are we to tell another person that his dreams are unrealistic and unattainable? If people really listened to other’s advice about their plans and dreams, what events, inventions and other great stuffs that we might not be having today? Airplanes? Television? Phones? Berlin Wall’s fall? Freedom of speech, religion or beliefs? Nations’ sovereignty? Human and robots landing on moons and planets? Antibiotics? Chocolate bars?
Tonight is already Christmas Eve. While everyone’s busy, most people are happy. My wife and I are also very joyous on this occasion as we are celebrating it for the first time as a family of four, my wife and I, our son Mik and daughter Kayla. I was not able to buy any gift for them. My 23 month young son easily gets bored with toys though. He rather enjoys having playtime with me or his mom. And our 2 week old daughter Kayla would be too young to appreciate the gift we could have given her. But I have a better gift for the two of them and that is freedom to dream and plan their lives in the future. We’ll guide them, that’s for sure. But I’ll never get in the way between them and their dreams by not saying they are unattainable and unrealistic. Imagine what they will become if they tell me they want to become a top rank professional athlete? Or a billionaire? Or a hero? Or a saint? What would they become if they fall short of becoming any of these? If they will strive harder, no matter how short they fall from becoming any of these dreams, they will still be found way up there.
So for my son and daughter, Merry Christmas to you. For you two are the best God’s gift for me and your mom. As you grow, we’ll always be here to help and guide you in utilizing and improving the potentials you two have. And once you both arrive there on top, please keep in mind the virtue of humility.