Are some of the so called motivational mantras out there actually setting people up for disappointment? The author looks at how these messages may not be for everyone.
There is a ton of material out there telling us to follow our dreams, to take risks and to make it happen, so that life is worth living. The ideology being pushed is that a 9-5 job can’t be satisfactory and is generally described as being chained to a desk in an invisible prison. While this may be fine and dandy to those whose aspirations are outside this visual and can actually pursue them, where does it leave those who are unable to do so?
For some, the 9-5 may be a necessity, while to others, it may be a choice that they are content with, but the constant flow of messages that those in such jobs aren’t truly satisfied can become discouraging. It can make these individuals feel insufficient or as though they are not leading fulfilling lives. They may go from being content with what they have to being unsure of themselves and the choices they have made in their lives.
While this may not be what most people want to hear as it goes against the mantra of “follow your dreams”, the reality is that not everyone can actually ”follow their dreams”, and for some, life is what it is. The intentions of those spreading this message may be positive, but the damages it could cause could also outweigh the benefits. This is actually a disservice to all the hardworking individuals out there, who work day in and day out to ensure that the jobs that not everyone may want to do are getting done.
It can be worthwhile to spread this message among the youth, when they are still discovering who they are, and where they want to reach in life. They have the time to explore and grow, fall and get back up again, because at that age, they usually only have themselves to think of, and the risks they may take may not impact anyone else. However, once you reach a certain stage where you have other responsibilities or a family at stake, the risks may be too high. At that point, an individual may not be able to drop everything else in pursuit of personal dreams if he/she also has to worry about putting food on the table. This can lead the individual to feel a sense of inadequacy and distress, leaving much to be desired.
This is not to say that the life of these individuals cannot have a happily ever after, but that the focus should not be on “following your dreams”, but in finding the joy in the life we have, and feeling gratitude. Life has its struggles for everyone, yet, we can always find that ray of light that can bring happiness and peace, and that is what we should strive to seek. When you are content with what you have and grateful for it, you can also have peace of mind. If you are always in the pursuit of finding your calling, you may lose out on the things that are right here in front of you.
Bahar is a recruiter by profession, an aspiring writer by night, and a mom of toddler twins. She has an unending thirst for learning, as she completed her BComm in Canada, an MA in Dubai, and continues to develop herself with reading and research.
With her column, she shares her journey as she grows and learns more about this crazy beautiful world we live in.