Interacting with our teenaged nephews and nieces, I asked them “What is your Dream?” “To become an engineer.” “What is your Aim?” “To become an engineer.” “What is your Goal?” “To become an engineer.” In some cases the ‘engineer’ was replaced by a ‘doctor’. That was when I realised that in our childhood we never even thought about our future aspirations, and planning them was a far cry; today’s generation has something to think about, even if the thought is limited in many cases to doctors and engineers, mostly dictated by parental pressure.
“Dream, Dream Dream; Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action. You have to dream before your dreams can come true. Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.” These are a few quotes from a great dreamer of all times Dr Adbul Kalam.
Figuratively, dreams can be defined as an idea or hope that is apparently impractical or unlikely to be ever realised in the current state of the world. That does not mean in any way that the dreams have not been realised ever. Dreams are boundless, limitless, and timeless and are dictated by the power of imagination of the dreamer. Let your dreams float into infinity and they will germinate new ideas and visions. I do not wish to quantify your dreams, but let us take the case of a student dreaming about finding a cure for cancer. Many of us would have had such a dream while reading about the sufferings cancer patients have had or seeing someone close battling it out.
In order to find a cure for a cancer, one must possibly pursue a medical career, though some inventions/discoveries have been made by people who were not even remotely connected with the concerned subject. Hence from Dreams evolve an Aim that is achievable and real-time. In this case the aim would be to become a successful medical graduate. The goals for achieving this aim for a high school student would be to graduate high school with the requisite marks and also pass the requisite entrance examination. To succeed in your aim, you must have a single-minded devotion to your goal. It is like a football match where you aim to win a match and to succeed in your aim you have to score goal(s).
One needs to revisit the aims and goals, may be weekly, monthly, quarterly or half-yearly with a view to redefine them, raise the bars, change them if needed, and at times even discard them to find new aims and goals. One may lose interest in the aims and goals as they may not be ‘challenging’ enough to motivate you or interest you. Sometimes you may have thought of an aim, but the goals may not be what you really want to achieve. In this case you are trying to force yourself to settle for what you think you can get rather than achieve what your passions are. This is mostly due to parental and environmental pressures where everyone wants you to be either a doctor or an engineer, no more and no less.
To make your aims more challenging and a bit more interesting, set an aim that is a bit big and impressive that just thinking about it scares you a little bit and seems almost impossible, but has the potential to dramatically change your life if you were able to achieve it. Keeping this in mind you raise the bar for your goals a little by little and try and achieve them and keep raising your bar until you reach that aim which you never thought would be possible. By tapping into your creativity and resourcefulness you can amaze yourself with the results you achieve.
Once you have set your goals, break them down into smaller time-bound goals and evaluate the progress on a daily/weekly basis. You got to avoid distractions and also need to prioritise these small goals. This in no way means that you should not indulge in other activities. All work and no play will always make Jack a dull boy.
You must believe in yourself and reassure yourself that you can achieve the goals you have set for yourself, especially when the going gets tougher. While undergoing the training in the Military Academies, I often reassured myself with the thought that about fifteen thousand officers have successfully gone through the tough training before me and I am in no way any less than them.
Kevin, our nephew who lives in US took up the pre-medical course in high school. Most children at that stage do not even have the faintest idea about their passions or their abilities. Anu and Johnson, the parents were in for a bit of a surprise when Kevin in his Grade 12 gave out his mind that he did not want to pursue a career in the medical field, but wanted to take up animation and graphic designing as a career. The parents being very supportive accepted Kevin’s aims and advised him to begin the procedure for admission as there was only one university offering the particular course Kevin wanted and obviously it was really competitive. At the high school graduation ceremony, Anu and Johnson were in for another surprise – Kevin was adjudged the best student in animation and graphic designing. Kevin is currently undergoing the course on computer animation at The Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta.
Dream unlimited, define your aim, set your goal(s) and achieve them and success and happiness will surely be at your footsteps.