Today, I slide down a nostalgic path in an attempt to illustrate the power of dreams. Like every other teenager, my early youth was filled with hopes and angst about the future. The energy and zeal of youth would not allow me to wallow in the humdrum routine of mundane daily activities. An extracting curriculum at Boston, coupled with two part time jobs, presented the perfect escape from what I considered to be a boring existence. One particular way of achieving this objective was travelling from Boston Chinatown to New York Chinatown to sample Nguyen Pho, a Vietnamese restaurant found in both locations.
Rather than embarking on a shopping tour of Saks Fifth Avenue, I would wait for sunset to board the Q train headed for Brooklyn. Watching the train snake its way from the ground to the bridge on its way to its destination was oddly fulfilling. Taking in the citys graffiti scene so up-close and watching laundry hanging from apartment roofs proved to be soothingly cathartic.These views inspired in me a desire to make it big in the Big Apple as New York is fondly referred to as. The most intriguing thing about this city is the way anyone from anywhere could make a name for themselves, or even find love; the epitome of the American dream. The image of me walking down Sixth Avenue in a Burberry trench coat with a Starbuck tumbler in hand was deeply ingrained in my mind. Whats more? My office would be directly opposite the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel; quite a fitting view for the high-powered professional that I endeavored to be.
It would appear that life has a way of ignoring our plans and setting us on a path that is more amenable to our talents, skills and personalities. It is therefore unsurprising that the high-powered professional of my dreamy youth is now a small business owner with a fleet of taxi cabs. Instead of Sixth Avenue, I am honking down MH Thamrin as my drivers quit to join Uber or Gojek. While this would appear to be quite a setback for any business, the story of my life is still in progress. Besides, I take pride in the fact that I had a dream; a vision which propelled me to always seek a better tomorrow.
Dreams are the ultimate fuel for human ambition. Every great endeavor started out as a dream, which grew into a massive force which drove the dreamer to reach out for the highest peaks of their enterprise. Any ground-breaking innovation or game-changing business idea has to be conjured up in a dreamers head before finding place in the real world. We may not always achieve our dreams in all aspects of life, but without them life would be virtually pointless with people constantly functioning on auto-pilot mode.
In an ever unpredictable world, the power of dreams cannot be understated. Indeed, the future of our species depends on people who can formulate solutions to problems which we do not fully understand at present. Our very survival depends on visionaries who can devise creative and sustainable ways of ending resource-based conflicts and the vagaries of climate change, just to mention a few of the challenges. To effectively prepare a 5-year old for the workplace of the future, we need to visualize that future even if we do not fully know how it may look like. Clearly, all our predictive algorithms and other smart software cannot replace the enduring and imaginative power of dreams!
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