Isn’t funny how our thoughts, ideas, and dreams change over time? Like anything, they never stay the same, and are always changing according to the experiences we have. A student at Stanford has a different experience compared to one at Central Michigan University, and a man born into wealth has one hell of a different experience compared to one who was born into poverty. So, naturally, we all have different opinions about what is right or wrong and how to live life. However, within each of us, those thoughts and opinions are changed, or at least modified, as we experience the people, the places, and the events during our lifetime. Moreover, those thoughts and opinions, dreams and desires, influence the way in which we see the world and the actions we take.
As part of a college assignment I had to return to the high school I graduated from and observe students and teachers at their work. I really enjoyed the experience, and I found it very interesting to sit as a third party within the classroom. However, as the day went on, every teacher or administrator I spoke with asked me why I wanted to teach, what I wanted to teach, and why on earth, if I was a Dean’s list student studying biomedical sciences, would I give up the aspirations of becoming a medical doctor and the pay that comes with it. Some of the teachers said it was a great decision, I will love teaching, and I will do very well in the profession. Others, however, said I was foolish; I would work more hours for less money, have little room for advancement, and, if I began teaching today, I would be offered no retirement or health benefits.
So, as my mind likes to defend itself and think creatively, I thought of ways I could “beat” the stress and delusional way of American life. I thought, “To hell with it. Maybe I could just work for a few years, live frugally, and save enough money to buy a very small house and piece of property wherever the price was right. Then, I could take up gardening, live off myself and what I had saved, all the while I would write, and just live for a bit.” Life could then just be perfect and peaceful.
Then I began to think about my experience the day before. My acting class performed our final scenes, and, as always, I had a blast performing and watching my classmates perform. My partner and I did a great job, so I was booming with energy afterwards, and on my drive back to my hometown I thought of how great it would be to do nothing but focus on acting and just become an actor. I could say, “To hell with it all! I don’t even want a ton of money anyway. I just want to live, and have fun, and I have fun acting, so can’t I just act?!”
As I sat drinking coffee over the whole experience, I couldn’t help but laugh. I wanted to be a doctor in high school and most of my college career, and before that I wanted to be a professional baseball player. But, at the same time that I wanted to play professional baseball, I also wanted to play pro football, and pro hockey as well! Go back even further, when I was in elementary school I wanted to be a dentist!
My point is that I have changed and I will keep changing, and so will you. So, don’t get too wrapped up in your head and the possibilities it creates, because if you fail to meet those expectations then life can become dull and boring, resulting in a negative view of this incredible world we live in. Additionally, all that thinking about nothing, and nothing’s possible consequences, consumes massive amounts of energy. Some people worry so much that they don’t have enough energy to get out of bed and see how beautiful the sun is. And some people are so obsessed with the past that they miss the opportunities of the present.
In no way am I saying don’t use your brain to think; but, you use it, don’t let it use you. Additionally, remember the past because the past has brought you here, but don’t become consumed by it to a point where you miss what is happening now. Moreover, in no way am I saying don’t dream, because dreams and desires keep us moving. But again, if it consumes so much energy that you do nothing in the present, then isn’t worth it. Now, here, this moment, is the reason for your existence, and the action you take at this moment is the only thing that will bring you any closer to your dreams, or make the pain of the past worth moving forward.
So, let our dreams change, and our body and mind with them, and, if you want something in the future, make sure the action you are taking today is worth it.