The Reality of Aspirations

By Christina Kim - June 26, 2015

Live your dreams
Do What You LOVE
Follow your Passion

Inspirational phrases often uttered to motivate one towards pursuing their life aspirations.
Inspiring, motivating, encouraging, and uplifting are these phrases if one were to take it as it is and that, is the ultimate aim of these words; to influence and elevate one's mindset to think in the positive manner.
Idealistic are these but they are still not to be taken literally and directly implemented without that kick of reality.
As stimulating as they sound, try telling that to someone who has to work more than three jobs in a day to pay the bills, support the entire family and juggling their sleeping and waking time to care for their ailing parents and probably schooling children.
To them, this is a whole lot of crap.

Let's be realistic, not everyone of us can afford to think or say that we must make a change if we are not happy and just quit our jobs to pursue what we would love to do instead.
Sure, life is short, and it is OUR lives to begin with, so why should we sacrifice for others?
Extremely selfish, even with that need to focus on one's self once in a while.

The thing is, the world is becoming more and more absorbed in literal interpretations and centering mainly on perceptions; and in that I mean, individual and personal perception.
It is good and bad at the same time; for the key always lies in the balance.

The paradigm shift in human minds due to the evolutionary changes in the world has propelled us to think of channeling that inner desires to reality, at all costs.
That, along with the many natural catastrophic events around the world and also the rise in weird and unheard of diseases popping up are just cementing the belief that life is too unpredictable and simply, short, for everyone is not born with clairvoyant abilities (though some are blessed, or not).

We have been taught about aspirations since we were young.
From that single question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?", it makes all of us grow up to think that we must have something we want to do; an ambition, that we can see ourselves in upon graduating from school and probably, die with it.
Setting that ultimate goal or aim just sets us in that mode to then pursue it relentlessly, as though that is all we live for.
Of course, things could change along the way, and we could realize our interests could lead us away from that original path. Again, no one could ever predict the future.

For instance, I always thought I wanted to be a doctor or a dentist but I did not become one today.
I took up and majored in a course where I would never dream of and ended up in a job which I would probably laugh at you if you were to tell me decades ago when I was a primary school kid that this is what you saw me in the future.
I will just laugh and call you crazy.

Everyone has aspirations; there is always something that everyone wants to do, or at least almost everyone.
What about those who have no idea what they want to do?
There is nothing wrong with that either, for they will just discover eventually, that they are meant to do something (or probably nothing at all, to reduce the harm to the society, just kidding)
We can always dream big, there is no limits to our imaginations; in fact, one should always harbor great aspirations to motivate themselves, push themselves to achieve great heights.
It is amazing what one could do when they are given that extra push.

Imaginations can be limitless, and aspirations can not and should not be defined by boundaries; one can always dream to their heart's content.
It is all about aiming for the skies or beyond, to achieve more than what is possible.

But, are there truly no limit at all?
What about reality?
We can always dream and aspire to pursue our dreams in that most fashionable way.
Unhappy with your job? Move on and do something that you like.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?
Yes, it does, for most of us are just blessed with that luxury to be able to do so simply because we are not bound by the circumstances life has presented.
Of course, the optimistic voice will tell you that life always comes with hurdles and obstacles and that we should always see them as the challenges to make us better.

I totally agree with that statement, for I am myself, an optimistic person.
I always believe that we should not be bound or limited by anything which could block our quest in pursuing and making that dream come true.
However, there is always that element of reality that should be injected into the pursuit of our dreams as well.
Our dreams do not materialize from the air, and that one should not be doing anything while waiting for our dreams to come true.

Yes, we should always enjoy what we are doing and live with positive joy and have that passion in what we do.
That is, if you have mummy and daddy to pay for your meals and expenses, or just that large trust fund waiting for you to build the kingdom of your dreams upon.

The dream of achieving the ambition is the goal, and is probably that big picture we have painted from our fascinated minds.
Now the reality of heading towards the goal is the journey; and this is the very one we need to be practical about.
Granted, as I have mentioned, most of us could probably identify with the fact that we could still have that ability (and probably a little bit more of financial independence and flexibility, though running thin with the rising costs in the modern living) to be able to fund our journey.
We probably have day jobs which help to keep the lights on and the air conditioning on, while being able to surf on the Internet and text on our cell phones, while we could splurge on our lusts for fashion, technology and even enhance our well being at the same time.
That financial independence is what keeps us optimistic and sane, at the same time.

Now, do we really love our jobs?
Most of us may say Yes, of course, with probably a quarter who really mean it while the rest are just saying it because they could never imagine themselves without their jobs.
They simply could not see themselves without a job, even.
Is it the job that they are interested in? Or rather, that paycheck that puts their lives (and families' in order)?
If you think that you love your job and not because of the amount on the paycheck, then good for you.
But ask yourself another question, what if you get to do your job everyday, without a paycheck, or with minimal pay?
Since you love your job, you wouldn't mind, would you?

I am talking about the reality here people.
Everyone has to keep their lives going while pursuing their dreams, and there are those who even have difficulty to keep their lives going, just like the example I posted earlier in the post.
Imagine a single woman (or a man) who has to care for her aged and sick parents, and school-going siblings or children, and her paycheck is the only source of survival for the entire family of 5?
Talk to her about aspirations and living her dreams and she will tell you to get lost.
She has to work probably two to three jobs a day; waiting tables, doing the odds and keeping a day job at the same time while maintaining her sanity.
She cannot even afford to fall sick, for she could be the main pillar of the entire family.
Everyone depends on her.

You think she doesn't have aspirations?
You think she loves her job?
You think she loves her life?
I am sure she may not say it, but she would give anything in the world to trade places with you, if you have a day job and full allowance to spend on yourself.
She may have even forgotten what it's like to live her dreams, or probably she is, still, silently hoping for the day her dreams would realize someday in a high fashion manner and that her current situation is a journey of her life and she could also be saving every penny to make everyone happy, and yet to realize that dream of owning her own business some day.

The whole thing about aspiration is about being able to dream yet, at the same time, understanding that reality still exists and that there is that part about keeping your lives and heart beating, and paying the bills.
It is not about just throwing away everything just because you are not doing something you are not happy with or enjoying, because your life is too short.
There are many who say that they should only do something that they truly enjoy and are passionate about, rather than waste time in something which they clearly do not see the worth.
They are truly blessed with the fortune to be able to do so, compared to the depiction of the woman above who will not even dare to take that risk to pursue her dreams without a job.

The key is to be realistic, and I especially love this saying which just makes so much practical sense,

"Sometimes we just got to do what we Have to Do, in order to do what we Want to Do"

This post is not to belittle the power of aspirations and that we should not give up things we don't enjoy simply because you need to keep yourself alive.
Life is all about making choices, and you know yourself best to your best capability and what you are truly made of.
Only you can make that call.
Be thankful that you have get to make a choice, it is a blessing.

And yes, I believe that dreams do come true.

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