Let’s talk about dreams, shall we? Because we all have them.
Dreams are nice. We like having them. They let us envision something that we might not yet have but wish to have one day. Dreams act as encouragers for us to achieve things. Without dreams, we would not have willingness to do things.
But, just like in everything, dreams can be harmful if not used moderately. Too much of dreaming can detach us from reality. Too much of one dream can turn into obsession and bad ambition. I am going to focus on the second one here, but it will also touch on the first point indirectly.
How do we know whether a dream is turning into ambition? My answer to that is ‘when we do not let any other option in our minds’.
Let me give you an example.
By now you know that I like studying and I always have. When I was going to apply for an MA program in Turkey years ago, I watched my dream become an ambition. Well, actually, I did not know at the time. I noticed this change in hindsight.
With my first ever linguistics class, I realized I wanted to do linguistics. Doing an MA was the best option for me because focused study is how you can best deepen your knowledge in any field. Until the last year of my undergrad years, I just took linguistics classes and enjoyed them all.
When the last year of undergrad studies came, things started changing. Now, the situation was becoming more serious because soon I would be out of school. So I either needed to find a job or do an MA.
I did not like the first option. So, it was out of question.
I wanted to do an MA, but not just anywhere. It had to be in my own university because it was good in the field and it had a good record of sending MA students abroad for PhD, which I eventually wanted to do.
I was left with just one option then: MA in my own university. If this did not work out, I would be jobless and schoolless. It was a big risk for me.
It did happen eventually, but what if it had not? (technically, I would lose only one year but that was also a no-no for me).
Now, thinking back at that year, I am thinking: I wish I had behaved more balanced. I could still have prioritized MA in my university as a career option but still have B-plans. Life is not black and white after all. It is true that I learnt a lot from this process and did not let (most of) my dreams turn into ambitions. At least in the best way I could. But this is an example, maybe the prime example, of a dream becoming an ambition and doing harm in my life (I was not that happy and healthy that years because of too much stress). I know this change happened because my dream became more than a dream: it became the only way I could envision my life to proceed. Dreams are more flexible.
That being said, what do you think about the connection between dreams and ambitions? What are your dreams and ambitions? Can you tell when your dreams become ambitions? Let’s discuss.