Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Unfortunately, he had it backwards.
The President of the United States doesn’t have responsibility because he first had power. Rather, he has power because he assumed a huge responsibility-Benjamin Hardy
(paraphrased from “31 Things That Will Happen When You Finally Decide To Live Your Dreams“)
Responsibility. Sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? If you wanted to become an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, or even a successful student, you have a dream. You have a responsibility to protect that dream.
But most of the time, we teenagers and even young adults are led to believe that if we do not fulfill our dreams, it’s alright. In fact, we are taught that it’s the norm. We are supposed to ‘grow up’, ‘be real’, ‘stop daydreaming’ and many other comments from adults that shoot down our dreams.
Whatever happened to that child who wanted to be a king or queen when they grew up? Whatever happened to that child who wanted to marry so and so when they grew up? Whatever happened to that boy or girl who always wanted to be first in class?
“Children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations. Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up.”-Sir Ken Robinson
Dream killing happens so frequently to the extent that we stop believing in dreams anymore. We chase after degrees and jobs that pay the most money to buy a bigger house and bigger car that we don’t need to impress people we do not even like. We give up on relationships too easily. We stop believing that we can be someone who makes a difference. We stop believing in our dreams.
“This is a fundamental irony of most people’s lives. They don’t quite know what they want to do with their lives. Yet they are very active.” — Ryan Holiday
That’s why the cinemas make so much profit. People go there to see what it’s like to chase after dreams— to become the musician they always wanted to be, to win the World Cup, or even to finally marry the girl of their dreams.
But for us, oh nononono! We’re normal people! We don’t have the talent! We don’t have the skills! We need to provide for our families! And the list goes on. Excuses, excuses, excuses.
Would you like to take up the responsibility to chase after your dreams?
NO THANK YOU!!!
Don’t successful people have to do all those things too? Don’t you think that they are able to give those excuses too? But, they don’t. Instead, they start. They don’t back away from responsibilities. They welcome them.
Jeff Goins has this to say about how he became a writer:
…this was the advice best-selling author Steven Pressfield gave me when I was first starting out, it’s haunted me ever since.
In an interview, I asked him when I could call myself a writer, and he said: “You are a writer when you say you are. Screw what everyone else thinks. You are when you say you are.”
The next day, I started calling myself a writer. You know what? It worked. I became more confident, and people noticed. That confidence led to competence, and before I knew it, I was this thing I was pretending to be.
Here’s the lesson: if you play a part long enough, you start to become that person. So why not choose to play the role you wish you had?
-Jeff Goins in “The Best Way to Not Become a Writer“
So, start calling yourself a doctor. An engineer. A dentist. Whatever you want to be. Then, start assuming the responsibility that comes with the role. The world’s a stage as Shakespeare once said. Which part are you going to play? Or more specifically, which part do you want to play?
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” — William Shakespeare
In one of my favorite articles: “How To Make Quantum Leaps Personally And Professionally“, Benjamin Hardy provides the scientific evidence of why you should start taking up responsibilities (roles) and how that will help you in achieving your goals. An excerpt from that article reads:
“You will come to play your role so naturally that you’ll no longer be acting. Acting as if will become acting as is. You will become who you intended to be, which is your most authentic self. And in so doing, the attainment of your goals will be natural and inevitable”-Benjamin Hardy
Are you ready to start assuming responsibility? You can be a lousy musician, an unknown blogger, an amateur footballer, but you are who you say you are. And by assuming that responsibility, you’ll naturally do the things associated with the role. And like Benjamin Hardy says, attaining your goals will be natural and inevitable. You will get better. You will improve. You will succeed. You just need to start by taking up the responsibility associated with the role.
How does this relate to my success in SPM? The main reason you’re probably here, right? Well, I succeeded at SPM (8A+ and 3As, two extra subjects yo 🙂 ) by first calling myself a straight A+ student. I believed it in my heart and though many laughed at me and thought I was joking, I kept the dream. Many students, friends, and teachers sure thought I was kidding. I wasn’t one of the best students in the class. I wasn’t in the top ten despite being in the best class in my form.
But, once I started assuming the responsibility of calling myself a straight A+ student, I knew that I had to do it. I stayed up late nights to study while others were sleeping because that’s what the best students do. I worked harder than everyone else because that’s all part and package of the role. I sacrificed going for chess nationals and representing my state because extra classes were more important.
But, once I saw it as part of the responsibility that came with my role, everything became easier. It was almost as if it was my second nature— to make the decisions I made and to do the work I needed to do to succeed.
There was clarity. There was a purpose. There was a role I had to play.
“Set a goal and do everything possible to accomplish it”–Da Ruey
(the quote I gave the journalist who interviewed me about my SPM results)
Sure, there were breakdowns and failures. I tried a little too hard to do it all on my own. I was depressed for a certain period of time. I cried in the shower. I had the lowest self-confidence I ever had in my whole life. I felt worthless. I didn’t get enough sleep and rest. I tried to do it all alone. It was probably the lowest point of my short life thus far.
But, that was because I had forgotten to commit my plans to God. To ask Him for strength and wisdom and His blessing for my pursuit. For the role which I had taken up. I didn’t ask God whether my role was aligned with His will.
After I did that, I had peace. I knew that the goal I had in my mind was one God approved of and I knew that even if I didn’t achieve it, I am still His child.
God placed people in my life who helped me out with my studies. Friends who helped me with questions and topics I didn’t know how to do or were weak in and they encouraged me to work hard. Very hard. Massive shout out to all you #juscolibrarygang peeps: Thank you so much! I couldn’t have done it without you guys.
Seet, Aaron, Alvin, Declan, Sun Ting, James, Christopher, Chun Hwee and Qi Chen, THANK YOU!
“The bigger the dream, the more important the team.” — Robin Sharma
And on results day, though I wasn’t a straight A+ student, I sure did better than most of the other students. This however is not an article for me to boast but one which I am pouring my heart into and sharing my story with you — telling you about my failures (depression) and how I did what I did to succeed because the underlying message I want to tell you is: You Can Do It Too!
So, am I just looking back into the past and just telling you a story like what so many elderly people do? Not exactly.
Here, I would also like to tell you about my new responsibility and my hopes for the future. I’ve been calling myself a blogger/writer for the last few weeks. And that’s why I write. Because that’s just what I do. It’s not so that people will read my blog (though that would be cool) but because that’s what I do. I write and I create content. And one day, I hope to grow into this role and achieve my goals. I hope that one day, you’ll be holding a physical copy of one of my books or novels.
“Life Begins At The End of Your Comfort Zone”. Don’t teenagers always love quotes on Instagram or Facebook like this? Well, today I’m challenging you to actually step out of your comfort zone. To start even when you’re not ready. Because hey, “you don’t have to be great to start, you have to start to be great, right”? 😀
In conclusion, never stop trying. Chase your dreams. Work hard. Put in the hours. Most importantly, do not ever give up on your dreams. The world needs your dream. The world needs your idea and your invention. The world needs your story. Go out there and chase your dreams today!
Remember, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!
Thank you for reading.
- To Chase, Or Not To Chase Your Dream.. by Darius Foroux
- 31 Things That Will Happen When You Finally Decide To Live Your Dreams by Benjamin Hardy
- How To Make Quantum Leaps Personally And Professionally by Benjamin Hardy
- The Best Way to Not Become a Writer by Jeff Goins
- Free Spirit 2 (my favorite album!!!) by Daniel Dennehy (my favorite freestyler)