To live the life of your dream!

Dedicated to all who aspire, aim high in life or simply have a dream.

Life is full of examples and stories of people who dreamed but never got what they wanted. Why? Many just consider dreams to be in the realm of theory, not practice and never make a step towards their dream. Some are advised by wise and practical relatives or friends to be reasonable and concentrate on whats in front of them. Others just need money to survive and cannot wait for the dream to come true. Rarely do we hear: I am living the life of my dream!

It appears that two things are the most difficult: to understand clearly what your dream is, what you really want, to hear the voice of your heart, as they say; and then to follow your dream, consistently, adamantly, non stop.

All of us dream of one thing or another, especially when we are young. The matter is that in youth our minds are not yet cluttered with things like social rules, obligations, responsibilities or the need to meet somebodys expectations. We feel we can conquer the world and our heart calls us to do so. In youth, as if at that age we can see the most clearly, almost all of us know what we want to be in life. Alas, there are too many advisors around. He wants to study art but his father is a lawyer and wants him to have the same profession; she wants to be a singer but her parents think it is not an appropriate profession etc. So many broken dreams, because the others say they know what is best for us. And listening to all that buzz and noise we start to believe that maybe yes, it is better to be practical. I once met a young man in his early thirties who had studied science at the Dniepropetrovsk University and had been seriously involved in a biophysical research project at that time. When he got an offer from a prestigious Moscow science school to continue his research there, his mother advised him to turn down the offer convincing him that this was not a very practical or profitable profession for the future. He ended up being a computer programmer, a job he never liked and merely got used to it with time, always thinking oh well, now it is too late to change something. Like him, so many people are living sad lives which are not theirs.

Yours truly too must confess a couple of similar experiences. As I was trying to choose a second foreign language at university, my choice lay between German and French. I liked French very much but after listening to various people who had told me that it was more practical to learn German for business purposes, I went for it. I can understand and read in German but I have never had the need to speak it, nor do I even enjoy speaking it. Instead I sometimes translate French songs and poems word by word with a dictionary. I know that even if I did not need to speak French now either, my heart would at least enjoy it. At a later time I was starting my first job at an advertising agency and had to choose between being a copywriter or a client service manager. As usual, I consulted a few friends and was told that it is better to be a manager because it gives better career prospects in the future. All the time during my three years with the agency the routine of the managerial work stifled me, and the moments I enjoyed the most were those when I had to translate various texts from English into Russian, which basically meant writing my own creative version of the original. So I have learnt my lesson and I am happy to share: if you have something special in mind, by all means listen to the others opinions but in the end, follow your own heart.

And the latter is not easy at all, if you are set to achieve what you desire. You must have heard examples like these a hundred times: if you want to have a nice figure, you need to attend a gym regularly and for a period of time a little longer than a week or too; or if you want to master a foreign language you must allocate from 3 to 6 months during which youd better study hard. Of course, you have heard it. But have you tried it? Let me assure you, the result will definitely come, if you are persistent enough to apply your efforts during a certain period of time. I once read a story of a very successful Japanese businessman who was asked a question in his interview about the secret of his success. He explained that he was a prisoner in the Soviet Union after the Second World War and worked at a tree cutting site where the overseeing sergeant would tell them once in a while: Come one, work your butts off, narrow-eyed beasts! He said that all his life he had followed the sergeants advice. In another interview a father was asked how his son had managed to be admitted to a famous Moscow university after writing a serious research paper on mathematics at 12 years old. The journalist asked him when he had understood that his son was a math genius. However, the father simply said that all he did was to teach his boy math and have him practice for a few hours every single day from the age of 5. And finally, the biggest surprise I got in this area was from my own English-speaking boss with whom we had so frequently argued about the details of my translations of his advertising texts and who was so rigorous about the meanings of English words, when after working with him for 5 years I learnt that English was not his native language. All I could ask him was How? and he told me quite sincerely that every single day from the age of 20 he had had an English dictionary for breakfast. When you are on your way to your dream, do not stop no matter how difficult or fruitless your efforts might be in the beginning. As Paulo Coelho wrote in one of his books When you really want to achieve something, the whole universe is with you.

So, if you have a dream, no matter how crazy it may seem to the people around you, please remember: Your life is in your hands. Listen to your heart, follow your dream and live your dream and your life. And may the universe help you!

Victoria Burbelo