Are you living your dream or your parents’?

I have had a rough time over the past few months that I have been trying to grow my ideas into a business. I will site four incidences that have motivated me to write this article:

Myself:

I have been a bright student all my life. Always somewhere among the top and my parents have always taken pride in that. My mum calls me a doctor. Hypothetically speaking, if I were to pursue Science to PhD level, I would be a doctor. On the other hand, I have been on radio, written online a lot, been an emcee at a couple of events and ultimately run a blog. I love science. I chose it but along the way I realized that media was more natural. I enjoy every minute of writing and photography and the thrill of hearing my voice over the microphone. Something tells me I can juggle both. We’ll see how that plays out.

Vanessa Mdee:

Did you know that the Tanzanian songstress went to law school? According to her, she did not like it. It is only until her dad passed on that she auditioned for MTV Base Africa VJ and won. We all know she is East Africa’s greatest female singer at the moment.

Paulo Coelho:

Paulo Coelho is the author of the best-selling novel The Alchemist. He wanted to be a writer but he was discouraged by his parents who saw no future in that profession.He was even committed to a mental asylum thrice! He dropped out of law school and rebelled but later became one of the best authors of his time!

3 Idiots (The Movie):

When I first watched this movie, it was all about laughing so hard because the comedy is real. I currently have it on speed dial and it reminds me more than ever to follow my passion. There is a boy who was passionate about engineering but hanged himself because he could not handle the pressure school put on him in order to complete his project. He was proud to be the first engineer from his village but his efforts did not bear fruit as he quit right before his miracle happened. Another had a natural talent at photography but his parents could not hear any of it, his fate was sealed in engineering school.

My Take:

We all have different abilities and passions that come naturally to us. I do not know what it is like to be a parent and to be honest, I am really scared to be one because some day my kid will be grown and decide not to read books or exercise or pursue whatever career I dim fit for them. It has been hard for me to compete with students who are truly passionate about science and can be creative in that area. It will be equally hard for someone who has no genuine love for media and public speaking to compete with me as well. I am so glad that at the age of 22, I have realized that nobody is responsible for how my life will turn out but me. It is so easy to tell myself that parents are right and they mean well. I am sure they do but what if I do not need to conform? What if starting a business is my idea of conforming? What if I want to spend a few years of my life like a piper then live like a king afterwards?

These are not theories. Everything I want has been done before, by people as average as I am. I see students struggling to get that science degree but become a 10 at politics. When was the last time you heard of that lawyer who models? The truth is that sometimes we are scared of uncertainty; we conform to the average person’s idea of what is great and what is not, so we just settle.

We settle for regular jobs, regular lifestyle, regular paychecks, regular vacations, regular cars, regular loans, regular mortgage, and regular spouses. We just settle. Afterwards, we blame the government for stealing from the common man and our employers for ignoring appraisal requests.

In my world, the government owes me nothing. God forbid I ever get employed; my boss will owe me exactly what the contract says I am owed. The average mind criticizes the 1%.The average mind believes that money is the root of all evil. The average mind teaches their children to conform, and buy cars on loans. Here is what I know and live by:There is plenty of room at the top for those who are willing to fight for it.Also,there is little or no competition at the top because 99% of the population is average.

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If your ambition does not allow you to sleep, if you wake up every day excited to face new challenges that lead you to your goal,by all means you should go at it with zeal.Do not listen to the little man who tells you that pursuit is not marketable.

Are you a parent?

Just once, in your child’s life, at the age of 18-23,sit them down and ask what they really want to become.How they envision their future.Do not let them wait until you are gone for them to make that decision.Maybe they are passionate about science after all but let it come from them.Too many adults are leading lives they only settled for.Do not let your kid be that ever bitter nurse, that rude receptionist, that lazy teacher or that musician with a terrible voice.

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I will not wait till my parents are gone to show them how great I can be.Maybe they will just be glad that I became an adult after all.

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