All of us were born to dream big. Although this is true, most of us have given up on our dreams and are now living someone else’s dreams. When we were kids, we wanted to become a pilot, dancer, singer, athlete, doctor, architect, actor, business owner and the list goes on. But somewhere down the line, thanks to the opinions of others, we were convinced that they were right and this is all that we can become. We go with the flow. Let me give you a small summary on the conversations between me and others and how I broke loose to chase my dreams. All I was looking for was Acceptance. I got it at last from this person-
ME: Mama can we adopt these cute little kittens.
MOM: NO ! Go throw them from where you took them.
(Came home with a box of 3 kittens from an abandoned house at the doorstep of my house)
ME: Mama I want to learn to play the Guitar and the Piano. Could you please send me to classes?
MOM: I will see!
(Came inspired from school as I saw the choir perform and now my folks boast about how my nephew can play the same instruments )
ME: Papa I want to become a Cricket player.
DAD: What Cricketer? What will you become in life if you become a Cricketer? How much will you earn? NOTHING! You are going to become an electrical engineer like my colleague _____ and that’s final!
(Inspired as I saw Sachin Tendulkar lift his bat after a century)
ME: Mama I want to become a basketball player and an athlete.
MOM: Do what you want.
(This time I ignored them and without any support from them, practiced, self taught and went on to play for school team and local club. Motivation : Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant)
ME: Mama I want to become a hip hop dancer.
MOM: I don’t know what you are talking about. Go into your room and study.
( Pumped up after watching Step up movie. Self taught and went on to win the school competition for Group dance.)
ME: What is Engineering? Isn’t there any other degrees apart from it?
PAPA: Stop questioning! You are going to be an engineer. That’s final.
(This is when I let my parents make a decision on my college degree)
ME: Mama I don’t like engineering. It is not my cup of tea. I want to become a rapper.
MOM: Shut up and finish your degree.
( Inspired by rappers Eminem and Ludacris while being trapped at college. Went on to form our own rap band; the first ever in our college)
ME: Mama I’m starting my own business.
MOM: You see when Papa did his business, he failed. Be careful.
( Fired up after seeing a business opportunity)
ME: Mama, this is the photo of my girlfriend. I love her and I want to marry her one day.
MOM: I don’t like this and I will not approve it.
ME: I’m bored of work, I don’t like what I’m doing. I want to pursue my passion and my dream of becoming a Football coach.
DAD: Haha haha! Football coach! I like your jokes.
MOM: I don’t know. Do what you want. Leave me out of this.
FRIEND: I don’t think you can be one. The competition is very high out there.
BROTHER: I think it’s hard for an Indian to become a football coach in a foreign country.
Finally I could not take this anymore. While I was working up the boring corporate ladder, I met this person whom I really connected with. He had faith in me and believed I could do it. He told me you were meant for greatness. He convinced me that I was born to chase my dreams and live my life without regrets. He made me realize that I was a passionate person and I will only excel at things that I put my mind, body and soul into. Before joining my second company on April 7th 2014, I told this person that I will become a football coach in 1 year’s time. My motivation came from Eric Thomas, Les Brown, Will Smith, Michael Jordan and the movie “The Secret”. Did my study and research everyday and it was not easy.
On April 30th 2015, I got a full-time job offer as a Football coach with an NGO called SLUM SOCCER before volunteering with them for 5 months. Every morning I meet this person to thank him very much. I see his face clearly on the mirror as he smiles back at me. Life is fantastic when you live your dreams. Now Mondays are as wonderful as Sundays.
Do not wait for other’s acceptance, It may take a couple of Light Years.
We need to be true to ourselves and accept ourselves.
Follow your heart, your passion and your dreams.