The article above was written by a former English professor at a British university. In the article, he goes into a bit of a rant about how people spend too much time “following dreams” and not actually doing something to earn their place. Speaking from experience, he talks about how a former student of his plagiarized on his assignment, and rather than being kicked out of university, the entire English department decided to have a meeting with him and rewarded him for the work that he legitimately completed on his own. This is what has partly inspired the author to write this article, as well as many other examples (there is also mention of American Idol in the article as well).
The title can seem quite misleading at first. Why shouldn’t we follow our dreams? Why should we have to live life without any desires, without any ambitions, or without any goals?
But reading the article, I wholeheartedly agree with everything this man said. Too many people today have the mindset that as long as you want something, you’ll get it. Too many people today expect rewards without putting in the work and dedication involved and too many people today are given credit for work that is sub-standard in quality and performance. People also forget to realize the fact that a lot of success is circumstantial as well, and even perseverance, a desire to do well, and hard work can only go so far. Case in point, there are many, many musicians that have refined their craft, that have practiced for years and worked through many projects and are only able to gain a fairly small but close following of fans. At the same time, there are people that decide to audition for American Idol because their parents tell them that they’re good, and end up gaining worldwide recognition, record deals and outstanding wealth.
This man outlined the difference between “following dreams” and showing perseverance, dedication and willpower to succeed. The man points out that we all want something greater than what we have now, and we all wish we could have it. However, he also states that it is better to develop skills, abilities and talents that you can be proud of rather than wanting something and taking shortcuts to achieve it. Even if you never go anywhere with your profession of choice, at least you can tell others that you can do it and that you’re good at it.
If all we do is “follow our dreams”, will it guarantee success in the long run? Or will it just be a neverending illusion of faith and self-gratification? I don’t believe in chasing dreams, but I believe that you should always strive to be good at something. If it takes you somewhere, that’s great. However, there are always going to be people that have everything going for them, that live fantastic, pleasurable lives…and there will always be people that are doomed to a miserable, meagre existence. After all, we have janitors for a reason; someone has to clean the toilets. It’s foolish and impractical to WANT to be something, or WANT to be like somebody. We can only play with the cards that we’re dealt and see wherever that takes us.