Dreaming Awake: The Goal Seeker’s Dilemma

To this day, I haven’t met a person who can honestly say that they haven’t dreamed while being awake. What I mean by this is that we’ve all had those moments in which we have stumbled upon something we desired and wished we had it. Think about it, for some of us it is when we hear stories of people winning the lottery we suddenly forget that the odds aren’t in our favor. We begin to fantasize about what we would do with that money, or when we read about the celebrities extravagant vacations and we hopelessly aspire to be in their shoes one day. No matter the scenario, we have all experienced losing track of reality to envision what we presume to be a better life. Now, somewhere down the lengthy pathway of life it is when we come across the critical question: do we stop to admire what we have accomplished or do we continue to chase what may be out of our reach? In other words, do we stay put and accept where we are right now or do we make an attempt to better our situation? With this big question comes what I like to call the goal seeker’s dilemma. 

When looked at first glance, it might seem to be the more logical choice to try to have a nicer more luxurious life, but, we must stop to analyze if its worth the price.

As described in the old phrase, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

Given everything that we we put at stake to better our life and ourselves we need more of a guarantee than the mere hope of coming out victorious. But that’s just it, we can’t have a fixed outcome, there are no guarantees in life. So do we throw the present comfort out of the window and pray to live better days or do we preserve it and choose to dream awake?

The way I see it, he who didn’t try lost the most. I believe that it is better to know for certain than to have false hope. It doesn’t do anybody any good to cling on to ideas that will forever remain ideas, but, it could potentially help to take action and strive for change. That being said, taking action is easier said than done. Working towards a goal could be very risky and with all risk comes possible failure and at times it could mean losing everything. It is important to have ambition so that we can get further in life, but, it is just as important to have boundaries. Boundaries should be placed to protect what matters most to us and if at any point during our journey it begins to be negatively affected then dreaming awake would be for the best. Keep in mind that regret and pain will come from the loss of something great which will ultimately make the success insignificant. A good way to measure whether a risk is worth taking or not is to answer this question: what will you regret more attempting and failing or not attempting at all? I believe that if the thought of pursuing a goal scares me then it is something I want because I wouldn’t fear not achieving something I didn’t want to have.

The goal seeker’s dilemma lies when we are stuck pondering on what would give us the most satisfaction, the tangible present or an ambiguous and perhaps brighter future.

Helen Keller once said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthen, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

I encourage you to face your fears and to go after what you desire to have, but, don’t forget that it is okay to dream while being awake for it is the hope of achieving our goals that gets us through the day.

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Neftali Cabrales
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An undergraduate student pursuing a Mass Communications/Journalism degree. Also loves musicals and deeply appreciates nap time.

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