My mom and I were driving home the other day, and she was telling me how she wanted to do so many things.
She wanted to go back to school and get a degree in something she loved. She wanted to travel around the world. She wanted to go see Disney World, even though she’s in her 50s (proof that age is but a number).
It was exciting to watch her, actually.
My mom’s face was radiant. Her hands were moving in all different directions.
She’s always been animated, but it magnifies when she talks about the future and all the possibilities it holds.
Then, just as quickly as it had begun, the light drained out of my mom’s face, and her hands fell silently into her lap. She looked at me and quietly said, “But we can’t have it all, Chandni. That’s life.”
She looked at me and quietly said, “But we can’t have it all, Chandni. That’s life.”
She’s always saying that to me, as if to prepare me for the disappointment life brings, like I haven’t already experienced it. When I talk about traveling, helping a nonprofit or
When I talk about traveling, helping a nonprofit or changing at least some part of the world, she reminds me how unlikely that could be.
However, every time she protests with that dose of reality, my mind rebels.
How many people changed the world simply because they believed they could? Imagine if Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mohandas Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Zuckerberg, JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai and so many other influential people had given in to the idea that their ultimate dreams were not possible.
Imagine if Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mohandas Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mark Zuckerberg, JK Rowling, Malala Yousafzai and so many other influential people had given in to the idea that their ultimate dreams were not possible.
It’s a struggle to remain optimistic amongst odds that are not in your favor. (Yes, I just watched "The Hunger Games.")
You have your parents to think about. You have to make money to survive. You want to be able to live your life at some point, and not be caged in by responsibilities.
The worst part may be you actually don’t have any idea about anything at all anymore. Take some time and think about what it is you really want to be doing, and let the rest of the voices fade away.
I try not to be delusional. Not every single one of my dreams will come true. I know that.
But that doesn’t mean the dreams I desire most will not come to fruition.
I want to become a world-renowned surgeon. I want to participate in Doctors Without Borders and save lives all over the world. I want to make a difference and be remembered as someone who gave it her all, even if she fails.
I want to make a difference and be remembered as someone who gave it her all, even if she fails.
I would also ideally like to have my own private plane, discover a new species and be able to eat as much ice cream as I want without getting fat.
Will I manage to do all of that? No, probably not. Am I still going to
Am I still going to try though? Hell yes.
Even when I attempt to accomplish any of the aforementioned dreams, I have to begin by thinking I can. You don’t see the damage right away.
When you start thinking you can’t achieve something without any attempts, you begin a vicious cycle. Your thoughts do not allow you to put forth the effort necessary to make a dream into reality.
This causes the dream to not come into fruition (obviously) because the respective actions were not taken to make it possible.
It starts with one, and then begins the domino effect for the death of other dreams.
We trick our minds into wanting less than we deserve because it’s less painful that way.
I won't lie; it will be fulfilling for a little while.
But after the immediate gratification of giving up responsibility to a dream fades away, you will regret your lack of belief in yourself -- especially if you wanted it enough.
I would sell myself short constantly while I was in college. Stuck in the cycle of depression -- something many college students have experienced -- I kept telling myself I would never get into medical school.
Stuck in the cycle of depression, something many college students have experienced, I kept telling myself I would never get into medical school.
So, I didn’t. But not because I was rejected.
I didn’t get in because I didn’t even apply.
I set myself up for failure instantly because one can’t achieve something without putting oneself out there.
Then, I started to think, "Well, if I’m not good enough for medicine, am I really good enough for anything?"
If I thought I was made for that field, I guessed no other field would hire me.
Similar, useless thoughts kept cycling in my mind until I had that conversation with my mom in the car. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to be like my mom.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to be like my mom.
Some say we are a generation that has an unhealthy sense of entitlement. I think we do, but it’s not directed toward jobs, internships or money.
I think we do, but it’s not directed toward jobs, internships or money.
Our (healthy) entitlement is our belief we can have it all.
We are the generation that wants a great job, but not one that hinders our ability to live.
We want money, but not so much that it clouds other important aspects of life.
We want to travel, but not constantly enough to forget what home feels like.
We want a life that we choose and that we get an active role in.
The idea that “life happens” does not appeal to us like it does to our parents.
Sure, our ideal lives will never be magnificent always, but we are bold enough to believe they will be quintessential more times than not.
We are that kind of generation, but we just forget sometimes.
We forget we can only build these lives by taking the necessary actions and risks. By putting yourself out there, you are declaring that you believe in yourself enough, regardless of the outcome.
You are aware you have what it takes to bask in the glory of success or pick yourself up to try again and dust off the ashes of failure.
With each step (right or wrong), you know you’re winning the battle of having a life you want.
Soon, you’ll be winning the war.