"Everyone believes the world's greatest lie..." says the mysterious old man.
"What is the world's greatest lie?" the little boy asks.
The old man replies, "It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie."
(An excerpt from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A fable about following your dreams.)
Do you believe you have no control over your life? Are you who you are today, by choice or by fate? Will a change in your actions create a change in your life? Many people have given up on their dreams... they say, "Dreaming is only for the rich. When you have money, you can dream. When you have no money, don't dream."
That's true... not everyone is lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon. If you are lacking in funds, it's going to be difficult to start living life the way you want to. Money buys you freedom to follow your passions. But you don't have to give up on your dreams, just because you lack money. Depending on where you are brought up, you will face limitations depending on your family finance, culture, and environment. Some of us are born to have easy lives, while some are born to take a more challenging path. Perhaps the limitations and obstacles you face today are part of your journey -- you must overcome them to grow stronger on the path to achieving your goals.
When we are young, we all seem to have clear idea of what we want to be when we grow up. But somewhere along the way, these dreams get buried under the reality of daily living. The focus shifts from 'living the dream' to just 'finding a good job with a stable income'. "Survival first", as they call it. The sad part is that many people spend much of their lives doing what they don't like, so they can finally earn enough to start doing what they do like. I say, that's a great way to bury your happiness and turn into an economic slave. Doing what you dislike, day after day, will numb the sense of joy within you. Soon you will feel that your life has no greater purpose, and there is nothing to look forward to but work, work, work.... You will have forgotten how much fun it is to spend your time doing the things you like to do.
It's painful if you don't make enough money to live comfortably. But what’s more painful is if the work you do has no meaning to you. Everyday you can drag yourself to work, perform meaningless actions, and then drag yourself back home. Apart from sleeping, work takes up the majority of our time. So if you're not enjoying your work, you're not enjoying your life. And life is so short, isn't it? We probably have less than a hundred years to make our mark in this world. And you never know... you fail to look while crossing the road and BOOM! You could be gone tomorrow. So why spend your life doing something you don't like to do? We don't slog three-quarters of our lives just so we can enjoy one-quarter... we might not live that long. Realize that the essence of your life is happening right now -- you are walking a path; making your journey through life. And if the work you do, is not designed to help you fulfill your higher purpose in life, then perhaps you are walking in the wrong direction. No point taking this path... change direction.
For your dream to stay alive, you have to act on it. It's like a fire that grows brighter and stronger if you fan its flames and keep adding wood. If you leave the fire alone, never doing anything to keep it alive, it will burn itself out. When you fail to act on your dreams, they die.
A little girl called Leanne wants to be a ballerina. But her family is poor and unable to afford the fees of the fine arts dance school. Her father tells her not to dream because dreaming is only for the rich. But her mother says, "Lea, you can be whatever you want to be. As long as you put your heart into it, and never give up. Always hold on to your dreams because when there's a will, there's a way."
Leanne remembered her mother's words. She paid her way through a college degree in the fine arts, using money she earned from working full-time. She was talent scouted by the Royal Dance and Music Theatre of England, where she began her illustrious career as a ballerina. Earning in British pounds, she made more than enough to support her family and give them a comfortable lifestyle.
Leanne had a choice... to fervently believe in her dreams, and do whatever it takes to achieve it, or believe the World's Greatest Lie... that at some point in her life, she lost control, and fate took over. She had to have the courage to step up to her dreams, and not give up just because she lacked money. If she listened to her father and put her love aside because dreaming was only for the rich, then she wouldn't have lived to experience her passion. She would pass on from this world, with the music still left within her... buried under some obscure belief that she could never make money doing what she loved to do.
There is music within you, and you only need to coax it out. The daily grind forces us to forget what we love to do. Imagine you're retired… You have enough money to live comfortably, but not to splurge. How would you spend your time? What activities would you find purpose in? What would you do to amuse yourself? If you have an idea of what you would love to do but are not doing, then schedule some time everyday to do it. Making time for what you love is just like fanning the flames of your passion -- the fire can only grow stronger. It's what will bring a sense of purpose and meaning into your life; that spark of joy and wonder.
The happiest people are those who enjoy their work. They've managed to make money doing what they love to do, just like Leanne. And this can happen for you... if you are willing to reject the World's Greatest Lie. Realize that you always have control over your actions, and therefore your results. The only time your start to fail in life, is when you stop believing in your ability to make a difference. You don't need a silver spoon; you don't need to be a genius. What you need is a sincere belief in yourself and willingness to take action towards your dreams. Believe me, you have what it takes. Just follow what British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill said in World War II: "...never give up, never give up." And you'll win the war.
Lance Ong is a Certified Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Master Practitioner of Hypnotherapy and Timeline Therapy. He does life coaching to help clients gain clarity of purpose, while removing mental blocks to success. Learn Lance’s philosophy for better living at his Internet Blog Site – Wisdom to Create a Beautiful World – www.Lancism.com.