Make your dreams come true. Do not be afraid to dream the impossible dream. You can make it possible. You are living at a time when what you need to know and learn is available to you. Do not fear and dare to dream.
At a young age, I learned how to look for ways to earn some money so we could keep our bodies and souls together. Poverty is painful, and it often dulls the mind. I was eleven. We were living in slums.
My friends were kids my age too. Every night, after we play, we tell stories to each other. We talk about wrestlers, action stars, gangs, and the girls we fancy.
The first time I told them I dream of finishing college, they laughed. They thought I was joking. And the adults who listened said I was dreaming. Finishing college was an impossible dream.
I knew I was dreaming because we didn’t even know where to get our next meal. And our neighbors knew it too. Most of them did not get to finish high school.
We lived in a small world. We didn’t have any idea about the bigger world and all the opportunities it offers. Martial Law was lifted on January 1981, but everything remained the same for us in the slums. The economy was at its worst, and the poor people like us got hit the hardest.
When I was in grade five, I left home. I didn’t know where to go. But I was sure of one thing: I won’t stop going to school. One of my greatest joys was to graduate from Juan Sumulong Elementary School.
I went back home.
Some weeks after, I took the high school entrance examination. When the lists of test passers were posted, I became a butt of jokes in our neighborhood.
I learned that doubters are everywhere.
Someone spread the news that though I passed the examination, my name was listed at section Sampaguita, which she believed to be the last section.
It was okay with me. I already knew that Sampaguita was the first section, and I was one of those who topped the test.
But high school life was not easy. It seemed that there was no way I could last a single year.
I did not find any subject difficult. No, not at all.
The problem was in the family. The problem was that we had no money and I had to help find our next meal.
I was often absent. When present, I was too tired to listen. And when some teachers made fun of my appearance and accused me of laziness, I felt too small to even looked at them.
I am telling you this because even though the world thinks that your dream is impossible, you can make it possible.
Make your dreams come true.
Do not limit yourself to what you can see now. Use your imagination. Muster the courage to act. Do not delay. Make your first step.
Most of what we enjoy today was impossible at first. Things we deemed essential parts of our lives like mobile phones and the Internet were even unthinkable. There were once unnecessary.
But those who thought that the impossible can be possible pave the way for what’s real today.
Likely, some people who love you won’t believe in you, and they’ll try to reason with you to stop.
Others will laugh, then mock you.
Most people will reject you. Rejection is not failure but calibrator. I believe that rejection is a way for us to understand the world around us. We can choose to stop. Or we can continue to breakthrough.
You will likely fail at first, second, third … and tenth tries. The giants who lived before us have tried thousands of times. We can now see further because we can stand on the shoulders of giants. We can see further of what’s possible — and we can make the possible happen.
Just do it.
When I was young, I was told that I was dreaming too big.
People are quick to point out that I was a nobody – I was born to a poor family and the chance that I would finish grade school was less than having a good meal for a day. On most days, we only have tuyo and lugaw.
In 1954, athletes established world records that had long been considered beyond the reach of human physical powers. These supposedly unattainable marks were surpassed. Thank you, Roger Gilbert Bannister.
Nowadays, they are just ordinary records.
Do not let the self-limiting belief of others about themselves and about you limit your life.
Make it possible. Just do it.
Start At Once
Do not delay your dreams. The worst obstacles are those we create ourselves. Mañana habit kills many ambitions and broken many souls.
The best antidote to procrastination is progress. Small actions beat mañana mentality like lighting a candle in the middle of darkness.
Even if you don’t know how much time you need to do a new project, start at once. Do ten percent of the work and you’ll soon know.
Ten percent is enough for you to approximate the amount of time you need to finish a new project. Do not make your planning eternal.
It took me 30 years of waiting to write my first book. It took me 17 days to finish it.
If only I knew much of these things when I was growing in slums, I would have achieved much in life. If only someone was there to mentor me and teach me the ways of the world.
But I cannot bring back the old days. What’s important is that I know it now, and I can teach this to others.