As Millennials, we tend to have our heads in the clouds. We are living our young adult lives during a time of change and expansion unlike anything we have ever seen before. Being part of such an opportunistic generation has inspired many of our curious young minds to dream enormous dreams – the kind that leave us staring up at the clouds and wondering what will become of our lives – but we should probably work harder on keeping our feet on the ground. What I mean by all this head in the clouds, feet on the ground talk is that while our generation prides itself on overcoming the world one grandiose dream at a time, dreaming about it all isn’t going to make it all happen – doing it will. As one of my favorite lyricists Wale said in Ambition (aka one of my favorite songs of all time),
“easy to dream a dream, though it’s harder to live it.”
Let me give you a personal example. Since I could even conceptualize what the value of an education was, I knew I wanted to earn a Master’s Degree. I set a goal for myself at a very young age that I would accomplish this goal by the age of 25. To make a very long story with lots of plot twists and many turns in multiple (mostly wrong) directions, I am doing it. Better than that, I am beating it by a month and doing it at 24 (and 11 months – but who’s counting?). That was a pretty big dream I had at a pretty young age, but it wasn’t easy to live up to.
Getting this far has taken more than a couple wake up calls, a lot of change and my fair share of personal growth, but now that I am near the finish line, I am finally figuring out how to push full-speed ahead towards the light I thought I saw at the end of the tunnel way back when I started this journey. The point here is that I set a goal for myself (my dream), I gave up a lot that my fellow #twentysomething peers were able to experience in their years following college in the process (hard) and I worked my a$$ off to make it happen (living said dream). Why? Because accomplishing that goal was important to me. But mostly, because that is the life I chose to live, so those were the sacrifices I chose to make. For the last two years, working toward my degree and the potential career that piece of paper would afford me was my driving force. People always want to be around you when you are successful, but people hardly want to hang in there with you through the #comeup. (That’s a true lesson on friendship, but we will get to that one later on.)
Let’s pull the focus back a bit and set a wider angle. Basically the lesson here is that our generation has a habit of putting so much hope into our dreams and goals that we sometimes have little energy left to actually go after them. I don’t know about you, but when I dream, it is LARGE. Like, I am straight up #teambougie and I am NOT trying to hide it. Here’s the thing though: I don’t want anyone to hand it to me, I want to go after it and get it all by myself. I know what I’m worth, I know what I want, and I certainly know how hard I will have to work to get there. I have so much faith in my ambition and for good reason – it’s gotten me this far in life. Why in the world would I stop now? In the same song I quoted above, Wale phrases this notion perfectly by stating:
“Ambition is priceless, it’s something in your veins. And I put that on my name.”
Ambition is either something you have, or something you don’t. There is no in-between in my book. You can be someone who dreams in order to inspire change around you, or you can be someone who takes a dream and influences that change . I believe that our generation is full of do-ers, I just don’t think all of us have been motivated properly. You can absoultely be what you want, do what you want, and live how you see fit; you just have to work hard in order to get there. I believe our generation is perfectly capable of working for that change and making our dreams our reality. We just need to get the rest of the world on board with us. So to conclude this whole sentiment, I will again quote the lyrical genius Wale – and I don’t pass that title around lightly – and leave you with this little tidbit of motivation (with my own personal twist):
“They gon’ love [us] for [our] AMBITION.”
I can promise that the success you taste will be that much sweeter when you can lay your head down every night knowing that you pushed through all the hard work and sacrifice that it took to make those dreams you once dreamed into your reality.
Share your dreams with me on Twitter using the hashtag #MillenialDreams!