THE BLOG

What Does It Mean to Follow Your Dreams?

06/19/2013 12:59 pm ET | Updated Aug 18, 2013
  • Clarah Rudo Manuhwa Founder of IZWI Africa, Engineering Innovation strategist and passionate Zimbabwean Entrepreneur with lots of StartUp Scars

The funniest thing I heard someone say gave me a hard blow as a reflection of life was shattered into a million pieces before me.

It was clear, with a straight face: "What I want to do with my life is anything I want! That I actually love doing and makes me money." I was cracking in tears because I thought, oh my sweet little boy! Wait for the real world and you can't do what you want.

Then one morning the blow took its chance to have the last laugh. It was like I was sitting with a mirror image of yesterday. She reminded me of the weeks I had dragged myself out of bed with nothing my heart skipped a beat at. The days when all meaning was lost because all actions were based on the society's norms. It was a sacrifice between surviving and the heart. Life had become a toiling effect. Most people struggle to get out of bed, that is for sure, but if you have something that gives you an extra heartbeat you will get up eventually geared up to do what you know you love doing, are happy about and gives you financial stability. (That thing you love to do and time passes by so quickly -- and no not procrastination.) Many of us do the same things over again expecting something to miraculously change, or we simply entertain the situations that are not working saying time will change things. We live our life constructing the norms based on other people's successes. We get comfortable, thus we never get to do the things that we have been dreaming to try out. You will never get to start that project you wanted because you are still stuck in the chaos of what society expects you to be doing. Remember that traveling tab you keep listing on your to do list before you die: Stop reading the trip stats that keep telling you that you can't travel with less than $100. What the statistics have no control over is your dream and how you will make it happen. We have been good at identifying obstacles and labels to what "X" and "Y" can do and cannot.

Now that statement started getting some flesh. Imagine going to the beach. Most play around the sand. It is the norm to wax before of course, wear your bikini, tip your toes or if lucky also your body in the water near to the shore, and then lie in the sun. Then you have successfully spent a day at the beach. Few dare to play with the waves; everyone is constantly checking if they are in line with what the majority is doing. To counter the prior: You cannot be the only one wearing a jumpsuit at the beach -- that is just plain weird even if you would have been happy in a jumpsuit, though you wouldn't dare. So what then does it mean to follow your dreams in a world where we are constantly overlooking our shoulders to see if we are in line with everybody else? When you have a clock ticking to write your story, take your time, breathe and listen to yourself. Only you have the final pen to scribble YOUR story, your dreams. Follow your passions. It is a challenge, and you might have to change pens and pencils throughout the book.