Why You Must Dream For Others

I wanted to share a piece of my discussion in class last Friday. I had just given them a lecture on technology and innovation. We talked about how some startup companies are changing the world as we know it.

This was the short reflection at the end of the class. This is non-verbatim since I tend to freestyle my reflections. This is how it would play out if I wrote it down!

There is a bigger lesson to be learned today other than how Airbnb or Tesla works. It’s about the importance of dreaming for others.

One of the saddest things I’ve come to learn in the real world is just how many people have lost the ability to dream. Many have been so crushed by reality that they simply just refuse to ever dream again. A world without dreamers is frightening. How can we solve the problems of the world if we don’t believe they can be solved? How can we hope for a brighter tomorrow if we don’t believe it will ever come?

So at the end of this lecture, I want you guys to do this for me:

Dream big for yourself. Dream bigger for other people.

It’s okay to chase after your own goals. There’s nothing selfish with doing that. But I hope you see how it can play a part in improving the lives of other people. I hope your personal ambitions can help the people around you.

We all reap the benefits of innovation because someone went out to build the Airbnb’s and the Tesla’s of the world. We enjoy the comfort of technology because someone believed that change was needed. We have our freedom today because someone believed that change could be done. All our dreaming can bring about the positive impact the world needs. And we need all the positive we can get.

I want you all to recognize that your ability to aspire for something is a gift. It has the potential to change narratives. It has the power to challenge unfair status quo’s. Your privilege comes with the responsibility of lifting others up. Why? Because if we don’t do it, no one else will. It’s as simple as that.

You’ll realize that people don’t really lose their ability to dream. They just become scared to. They become scared of failure and being judged. This is why we all have to dream for others. We all have to get it done. A certain quote comes to mind:

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Don’t be afraid to aspire for something bigger than yourself. People will draw from your strength. Sometimes people need a reason to believe again and you can be that reason. By speaking up against injustice, you give other people voice. By working hard and doing well, you blaze a trail for people to follow. It’s a beautiful domino effect of people inspiring people. Be the light people can look to when they’ve lost the courage to fight.

Hope is the foundation of action. If we ever want to make a difference in this world, we must first dream it to be possible. The problems around are too big for just one person to solve. That’s why we need to do it together. That’s why we need to hope together. Dream big for yourself. Dream bigger for other people.

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