Dreams or Reality: Right Approach to Life and Success

Is dreaming big really important to be successful? In real life, do dreams hold any value? Do dreams stands the test to reality? What to choose, Dreams or Reality? What is the Right Approach to Life and Success? What happens when dreams collide with real life situations? All advice and motivational talks are filled with adrenalin pumping rhetoric. What should you do, dream big or walk on the path of pragmatism? Let us explore the by-lanes of life and navigate through our own paddles of fate, action and intelligence.

Young impressionable minds are often told to dream and follow the dream and passion. Often given the examples of big successful tycoons like Steve Jobs (Apple iPhone Guy), Bill Gates (Microsoft Guy) etc. But in all these stories which are repainted as dream chasing stories are actually the stories where people tried many things, failed at many then a few things clicked and they hopped on to the thing which was getting successful. You must have widely read that Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company but have you also read that once Steve Jobs wanted to become an ascetic? He almost once, became a Buddhist Monk. And all the story behind Microsoft being born in a garage where a poor boy assembled computer, do you know that Bill Gate’s comes from a wealthy and very resourceful family. His father was a partner in a law firm and his mother was one of the Board of Directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Already at young age his educational training has given him the capability to write software programs. How many of you were able to write software programs in middle school? You need training or passion for it? Writing software is not like playing hide-and-seek or painting in your artbook.

My aim is to wake you all from the slumber and slipping into the wonderland of your dreams. Knock knock ! It’s real life calling.

In real life you cannot go on staying in basement for decades, following your passion and getting old while living a parasitic life on your parents money. In real life, you have to pay bills, your gap in resume is destroying your plan-B to get placement in some corporate if your venture fails, being socially secluded is reducing references to get good interviews, your best friend who somehow managed to pass his/her final year has purchased his dream car while you still basking in the glory of achievements in your graduation. Your graduate sweetheart is having his/her second child and have actually built an empire while at this age you think you have lot to catch up and even finding it difficult to remain updated with upcoming technologies.

Ouch! That Pinched. Good !

Welcome to the Real World !

Reality about Start-ups

No Sir, business is not just about a great idea. It is about funding, resources, having commercial-business sense and having a heart to fail. And then again being backed by funding to continue your campaign with some tweaks.

The so called start-up fairy tale sagas you read in newspapers and magazines are brush-painted to be rosy. Obviously, if they tell you the truth, you wont show it happily with enthusiasm to your friends and family and their readership will fall.

Most of the start-ups are launched by professionals who have worked in the similar company or field for a decade or so. They have led teams, faced professional challenges and have contacts with the big shots of that industry. They have already build rapport with their experience and can get past the security gate of a venture capital firm easily. This is the first stumbling block which a college passout entrepreneur will face first.

Similarly, some startups are launched by the citizens of your nation who are globe-tottering and have noticed the different products or services across many nations and can pitch in the service or products where they are missing. In short, they learn from one place and apply to another where that thing is missing. Again in the background, they are not broke. Funds, moolah, money, corpus. capital……. call it whatever you like, but you know, you need it.

I know that there are some genuine cases of rags to riches, but they are exceptions and not a norm. Sometimes Ivy League degree gets you the contacts or funding and sometimes its your mom-dad and most of the times, its your industry experience.

Pro Tip: Work for sometime, earn your own money so that you know how it is earned and how to value it while investing in your business. Work with people and get the feel about how to manage people and their differences. Understand that people are sometimes unmanageable but at the same time they are pretty justified. You need to learn first. Don’t spoil your time, effort and money if you don’t have the sense for people, business and managing your own EGO.

Career and Dreams

Another pit fall for people is following your dreams and getting into your dream job profile. Good Lord! You have been watching too much T.V. or reading lots of magazines, either way, you are not doing what should be doing to upgrade your skills and understand the realities of job world. Do you know, young generation complains that there are no good jobs out there, and at the same time corporates complain that they have plenty of jobs but no suitable candidate with skills!

Job market is not some amusement park where you buy your ticket and get entitlement to ride. You have competition from other candidates. Why should someone hire you if they can hire someone on lesser payroll with similar skills. Anyway, they need to train the new employee as per their requirement for initial period. You have competition from newly young batches of graduates, people older than you with experience agreeing to work at lesser wages etc.

So the reality is not that while you’ll be sleeping, there will be a knock on the door and the President of USA will say, “I have been elected to select you for the job, where were you sire!”. In reality, you apply for 100+ jobs , 10+ companies call for the interview and 1 or 2 will negotiate for pay and perks and finally you’ll settle.

Dreams are unrealistic when it comes to career, but aspirations and real practicality are the key. You decide which sector/industry you want to go into. But you cannot define any job profile. You need to research the future of that industry. Their labor turnaround times etc. What about your own temperament. Are you a job hopper or a person who is stable for a long period of time? Are you and the company and the job, the right fit. Is this your initial infatuation or you can do it even if you are bored. Then comes about macroeconomics, the hiring season, inflation etc. Time it and adapt as per the economic cycle. Else, continue to dream, better to stay under the sheets.

Pro Tip: Get a job and don’t be a job-hopper. Am not saying beggars are not choosers. Am asking you to not waste time thinking yourself as some Maharaja. You are not. Pick and choose and then gather experience for at least 2 years. Without experience, you won’t get hired by your dream employer. With experience you have a chance of getting short-listed. It is a long-time strategy. Dreams are good only when backed by rational plans that work and readiness to sacrifice the ego.

Bloggers and Unrealistic Dreams

Another thing where you’ll see people making blunders. Recipe is simple, make a blog, write 10 articles and wait for a big national newspaper/ publisher/ journal etc. to beg you to work for it. If it doesn’t happen (It will not for sure, unless you are the son of the CEO or director of that publisher, but then you don’t have to do this) then you’ll feel bogged down, pessimist and cheated. With one post, a blogger will start sharing his/her blog madly on social media and any platform he/she can lay their hands on. Life is not McDonalds. Even there you need to wait for sometime. But what you are looking for, is not burgers. So better have patience and keep doing. Real life is hardwork, not some Hollywood flick.

At best, the bloggers start pestering fellow bloggers to visit their blogs. Where is your mantra of, “Content is the King”. Why not to first focus on content and then do marketing? Why not first actually make a cake and then do the icing part? You are divorced from the real world and thats why you are lacking patience.

Wait for it Oh my sniper! wait! But while waiting, keep working.

Pro Tip: Keep writing for at least a few months. Don’t judge success by number of views, visitors or comments. Have you become that big to have that success? If not, first, be that much big. The more you’ll right, the more you’ll improve your writing. I have seen many bloggers writing as if they have no clarity in mind. Even while doing ‘content marketing’, try to get personalize. There are books in the library if the reader want an academic writing, he has come to a blog to find a personalized account. Connect with other blogger not just to find audience but for knowledge. Make it a valuable interaction and not a transaction.

Reconcile Dreams with Reality

Dreaming is not bad, but sticking to a dream while remaining oblivious to reality is a recipe for an Epic Fail. Dreams get into our hearts and soon ego involves. The right approach is to understand that dreams must be backed by an actionable plan which you are wanting to implement. Life is not a gamble or a James Bond movie. You are your own savior and your own Bond. Follow the reality and adjust to the practical needs. Keep dreaming but in the real world, try to first adapt and then decide, What is doable? What is achievable? Are you willing to pay the price to achieve your dream? Are you ready to face the consequences? Are your dreams, enabling growth or they are just a fleeting infatuation?

Reality will always over-ride dreams. Dreams only work when they are close to reality. Think over It!

This article – “Dreams or Reality: Right Approach to Life and Success” is based on the practical approach which is meant to provide insights into achieving your goals. The effort is not to aim and miss, but to aim and achieve.

Rajat Jhingan

17 thoughts on “Dreams or Reality: Right Approach to Life and Success”

  1. This was an interesting read! I definitely agree with the part about getting a job and not hopping. Sometimes that “dream” job isn’t so dreamy. Other times it’s not really on the table.
    The point you mentioned about blogging and expecting a miracle also hit home quite hard. I was one of those bloggers that was hoping to be big after 6 months 😅 It still hadn’t happened!

    1. I remember a saying, I think by G.S. Patton , “No plan survives contact with the enemy”. Man proposes God disposes. Real-life is spicier than our dream world. I sometimes feel that making no plan is better than having one and then fighting the friction.

    1. Yup, the moment we get distanced from the realities of life, we start building stress and complexing our own lives. Gosh ! we all have done this some point in our life. Sometimes I look back at those episodes, I freak out even now.

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