As I sat there in the hotel conference room, I deigned the speaker a semi-god. He screamed and vociferously shook his fists about the plausibility of dreaming big. He spoke with so much confidence. His life was a litany of good news. Surely, he was living his dream.
My mind wheeled over the theme that runs through many books I had read. From Robert Kiyosaki to Donald Trump, from Barrack Obama to Aliko Dangote, from Bill Gates to departed Steve Jobs, the enchanting words had always been in dark red letters. “Dream big, start small and do exploits,” they tell us. They tell us to hold our dreams dearly; to hug them as pillows and never let go. But nobody ever told us of the complex nature of dreams that makes them hard to believe in, sometimes so hard that we die trying to make them become flesh.
Dreams are always living in the future, always ahead of time. Be it an hour, a day or a few years, it is always a bridge away from the time it was conceived. We always run after it. That’s its nature. If it’s not in the future, it’s probably not a dream. So in chasing it, you need tenacity, you need energy to pursue. Even when it seems so vaporized, you still hope to catch up with it. That’s what leaves many flustered.
Susan Boyle dreamed and hoped for 47 years. Geez, for 47 years! That’s the time to have had many babies. But she chose to dream. When she got on stage, she said “I’m 47 and that’s just a part of me. Age is no restriction to relevance.” It was a defining moment. She either flopped or got her name emblazoned on the pages of history. Because she clung tenaciously to her dreams like a dying man’s last gasp of breath, she got the applause. Those who miffed at her as she climbed the podium at the 2009 edition of Britain’s Got Talent show had to clap thunderously for her as she let loose her sonorous and velvety vocal chords. Her song “I Dreamed A Dream” aptly captures the heroic moments of her life after leaving the podium.
It’s not easy to hold onto dreams. It’s like holding onto an unseen rope. In turgid waters, even a tuft of hair gives hope to a sinking man. But dreams don’t even take the form of tuft of hair. It’s like vapor, without substance, without solid form. And that’s the problem. Grasping it needs faith like the one we have in God and so many other indeterminate phenomena – we don’t see, yet we believe. The problem is even more when you have multiplicity of dreams. Then it seems you’re grabbing many unseen straws.
I have had many dreams in my life since birth. Some I have thrashed for want of viability or their childish intents. I have achieved some and yet many more I’m yet to. Recently, I’m dreaming to sunbathe in the Fiji Islands, lounge at the Sorrisniva Igloo hotel in Norway (you just have to google this amazing work of ice. The hotel is built once a year with ice and that includes the beds you sleep in and the cups you drink with), run with the hyenas in the animal reserves of Kenya and breathe unfettered air in the serene planes of Rwanda. When they will materialize, I don’t have a full grip but I will keep dreaming. And keep hugging them too like the way a year old clutches his candy.
Holding long cherished dreams can earn you some taunts. An unmarried lady at 35 holding onto a divine dream of “God’s time for marriage is the best” can best tell that story in these parts. Taunts from cherished friends and family folks can sting like a bee.
When you eventually catch up with the dream, you exhale in gusts of euphoria. Then the problem comes again. Your dream doesn’t just end. Other dreams come up and they need attention. You set off on that path yet again. Can we say we’ll stop dreaming? Never. That’s our bane as humans. Even if you don’t consciously dream, a malaria induced one will suffice.
So keep dreaming, keep achieving and dreaming more!