Kant said that we require three things by which to measure happiness: someone to love, something we like to do, and something to look forward to.*
Look closely at this statement, and you’ll realize that most people have someone to love and something that they like to do, it’s the something to look forward to that we sometimes forget .
I know, I forgot about it too, recently. Life goes along smoothly…we work, spend time with family, meet up with friends…life has a steady rhythm and we don’t do much to shake it up…happy to maintain the status quo…not realizing that we just might be killing our dreams in the process.
So, how do you know if you’re exactly where you need to be right now, or if you need to challenge the status quo? I got the answer to this question by chance, just when I needed to hear it the most, as I was scrolling through my Twitter steam. “Killing our dreams: the three symptoms” flashed out at me that day – an article by the master himself, Paulo Coelho.
The first symptom is the lack of time. Ever looked at those super busy people and wondered how they find the time to fit so much into their day? They’re living their dream. It’s those of us who say we’re too busy to do this or that who are actually shying away from fighting for what we believe in.
The second symptom is our certainties – a false belief that we are being wise by not demanding more from life. When we look at others striving hard to achieve their dreams, we choose to retreat into our own daily existence, not realizing that the fight is what excites and rejuvenates.
The final symptom is complacency. Since we’re satisfied with the way our life is going, we get comfortable in our daily routine. We brush our grand dreams under the carpet, believing we are “mature” in seeking only professional and personal development, and are surprised when we hear others saying they want still more in life.
When we renounce our dreams, we go through a short period of tranquility because we buy into the illusion of comfort. But our dead dreams begin to rot within us and to infect our entire being. We become cruel to those around us, and then we begin to direct this cruelty against ourselves. That’s when illnesses and psychosis arise. What we sought to avoid in fighting for our dreams – disappointment and defeat – come upon us because of our cowardice.
And these don’t even have to be really big dreams. They could be small ones too.
I always wanted to have a vase of fresh flowers at home. It makes the entire room just come alive, doesn’t it? But as time went by and life got busy, I found myself waiting for those special occasions when the hubby would bring me flowers, and that dream of always having fresh flowers fell by the wayside.
But recently, I’ve picked that dream up and dusted it off, examined it and decided that it isn’t something that I want to give up on. So, I have decided that I will buy fresh flowers every week during the winter and monsoon months. It’s rather pointless to bother is summer, because flowers just wilt away in a day. Here’s the bunch of blooms I bought myself this week – pretty, aren’t they?
Sit down and ask yourself: what are your dreams? Are you living them, pursuing them, or have you given up on them?