When I was in high school, I dreamt of someday owning a huge firm.
Then, I entered college.
When I was in college, only those with the highest grades were given the most recognition. So I figured, only they could one day “own a company”.
Since then, I dreamt of becoming a high-ranking corporate employee instead—perhaps a C-whatever-O!
Then, I joined a corporation.
I came in as an entry-level HR Officer. The more I learned about my field, the more I realized how incredibly difficult it was to overcome my chosen corporate function and make truly strategic decisions.
So, from thereon, I dreamt of becoming a “Head of HR”.
Moreover, I also saw that in corporations, the best managers were often given car plans or company cars. Of course, I wanted to be the best. So, from thereon, I dreamt of getting my own car (one that looked good).
More than once I thought, “Hey, I’m not really happy! The work is getting repetitive, and I can’t wait for the week to end.” And when I asked around, everyone else felt the same way.
So, from thereon, I thought, “That’s life.” And then I just forced myself to chug along, day after day after day after day after day.
Then, one day, I was the Head of HR for an entire firm. My salary was higher so naturally, I quickly got a loan to purchase the car that I wanted (which I eventually loathed because it was such a gas-guzzler). The monthly loan payments were debilitating, and in truth, I realized I could have used the money for more important stuff. But hey, who cares? I had my car, right?!
Then, after some time, I became confused. Wait, so what was left to dream of? I didn’t dare to dream of being a CEO. Owning a firm was even more laughable.
So, I instead “dreamt” of just getting a higher salary, year after year. Maybe get a job outside of the country? That’s it. I figured, nothing wrong with that right? Everyone I talked to dreamt of the same thing, and talked about the same thing.
In around a decade’s time, society and corporate life had subtly diminished my dreams from “owning a firm” into “receiving a higher salary next year” and “owning my dream car.” At one point, these two were my professional dreams. DREAMS.
My friends, our dreams should be saved for bigger, much more meaningful things. God placed us on this earth for far greater things than a nice car and nice pay. Our dreams fuel our hopes, which in turn, fuel our souls. We should take great care of our dreams.
Work is such an important part of our lives. It is where MOST of our waking hours are spent. A person who feels broken about “just working” is simply a broken person.
When I took stock of where I was and made a conscious decision to pursue my younger, more childlike dreams, I noticed something very different.
My dreams grew.
My initial dream was to just earn enough to get out of the corporate setting, and I did (with a great leap). Then I thought, we could grow this baby into an industry leader. We did. Then I figured, I could use the experience to create more startups. I did. Then, I wanted to use everything I learned to help people create more startups. This is my passion and my dream now, and it excites and burns within me fiercely. I would do this for free. And when I think of it, it’s an aspiration worth being called a dream.
Are your dreams getting less and less worthy of being called a “dream”? Are you a victim of the Diminishing Dreams Syndrome? If you are, then this recognition alone can prove to be a monumental asset. Get out of this downward spiral, fast.
It might be good to take a long leave. Retreat. It might be tough to see the forest from the trees, so take a step back first. Take a good, hard look at who you are and what is meaningful to you. Pray. Consider. Be open.
Then ask yourself this question: what do you REALLY want to do?