Author: Kad Um Bree
“Dancing may not be a good career path, why not take up drawing or music? After all art is art, medium of expression doesn’t matter.”
“Do you want to become a professional singer? Why don’t you choose a career that will ensure constant income?”
“Can you to be more ambitious like your cousin who wants to become a software engineer?”
Despite working towards becoming a progressive society, there are many instances that reinforces “people aren’t meant to deviate from the chosen career path”. No, these aren’t consciously done. Somehow this behavior has become so normal, that people do not react to such statements. That is unsettling. Can you imagine giving up on dreams because the society doesn’t understand? Now that seems to be pretty unfair.
Just to take an example- Chef Sanjeev Kapoor who took the country by storm. Women (including my mom) swooned and swore by his recipes. He normalized men sweating in kitchen. Similarly, we also know Dr. Sarika Mehta who was shunned by her male colleagues for riding bikes. Despite her family and friends discouraging, she became the “First female biker” in India to travel across 10 countries. Choosing a career as a chef or a biker were sharply criticized despite the incidents happening decades apart.
While there are numerous such success cases, we still see people giving up on their dreams. What stops them?
- Is it fear of failure or unknown like “What if it doesn’t work out?” or “What if I fail”?
- Is it fear of society like “what will people say?”
- Is it helplessness like “lack of money / funding” or the “no one in our family has done this, so things aren’t meant to work?”
- Is it blind faith like “dreams do not come true, especially in YOUR case?”
Human fear and resist any sort of change. Not to forget numerous speed bumps, dear universe throws at us. Come to think of it, isn’t there a solution for each and every problem, waiting to be figured out? Well good news is most of the times we can overcome these fears. Just remember the number of times we fell before walking on our own? Now, imagine if we had given up because our knee bled and hurt. We wouldn’t have gone to school for the fear of failing. But we ended up running, going to school, and then we started dreaming too. However, as we grow up, why do we consciously choose to stop feeding our aspirations?
Maybe, as we grow older, our insecurities grow larger than life making us take a step back. Wouldn’t one end up regretting for not having the courage to stand up for themselves? What if we still pursued our interests irrespective of “making it big or not” (just to take the pressure off) and wouldn’t it be liberating to know that at least we tried?
Having interviewed a sample of 60 people, I found out that about 70% hate the job profile they hold, yet they showed up at work. 88% people are dissatisfied with their bosses/ company. 70% feel like they are stuck in a limbo. It is a clear indication that most of us are working where we don’t enjoy the job assigned. Hence, the “dissatisfaction”. Now this dissatisfaction brings about many psychological discomforts causing an uncontrollable ripple effect destroying almost everything.
But the point is we can at least get the younger generation to try their hands on what we couldn’t. After all, this is how we evolve. Isn’t it? So, yes! Go ahead and either make your dreams come true or help someone achieve theirs. Don’t let these fears drive your goals. We should teach “being responsible and courageous to realize dreams” as a mantra to the next generation. The best way is to nudge a little, take a leap of faith and throw the hat over the wall. Once we get out of our comfort zone, who knows what’s in store?
Either way, we will be leaving a great legacy behind rather than a pile of regrets.