4 Rules For Dreamers
I’ve been called an optimist, dreamer and idealist. I’ve also been called a cynic, pessimist and nihilist. But I think of myself only as a pragmatic realist. The kind who practices a realpolitik equivalent in my day to day life!
I was recently talking to my cousin. Her daughter was disillusioned by shenanigans at her college. She said: “I’ve reached a point where I’ll strongly dissuade anyone else from sending their kids there!”
Strangely enough, she’s in one of the best institutions in her genre. And her frustration is rooted in not being aware of how a professional college is more than an extension of highschool – it’s a microcosm of the world outside.
A classmate’s backbiting and envy at your relative ‘success’ is nothing compared to a peer’s burning jealousy and back-STABBING that’s the norm outside that portal.
And so, I thought of giving her some “practical” advise. It turned out to distill down to 4 rather simple points.
1. The World Is Inherently ‘Unfair’
Roseate childhood dreams often shatter when confronted with the harsh realities of life. For some, this happens too early – but sooner or later, it happens to all of us.
Everyone is not equal. The best performance isn’t always rewarded. Nations aren’t at peace. Children sometimes die. Nobody is honest, ethical or faithful all the time. We’re human, hence imperfect. So is our universe.
A large part of “growing up” is coming to terms with this unpleasant fact.
2. Battles Need Armies
But just because it’s an unfair world doesn’t mean you should accept it as it is! You can fight to change things. Sometimes, you must.
Battles need armies. So will you, when you fight unfairness, injustice or wrong.
It takes time, effort and patience – not to mention other resources, skills and strengths – to put these armies together… and lead them into battle.
And then, there’s no guarantee that the outcome will be successful.
Still, you must fight. But just remember…
3. You Can’t Fight All Battles
Different battles need different kinds of armies. You can’t assemble all kinds. You cannot be a commando, rebel and enlisted soldier while simultaneously playing dictator, monarch and democratic leader.
That’s beyond any of us.
While there may be hundreds of things that irk and annoy you, it’s simply impractical to try and address all of them at once. You must pick your fights wisely and well. Fight them to the finish. And stay determined to win.
4. Some Revolutions Need YOU To Change
They are difficult. Because change is tough. The only good news is that you’re in control. You’ve got authority over the person who must adapt, adjust and evolve…
Some transformations, however, require OTHERS to change. And they may not want to! (Or need to.)
You can’t fight those battles using the same approach or strategy. And they are infinitely harder – because you must motivate others to change.
Still, sometimes, those challenges are worth taking on – because when you succeed (or even when you don’t), the world will be a little less unfair.
It’s because I believe in this with all my heart that people call me a…
D R E A M E R !
Learn to dream.