By: Siyabonga Londani Zulu
Image by: Zoltan Tasi – Unsplash
From an early age, we all have an idea of how we want our lives to turn out. We all have dreams we aspire to achieve, no matter how ridiculous they may seem at the time. A majority of parents, guardians and teachers allow us to dream because they know the importance of dreams.
Everyone knows that dreams make us. They are not a notion reserved only for the educated. And as we grow older the idea or vision becomes more vivid, even as we navigate through the reality and challenges of life.
I don’t think there are things more satisfying than living, and doing exactly what you believe you have been called on this earth to do.
As a youngster, I can’t really recall what I dreamt of becoming when I was older. I know that my father wanted me to become an engineer, but at some point, one of my teachers said to me, “I think you would make a great leader one day”.
The latter always really stuck with me, especially throughout the many opportunities I have been called to lead, in one way or another.
Alas, I never did become an engineer because I never really liked the field. I was always more of a creative soul. I became a Portfolio Manager for one of the largest companies in South Africa.
I believe that the things that you do (day in and day out) give you an idea of where your true calling lies. If you think that you are called to be a leader, then you will constantly be drawn to situations that call for you to lead, in any area of your life.
There is this misconception that following your dreams is easy, you just have to jump off and follow your gut. That you must, “Just do it”, and everything will work out.
The real truth is that following your dreams can feel like you are about to jump off a moving vehicle. It’s that uncomfortable feeling right at the pit of your stomach, like you are standing at the edge of a cliff anticipating to jump.
The way to your dreams can be a hard, lonely road, filled with rejection. But what is life without a few challenges along the way to make us appreciate the sweet taste of victory?
The CEO of the company that I work for said to us that we ought to love and embrace that feeling of discomfort because it means that something is drawing us out of our comfort zones. That personally resonated with me.
There is also a quote by Ruth Westheimer which I always lean to when things get rough. It reads: “Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks, but it goes upward, forward, toward the Sun”.
I invite you to lean on this thought as well, especially if you are unsure about where your ship is heading – stand tall and say, “Upward and forward”.
Remember, sometimes it may feel like we are making great leaps towards our hopes and dreams and at other times it may feel like we are floundering.
The important thing is that we are moving towards them, and not backwards.
There is no experience that is not worth the lesson. Sometimes the road is curved, sometimes it’s straight, sometimes it’s wide and sometimes it’s narrow, but the ability to discern is important.
Ask yourself how many more days you are going to waste procrastinating before you go for the life you truly desire. I believe you can be anything you want to be if you can just at least try. If it does not work out, maybe you can dream another dream. After all, we were not born to be just one thing in this life.