Discover more from Aamer's Letters
Daring To Dream & Differentiating Passion From Delusion
We've all been taken advantage of. In the process of doing whatever it takes to make your dreams come true, other's intentions matter as much as yours.
The socially recognized fact that we’ve only used 10% of our mind, is actually a myth. It’s been disputed by experts and research has prevailed over what we predominantly learnt from Hollywood. What’s not been disputed, however, is the claim that the main function of the brain is dreaming. During an average lifetime, we spend 6 years dreaming. You know how we transcend to the exquisite beaches of Maldives in the middle of submitting a work report—yeah, that’s not even counted.
We’re read by CEOs, startup founders and professionals from different walks of life across 20 countries! Subscribe now to join the community.
This isn’t an exposé, it’s the context to the issue we’re focusing on today; not the literal meaning of dreams—the figurative one.
It’s our prerogative to dream. We might not have as profound a dream as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey or even Henry Ford but our dreams are dear to us and that’s all that matters.
In a society where it’s become mandatory to live on social media, displaying all the good while negating all the bad, dreams remain the only air of mystery around us. They can’t be held captive in pictures on Instagram or in 280 characters on Twitter; they eclipse time, space and reality to make the world a more livable place for us.
“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
Dreams do feel better when they’re realized though. If dreaming is our prerogative, then setting out on the path to achieve them is our duty. Yes, it is deemed as a privilege to follow your dreams today but even those with the privilege hesitate a million times before starting out.
Regardless, the brave ones that’ve packed heavy and are already on the path—there are certain things you must be wary of. Everyone has their own journey, their own ups and downs but there’s always stories for you to learn from; stories you can use, to hopefully avoid the same mistakes those that came before you made—it helps you navigate faster around the roadblocks. The passion of realizing your dream sometimes deludes you from seeing what’s right in front of you. This is one such story.
And because this anecdote is relatively controversial, we’ll respect the privacy of the individuals and name them Ken and Ben. They were from the independent music industry, that was bustling in India a couple of years ago.
A Story For You
Ken and Ben coincidentally relocated to Goa around the same time, back in the dark ages of 2020. They met at an eco-stay, run by a very influential name in the music industry. Unlike the traditional meaning of the term ‘eco-stay’, the idea behind such an accommodation was to stay and volunteer there; and in return you learnt about music and boosted your chances of being recognized by the established players.
COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire and it birthed the idea of being a digital nomad so the relocation to Goa was a smart move.
If you’re caged, it better be with people you can learn from.
Basking in the knowledge of other musicians was everything they ever wanted—the matching of wavelengths with like-minded individuals would bolster their musical abilities. Their tastes in music and their vision were quite similar. Not only that—they both were ambitious, dared to dream and were willing to do anything to realize that dream. Their passion and hunger was what made them thick as thieves from the very beginning.
This eco-stay was loaded with the most beautiful sound systems, the best of equipments and unrivaled talent from across the nation. It looked like the place to be if you were ever going to make it big in music.
Ken and Ben had thoughtlessly pounced on the enticing offerings the eco-stay had promised. Who wouldn't? They only had to do a few chores to keep the place clean and after, learn from the best in the industry. It wasn’t a bad deal at all. However, things began unfolding as they moved in.
All that glittered wasn’t gold.
They were made to sweep the floor, clean dishes, make beds, launder clothes all day and were only allotted 30 minutes with the shiny equipment. They slogged for 10 hours every day in return for an abysmal reward. What looked like a sought-after kingdom was a torture chamber in reality. Everyone labored to make the king’s stay as comfortable as possible. And the king was the so-called influential musical genius running the place.
Parties were scheduled every single night. These were events where big labels scouted talents and offered them life-changing contracts. It was their dream to play there but they could only watch from afar. The fact that they were in such close proximity to events of that magnitude, and were yet denied a chance to play, deeply hurt them. They rebelled but all they got was “You’re not there yet. A little more work.”
They were exploited and taken advantage of every day for the next couple of months in hopes of someday, playing for a significant crowd. They became slaves for their dreams. But they were in the situation together. That’s what kept them going.
The influential musical genius saw their bond growing and sensed trouble. He started favoring one over the other to make sure they didn’t rebel any further. Divide and rule as every tyrant once did to keep his kingdom intact. He took Ben under his wing and started teaching him stuff he already knew.
A naive Ben fell for the trap, elated with the efforts of his newfound mentor. Ken awaited his turn but soon realized that it was never coming. He tried talking to Ben about it but the latter was blindsided with what he thought was a bright future ahead. He ignored Ken and they eventually fell out.
Within a month, Ken was kicked out. Everyone around him saw it coming. He had taken a stand for himself. He still dreamt but he knew what was wrong and confronted the concerned person about him. He stopped doing anything that was unrelated to music and proudly stood his ground by rejecting tasks that were beneath him. The promises made by the eco-stay weren’t delivered so he demanded what was rightfully his. He set clear boundaries and made sure no one was given the liberty to cross it. He had had enough.
Ken left with a stronger will to achieve his dream.
As of today, Ken is a well-established artist in the independent music industry, maturing and evolving day in day out. Meanwhile, Ben’s consistently improving on his chopping skills at the eco-stay.
In your efforts to do whatever it takes to make your dream come true, understand that not everyone you meet is going to help you. There are some who’re not as pure as you are. The sooner you realize a person’s intentions, the faster you’ll be able to understand right from wrong. You’ll then be able to move on to someone who actually wants to help you. And those who do end up helping you, never forget them.
Until next time,
Harsh & Aamer