Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Pursuit of Dreams

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail...

That sentence above has somehow embedded itself into my psyche, and I can't seem to shake it off....

However, I know that it is something I always have to keep with me, to consciously remind myself of the necessity of thinking big. That no matter how the circumstances in my life may change for better or for worst, the pursuit of ones dreams should never fall by the wayside.

I have felt it creeping up over me the past few years. That sickening feeling of complacency. The overwhelming sense of unwarranted contentment. The slow build-up of an aversion to risk. The increasing tendency to brush away any entrepreneurial idea as a mere pipe-dream.

I never thought that I would become like that, especially not so early in my life.

It seems so long ago that I was but a young, naive graduate. Short on finances, but big on hopes and dreams. Back then, nothing seemed impossible. Everything was within reach, and every obstacle surmountable. Complacency was the furthest thing from my mind..

..but yet, I have grown complacent.

It wasn't difficult. Being complacent. The combination of a good job, financial windfalls, position and stature is enough to lull any person into a false sense of contentment. It wasn't until a recent meeting with an old acquaitance that I realised just how different I've become.

Ahh...this person.

I first got to know him while competing in a local reality-show.

He is a programmer, one of the several programmers who responded to my online post during the time when I was frantically searching for people to help me realize an idea that I had.

We met up, and instantly we clicked. There was something about him that I found very refreshing. His ability to see things from an entrepreneurs point of view, his willingness to take risks, to forego the comforts and security of life in the pursuit of the next big thing. They all made sense to me back then.

Those were qualities sorely lacking in most of the corporate flunkies you meet and I'm sure you'll agree.

After chatting a little and catching up on what each of us have been doing over the past few years, he asked me this question....

"What happened to you?".

To him, the person he was speaking to hardly resembled the person he knew a few years ago. Where was the fire? Where was the zeal? Where was the dogged tendancy to ignore conventional wisdom?

I initially thought he had gone bonkers. Surely, I am the same person. My expectations of life can't have changed that much i just a few short years.

It was only when I got back, and thought about what he said that I realised just how far I've deviated from my original goal. When I look at him - at how he is going about doint things his way, sacrificing for his dreams - I feel a pang of envy.

Money isn't everything. Comon sense isn't it? But how often do we forget that nugget of wisdom. While money can be a great motivating factor, it isn't the end goal in itself. The process of getting there, the journey in itself, those things are ultimately more fulfiling and rewarding than any five or six figure paycheck.

I now know what I must do.

Don't worry, I'm not going to quit my job and live off the land.

What I need is a serious realignment of my goals and objectives in life. To refocus, where I've wandered astray. To remember, what I've since forgotten. To rediscover, joys of walking the path less travelled.

That paragraphs above have embedded itself into my psyche, and I won't ever want to shake it off....

Here's to dreams.