As children, we all see big dreams; have high hopes from our lives. Maybe, because all the adults in our family see us as some extra ordinary child. “He was only 1.5 years old, when he learnt counting upto 1000.”, “At 1 year of age, she could speak full sentences.”, “He could differentiate between a Rs. 10 and Rs. 1000 note only when he was 15 months old.”, “She started running before the kids of her age learnt to stand without support.”
We hear such stuff so often about us in early years of our lives, that we start to believe that we’re extraordinary, that we’re special, and that we don’t need to work as hard as others need to. Why should we? We’re better than them since birth after all. That once we grow up, we’ll leave everyone behind in our field. Though, thinking that we have the capability to be better than others is not wrong, but the problem arises when we become so overconfident about ourselves, and so sure that we’ll be successful. Slowly, as we grow up, and face the real world, we tend to realize how wrong we were. It doesn’t really matter how early we learnt to count, unless we can solve the math sum under 2 minutes. It doesn’t really matter whether we could differentiate between two red currency notes as a child or not, if we can’t understand what effect the Demonetization had on our economy. Whether we learnt to run sooner or later, what good it is when we can’t even stand in this race of life?
Achieving something in our lives doesn’t mean we’ll keep achieving such feats throughout our lives without working hard upon them. Your elders just tell you how early you learnt to walk, they don’t tell you how many times you fell and hurt yourself before you could do it.
Our overconfidence is strengthened by the education system which refuses to fail students before 10th grade. We pass every year, with the grade A1, A2 or something. Students get a 10 CGPA in 10th without putting in as much efforts, which boosts their overconfidence. They join some coaching, to prepare for JEE or NEET, so sure they’ll crack it. Those 10 CGPA-ers are then given the best batch in the coaching, which raises their overconfidence even further. Now they start believing that they’re better than so many people, and don’t really need to work as hard. There’s no exam they can’t crack. Hence, they become ignorant of their studies. And, even though they have the potential, they start failing.
Such a scenario happens with all of us in some form or other. Geeta Phogat in Dangal went through something similar. Now, whether we achieve our dreams or not, depends on when we realize our ignorance. In general case, we realize it too late. We realize it when our fallen grades are slapped on our face. We realize it when we see our elder brothers or sisters go through the fate we don’t want. And, at times, when we realize our ignorance, its already too late. It comes to us as one shock, maybe the 4 digit rank in the coaching test, or marks lower than the cutoff, or seeing our classmates score way more than us, or something else. As soon as we realize it, we try to run. We try to catch up. But, the meeting point is far ahead the deadline.
We can’t go back in time, the mistakes have been made. Now, we need to accept the truth. It seems hard at first. We had thought to own so and so in our lives, graduate from this or that college, etc etc. But, it was us who was ignorant. Accepting the reality is hard. Slowly, we see our dreams adjusting themselves. Our hopes start to reduce its expectations. While, there was a time when no other college than the prime seemed to be made for us, now we just hope that we get admission in a decent one. We start making compromises with our lives. We accept the fact that we won’t get the life we expected to get.
At times, this realization is so sudden and the compromise of the dreams is so huge, that we barely get any time to come in terms with it. A lot of thoughts are there in our minds, that our brain gets messed up. It starts getting frustrated. And a scary thought starts dominating all others – that what if we haven’t realized the reality enough? What if our dreams are to fall even lower? It hits so hard, we start to panic. Thinking about our future scares us, and we see a really different one than we saw a few months back. It feels like we were so high up in a parachute, and it got damaged, and now we’re falling towards the ground.
It takes us some time, but then that dream seems to be enough to get through this short life we have. We realize we’re a part of the crowd. We adjust ourselves in it, though we frequently look back at the time we wasted. And we convince ourselves that our original dream was too far fetched, and too unrealistic to achieve. Now, we work as hard, try to catch up, and hope we don’t have to adjust with something even lower.
Also Read: Hope