There are several ways to lead a life. Most of us live to breathe and do whatever it takes to breathe comfortably. We fill our days with endless drudgery, closed doors, stuffed desks, reaching deadlines, or going past un-ending days. If we are lucky still, then we reach home to someone who might have filled our role, in our absence and we won’t have to go through the unfulfilling, non-gratifying yet laborious, and time-consuming duties of maintaining a household. While some of us are not that lucky, and hence burdened with that too.
A tiny minuscule though takes a different route. This small number engages in something more than the simple act of breathing. They have enough time to count their breath, take a deeper one, or else question rather than taking it for granted or worrying about its continual. They spend their days in search of something more than ways to breathe. They have either gone past those desks or broken the unending misery of the unending days and have rather chosen the days to be shorter. This number often talks about DREAMS.
Dreams are all over the fantasy world of movies. Confusingly, the English language gave the same term, to two different concepts. Dreams are something that you see only when you close your eyes, have no control over and when you are asleep. However, they also are the reason you wake up every day and are rather thought out with conscious mind. While our Lord, Brahma, Allah or YHWH wasn’t there to tell us why we were born or when the science failed too, the world brought about a fantasy to put some amount of hope to live with. An ideal to live and aspire for. Something which will make our days full and our nights long and blissful.
But is it so? And what if this becomes only the liberty of the privileged who don’t have time to worry about taking a breath comfortably? To dream of being a star, a cricketer, a successful entrepreneur, a world-traveler etc. Let’s go a bit deeper.
Dreams. ironically, are never our own, they come to us from what we ‘perceive’. The mind is like a big stomach that digests whatever happens in our daily life and blurts whichever part seems indigestible to it. This is what we see in our sleep, according to Freud (the repressive unconscious and subconscious). And what about the dream of waking life? Is it too not the same? A fragment of our imagination and an ideal made or loved by someone we look forward to and aspire to be our own? A role model that we often have in our dream? Someone that embodies our dream and makes it closer to reality.
Dreams are more often ‘wishes’. Something that we want and like. Now the thing with wishes is that they change as we age, as the world changes, the dreams change too. They expire, renew and even end if we are so keen on achieving it. It’s a road which is meant only for the destination and, for which the path, as everybody believes, has to be leaden with thorns and mud which is a rite of passage. But it’s the end which is beautiful, they say, so keep on walking.
So, here is what happens- either you achieve it, or you don’t dare to go there, or you went there and failed, or you realized it was somebody else’s dream. Now what?
If dreams were the reason you were born then you must die when it gets fulfilled. You are no longer needed on planet earth. So why live? And those who don’t go on that path how do they live? The answer is no, they don’t. They fill their lives with a parallel reality, and have a mock identity where they feel they are empowered or at least more successful or gratified but, are dead in the real world, dead inside. The torn-out drinkers, the sad old faces, the irritating souls that when you see you get angry, rather than feeling pity for them. The majority around us are like that, it’s easier to spot the ones who get old and are full of regrets.
So back to our point, is dream ‘the it’? should we rely on dreams for a fulfilled life?
Well, I got a parallel too (I borrowed it)! This one sounds more real though. This one is called PURPOSE, yes the one Oprah Winfrey often refers to. Something that emanates from within you and is an extension of your natural self and something that serves the world at large. I came across the real meaning of PURPOSE when I heard Oprah Winfrey interviewing the author Gary Zukav. He said,
“You are a personality that means you were born on a certain day and you will die on a certain day.. When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment”
What Gary means is that your likes, dislikes, way to talk, passions (though also shaped by the environment) leans you in a certain direction and feeds your soul. That is the direction you were born to go into. As for all the animals in the food cycle, our role is also defined if we are so keen to understand that and to find that. It’s that role that makes us closer to what we truly are. Its what makes the great people great, because they harvested that power, and out came the purpose of their lives. It’s not something you saw or copied or literally dreamt, it’s something that comes from inside you, it’s the real you, the real self. And when you get in touch with your true self, your purpose is brought to light. Its this ship, that takes you on a journey and don’t worry about the destination because you don’t feel you are on a journey.
Another great thing about following your purpose, not dream, is that purpose is made by the higher laws of the universe. Yes, it wasn’t made or dreamt by you. Its serving the will of your maker, because you were born in a way to equip you to be able to serve well to a task or an action. You made no plans, it sometimes is thrust upon you. Its when often interviewed, movie actors say, ‘I never knew I was born for it. It just loved accounts and thought I would be an accountant, I never thought about acting’. But someone did, god did.
There are times when your purpose drives you in a way or at least informs you of its existence but you feel you are smarter and will carve a path on the wings of your dreams rather than succumbing to the will of the world. No matter how brave it may sound, you might end up loosing yourself and feel lost. You don’t realize its all in you. In your subtle passions, in your ‘zones’, in your natural abilities, your apparent personality.
To help you understand better, let me tell you a tale of two diverse personalities- Mr. Sachdeva and Mr. Jolly.
Mr. Sachdeva, a handsome young man, stout on customs, laws, and duties, the eldest son of an army chef who learned discipline as a way of life, aspired to a life in public (government ironically) service. He probably got his dreams from his father. He studied hard, was a bright student anyway, and got himself a good rank, a good office, and a family.
On the other hand, Mr. Jolly, a handsome young man, lenient, welcoming modernity over customs, was a middle son of a businessman. He learned humility, honesty, and goodness from his father along with inheriting a part of his business empire. Born rich, but never satisfied with his business, tried everything only to fail in the end.
Mr. Jolly’s father always said “son you should have been a doctor”, and jolly never thought himself to be anyone near the title. Yes, he had a sympathetic personality, a joyful countenance, words that healed, a voice that lifted spirits but medically no! So he overheard that. But tried everything else to seek fulfillment.
While, Mr. Sachdeva, sat in his office, day in and out. Worked, came home, ate, slept and went on. But the only time he smiled was while on the stove, cooking. And when he heard people admiring his cooking, it seemed his soul jumped back into his eyes. He would no longer be the solitary, swearing figure but would come out to have a nice chat. He was proud of the way he handled spices, the kitchen was his empire. Weekends were fun, and then came the old drudgery. He never questioned himself nor had anybody to tell him who he was.
Mr. Sachdeva was too occupied to have a look inside of him. At the end of a hectic week, he filled a glass of cheap whiskey and stationed himself in front of the tv. Though, he watched political debates with fervent patriotism, another one of his deepest passions, and always presided in family gatherings with a strict political opinion, widening up to a one-man debate cum soliloquy. And, if and when a person agreed to his words, his eyes would lit and his soul had a comeback. That happened a total of 12 hours in a month or so, that much living is enough, right?
One might disagree, if one saw the fate of Mr. Jolly. It happened that Mr. Jolly’s father became severely ill and jolly was finding a way to save him, when hospitals won’t. He stumbled upon a nutrition-based company that revived his father. Impressed and wanting to help others like him, Mr. Jolly became a part of the nutrition based business.
A modern doctor indeed, he helped people when they had given away all hopes, they loved him and he was always happy to be at service. He was amazed to think how all through his years of struggle, his father had already cracked the code for him. He realized how his father saw a reflection in him that he didn’t. He was often called a doctor, while he had no degree and was just a nutrition-based consultant. Every day became a means of fulfillment because even when he worked day in and out, his days ended in a kind of fatigue that makes you smile because you know it was worth it. He enjoyed the journey to this role because he wasn’t aware of its existence. He was simply living each day as it came, trying to look for something that gave meaning to his life. And when he found it, he held on but never fell short of thanking his father who brought him indirectly to his purpose.<p class="has-drop-cap" id="DreamVsPurpose" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">