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viewpoint

The world is your oyster

| Friday, November 13, 2015

At what point do we stop dreaming, and resign ourselves to lives of monotony and conformity? As children, we are all taught we can be whatever we want to be, we should follow our passions and if we do what we love, we will never work a day in our lives. This is the key to prosperity, happiness and success.

As we grow older, these simple principles we once held close to our hearts and believed to be true become threatened by everything and everyone — even ourselves. Every obstacle we encounter fuels our drive to reach our goals, yet simultaneously increases our fear of failure and level of self doubt. Our responsibilities accumulate, our definition of success changes and we become more fixated on money and beauty and all that is temporal. These worries begin to take priority over our childish dreams, and some of us decide that we would do better to pursue those passions later on — maybe after we secure a stable job, get married, buy a house, etc.

This is by no means an easy way out — rather, it just feels safer and a bit more linear. The prospect of an unpredictable future is terrifying, and this conventional route can provide comfort to so many of us. We often succumb to the poison of comparison; everyone else looks like they have it figured out at this point, and we’re just floundering around and struggling to get through a day without running out of air.

As my graduation looms around the corner, these feelings are becoming more and more poignant. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice in choosing my major. I think more of the difficulties I will face rather than the joy I will gain by pursuing my dreams. I think many of my peers are in the same position, and we all need to be reminded we can still choose to be happy and keep our dreams alive, despite our fears and societal pressures.

“‘My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer,’ the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

‘Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has never suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.’”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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