The Practical Approach to Following Your Dreams

To dream doesn’t mean to sit around and wait for something amazing to happen. The realistic way to reach your dreams is by working hard for it.
Photo by Steven Su on Unsplash

The Australasian rock band Crowded House were onto something when they wrote their 1986 ballad “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” The message is in the title already — stay hopeful and positive, and everything will eventually work out. It’s such a powerful message that many artists have covered it through the years. And one of the most famous renditions is by Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande:

But what exactly does it mean to dream?

If you ask me, there’s more to dreaming than sitting by the window and waiting for good things to happen to you. That’s not how it works. Yes, you must treasure that childlike excitement about making your dreams come true. But you also must work hard for what you want.

For your dreams to come true, you must be practical.

Step 1: Be sure of what you want.

I absolutely adore BTS. And it isn’t only because of their striking features and charming personalities. Their music calls out to me. In a song called “Paradise” from the 2018 album “Love Yourself: Tear,” they say, “It’s okay to stop… It’s okay to not have a dream yet as long as you’re happy.

It may seem like everyone else around you is so busy going after what they want, or maybe they’re already living their best life. Meanwhile, you might feel like you aren’t moving forward. But you aren’t competing with anyone.

Focus only on your growth and mind only your own pace.

Don’t force yourself to have a goal. Pay attention to your inner hopes and, from there, defining your dream will come more naturally. It takes time to be sure of what you want so don’t hurry.

Step 2: Be aware of your resources.

Know your advantages and accept your limitations, then find a way to maximize what you have. It isn’t practical to drop everything that’s going on for you right now just to go after what you want.

You must know whether you can afford to quit your current job while you build up your dream career. If you can sustain it, that’s great.

But let’s be realistic. In this economy, a backup plan is always necessary.

For example, you want to be a music producer. But you’re not exactly a trust fund baby; you have bills to pay and maybe a household to maintain. It’s not practical to immediately drop your current job to pursue music. Be patient. Spend wisely. Lay down the foundations of your dream career. When it seems stable and you’re starting to earn from it, that’s when you can leave your current day job.

Step 3: Surround yourself with likeminded people.

It’s easier to turn your dream into a reality when you’re surrounded by people who wholeheartedly support you and genuinely want you to succeed. These are the people who you always want to be around.

After you figure out what you want in life and how you plan to get it, start narrowing down the people who you know will help you reach your goal. Your family and friends might not have ill intentions but only a select few share your values.

Stick with those people who aren’t afraid to call you out but who wouldn’t hesitate to build you up. Distance yourself from those who fill your head with doubts.

It may take some time to filter your social circle and pinpoint the select few who will help you reach your dreams. But be patient… and that brings us to our next point.

Step 4: Patience paves the way for success.

The road to success isn’t always smooth. But the right mindset will definitely get you there. Your dreams won’t come true overnight, so you have to rely on patience, perseverance, and positivity.

Watch this video of kids who were challenged to stay completely still while typical distractions, like a bouncy house, a bunch of puppies, and an ice cream truck were placed in front of them. The kid who doesn’t move from their seat will win a hoverboard.

Like them, we’ll encounter many distractions in our pursuit to success. We’ll feel tempted to give in. But we must keep our eyes on the prize.

At the end of the challenge, the winner admitted they didn’t know how to use a hoverboard and the guy behind the scenes said they’re gonna have to learn. Similarly, we might not know our next step after reaching our dream, but we’re gonna have to continue writing our story.

Step 5: Believe in yourself and write your story

I was the national leader of an organization and at the end of my term, my core group and I organized a three-day culminating event that ends with me passing the baton to the next leader. Music is important in any occasion, so I had a playlist for every session. For my final march as leader, however, my musician decided to change the music from something soft and wistful to “Live Your Story” from Disney’s “Moana.”

It’s a very upbeat song, as expected from a Disney campaign, but the lyrics had me in tears: “You defy the impossible, got a heart unstoppable. You are more than ready… Dream big and live your story.

The song reminds us that we have the power to dream, write, and live our stories. So be a dreamer who’s got fire in your heart. Be the girl who’ll always fight for what she wants and what she believes in.

The Key Takeaway: Dream, hope, keep going.

I have infinite reasons for loving BTS and its seven members. They teach us to love ourselves and speak for ourselves. And they always reassure ARMY that their music will always be here to walk with us on that journey to finding self-worth and self-confidence, no matter how difficult it seems or how long it takes.

That aside, my greatest reason for supporting the group and their music is found in the lyrics of one of their 2016 songs, “Epilogue: Young Forever.” In it, they assert, “Dream. Hope. Keep going.

For your dream to blossom, believe that it will come true. And for it to materialize, you need to put in a lot of time and effort. Cheer queen Monica Aldama said so herself, you have to patiently keep going until you get it right. And once you reach it… well, savor your victory then start working on your next goal.

Tell us, Modern Filipina. No matter how big or small it is, tell us what you’re dreaming of.

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