” The dream is real, my friends. The failure to realize it is the only unreality.” Toni Cade Bambara 

A long while ago, I had made a powerpoint presentation called “Follow Your Dreams”, which was essentially based on a collection of thoughts and famous quotes on the subject of dreams. The real reason behind preparing the presentation was an online contest, in which it was entered as a contender. Although the presentation came nowhere close to winning or even be considered as a serious entry, it did serve an important purpose. It awakened me to the power of dreams.

Dreams that we all have, but sooner or later, those dreams take the backseat as we try to drive ourselves through the maze called life. We get caught in the so-called rat-race and get involved in the daily routine, called survival. Survival, because that is all one can describe this existence as. We stagnate. We fight trivial battles of office politics. We ignore health, family, and all the little things that bring us joy- all in this never-ending game of life.

And somewhere on the backseat, the dreams, if they are still alive, whimper for attention that we fail to provide them. In short, we abandon them and leave them to die. I too keep promising myself from time to time that I will stay on track and focus on my dreams, but rarely does that happen. It is either the rat race, or the lack of courage to step out of our shells, the fear of failure, or katagelophobia – the fear of ridicule, that prevents us from stepping forth in the direction of our dreams. or we keep waiting for ” the right moment” to arrive, but it never does. Experience has taught me this several times, and talking of experience, it reminds me of the famous speech of Steve Jobs, where he says – “Experience is what you get, when you don’t get what you are looking for.” And trust me, I have loads of experience !

One needs reminders from time to time, to “awaken” us to our forgotten dreams. Here I was, busy once again in the routine of the daily survival struggle, with my dreams all but forgotten once again, when I got a wake-up call reminding me that I had my dreams to pursue. The wake-up call came in the form of a post in a Facebook group, of which I am a member, by Ms Rakhi Softa Sharma. With her permission, I am repeating it here:

A man lay on his bed at the end of his life waiting to die…

His DREAM came to pay its last respects and bid farewell to the man who had never used it.

As it entered the room the man looked down in shame.

“Why did you not realise me?” the dream asked,

“Because I was afraid” the man said.

“Afraid of what?” asked the dream

“I was afraid I would fail”

“But haven’t you failed by not attempting to use me?”

“Yes I have, but I always thought there would be tomorrow.”

“Did it never occur to you that there was only ever today… the moment that you are in right now?”

“Do you think that now that death is here you can put it off until tomorrow?”

“No” said the man, a tear, gently rolling down his cheek.

Then the dream leaned forward to gently wipe away the tear and said,

“You need only have taken the first step and I would have taken one to meet you”

“The only thing that ever separated us was the belief in your mind that you couldn’t have me”

Then they said Goodbye and they both Died.

The profound verse had the desired effect and reminded me that I had an obligation to my dreams. Dreams that I had put on the backseat, because I wanted to focus on the road ahead, but hey, little did I realize that my dreams were my GPS, my route guide, and a GPS is of no use on the rear seat when you cannot see it or follow the route suggested by it. A GPS is useful right in the front, on the dashboard, where it can stare you in the face and point out the directions, and even warn you when you take a wrong turn. So with that thought in mind, I have decided to put myself on track again. I have decided to put my GPS back where it belongs, so that if I miss a turn, it can bring me back on track.

Folks, we all have our dreams, our GPS navigation systems, that we tend to overlook either out of pressures, fear, insecurity, or being caught up with the routine struggles. It is time to awaken to your dreams, time to go chasing them, time to turn them into reality. To borrow from Ms Sharma once again, I will close this post with this thought:

” Sabse Khatarnak Hota Hai Sapno Ka Mar Jaana” – Paash (Most dangerous is the death of our dreams)

A very special thanks to Ms Sharma, whose post on the Facebook Group inspired me to pen this post.

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