Dreams are Powerful

Anil Vishnu Vaidya

Author: Anil Vishnu Vaidya

Date: Wed, 2016-09-21 13:39

I remember the day when I thought of buying a Mercedes Benz. The year was 1976; I was 23 then, had a salary of Rs. 1,400 per month, with little financial strength at home. Without any regard to my financial standing, I said I wanted to drive a Mercedes.

Some time later, I was with my wife outside the Mumbai airport, sitting on a wall along the garden and I said to her, ‘Can I ever fly?’ I was stretching my neck, watching an aeroplane taking off. I was still working with salary of Rs. 1,400 p.m. Later,  my wife urged me to apply for an MBA in the US. Looking at our financial position it was a hopeless case. All the same, we spent money putting in our applications. I got admission in probably seven universities, but still it was impossible to take off. Then Akron (the fifth largest city in the US State of Ohio) came up with full Graduate Assistantship and I flew off, with USD 500 in my pocket without any further possibility of money coming from India.

I recollect having been impressed by the doctorate professors and the knowledge they had. One Dr. Hawk was a D.Sc. (I think). Even though I returned to Mumbai, I said to my wife that my aspiration was to do a doctorate.

This preamble was to give you some background. The dreams I had painted took a long time to take shape. Could these have materialised earlier? Could these have been shaped better? Maybe; maybe not. I do not know.

However, one thing I learned in all these years is that dreams can be realised. And day-dreaming really works. All we need is the courage to dream and voice those dreams. This is important; one needs to verbalise the dreams, say them openly without any fear or apprehension of being ridiculed. Secondly keep the dreams alive through the years; do not allow them to slip away. Keep talking about your dreams, do not worry about what others might think.

Having dreamt, now start thinking about them. As long as you have them at the back of your mind all the time, you will find a way. A window, a door will open for you. You will get to know from time to time what is to be done. There is no set course; this will always remain uncharted path, to be traversed individually. While there are no rules there are still some guidelines I practised that produced results. I will keep them for Part II.

For the time, contemplate on what I have said here. I’ll love to read your thoughts.


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Dear Sir, thank you for articulating your personal chronicles & enlightening us about Power of Dreams. I completely agree with your perception, sir. As has been rightly said by Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Publisher Forbes Magazine, “When You Cease to Dream, You Cease to Live”. Dreams are the raison d'être for living. Your deterministic statement “without any regard to my financial standing, I said I wanted to drive a Mercedes” is very apt. A dream or future vision is not confined within the frontiers of financial stature. There have been umpteen instances where people from humble backgrounds have made it to the top-notch pinnacles of success by virtue of their dreams. Be it his excellency Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, whose memoirs of rise from a humble middle-class family to the spearhead of Indian Space Technology missions or Mr Narayana Murthy, Infosys co-founder who built a software behemoth & industry bellwether of $10 billion from a paltry sum of $250. This is also manifested in the manner Mr Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former captain of Indian cricket team, who accomplished his dream of playing for India at International Level. His humble background of being a railway ticket collector didn’t stop him from dreaming & achieving that dream. Or Elon Musk, who went on to attain his dreams of disruptive technologies like Pay Pal, Tesla etc. I believe, success in accomplishing dreams requires audacity to dream & capability to articulate the dreams. Prior & continual visualisation of accomplishment of dream in mind, motivates us to be steadfast in achieving the dream. This should be followed by genuine efforts to succeed in the endeavour adds rigidity to the dreams. Altogether, I believe an audacity to dream, ability to prior visualise the success & genuine instincts are a quintessential modus operandi for achieving the dreams. Though the time frame for success may differ, dreams are achievable. Even I have a dream – A dream of making a difference to the lives of many underprivileged. It was way back in August 2011, when I visited Ashray Akruti, a voluntary organisation working for hearing impaired in Hyderabad. I was a part of Street Cause volunteers, who decided to make an impact & celebrate friendship day at with these differently abled children. Their innate talent, ambitions, cheerfulness, cordial reception & hospitality despite the hardships, caught my attention & thereafter changed perception of life for me. Back home, sitting in front of my desktop, a subconscious thought trickled down my mind. What can I do to make a difference to their Lives? How can I empower their lives & contribute back to the society? From then on, this turned into a life-time dream to achieve. I have been involved as a volunteer in various educational awareness, health campaigns, impact days as well as forums to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals. I believe, my work experience & management education, inter alia, will augment my ability to achieve this dream of making a difference in social sector.

Dear Professor Vaidya, I would like to thank you for writing this blog and sharing your story in a simple yet impactful way. I recently read the book titled “The Secret” authored by Rhonda Byrne. The author of the book, like Professor Vaidya, talks about the power of dreams and comes up with a theory called “law of attraction”. Byrne focuses on the importance of positive thinking and the idea that dreams, in fact, do come true. Byrne writes, “Your life right now is a reflection of your past thoughts.” I also believe that knowingly or unknowingly we become the person we think we are. Paulo Coelho, the author of the widely renowned novel “The Alchemist” said: “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. I can also relate to this as when I was in 3rd year of my engineering I wanted to join SRI and work on new and innovative products. When I saw SRI building in Noida, during my internship in 3rd year, I thought this is the company I will work for. Placement process for my batch started with a startup company founded by Stanford University professor. I cleared the telephonic interview rounds and 3 candidates were shortlisted for the final round which was going to be held after three days. Meanwhile, Placement Committee announced that SRI, Noida was going to come to our campus for final placements and the 3 final shortlists of Startup Company are not allowed to sit in the placements according to rules. I went for the final interview of Startup Company and was unable to clear it. I was shattered as I was not able to appear in the selection process of SRI and I was not able to clear the final round interview of the Startup Company. Later in the week Placement Committee announced that SRI, Bangalore is coming to campus for placements and finally on 6th August I was placed in my dream Company and my dream was realized. I believe that everyone should have a dream as dreams keep us motivated to work towards achieving it. As our former president, Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said: “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”

Thank you, Sir, for writing this article on “Dreams” which is very relatable to not just me, but almost everyone who ever had a dream. In the words of APJ Abdul Kalam, “Dreams is not what you see in sleep; it is the thing that does not let you sleep”. This article also has a similar essence in it and professor goes on to say how people should not be afraid to chase their dreams. It is true that often we give up on our dreams not because it is not achievable but because we are scared of the failures, of what people will think in case we don’t succeed in the first attempt. This is the reason many people don’t continue with their dreams and adjust to a life that is less exciting. All throughout my school life, I had been a studious girl and teachers expected that I would score really well in the Engineering entrance examinations. But to their utter dismay, I could not secure a good rank and had to do my engineering from a private college. I dreamt of pursuing an MBA from a good B-school since the 4th year of my college but that also did not happen and I joined Infosys. Though, I was working with Infosys, getting a decent pay at the end of the month, I was not satisfied since my dream was not fulfilled. Owing to the work pressure, I could not appear for CAT twice but I was determined enough to take CAT 2016 and got through SPJIMR. My dream of pursuing an MBA from not just a good B-school but one of the top 10 B-schools came true. Of course, there are newer dreams from here on and I believe if we have are ready to work hard for it there is no stopping when it comes to fulfilling dreams. Not only do we need to have faith in our abilities but also the patience to pursue it until the very end. As rightly pointed out, often we give up on dreams because of financial constraints and family pressures and it becomes really difficult to pursue those dreams at a later point in time. My father is a Mechanical engineer and he wanted to do Masters but could not due to financial pressures but he has held on to this dream for 25 years now and is planning to complete his Masters after his retirement which is due 1 year from this date. To see him still talking about his dream of doing M.Tech is really inspiring and this reinstates my belief in the fact that there is no restriction on age when it comes to fulfilling your dreams. But having said this, only the dream cannot take you places. Dream only gives direction to the car, it is your passion, hard work and determination that will be the fuel required to drive the car.

When I was small, I used to see my uncle all suited up going to his office. Once someone asked me what I wanted to be, I closed my eyes and imagined myself in corporate suit sitting in my Cabin and running my company. That was a dream of a 12 year old kid. When I started preparing for CAT during my engineering days, I wanted to get into a premier B-school and nothing less. I failed. I prepared again. I got into SPJIMR. The 22 year old girl had come a step closer to achieving the dream of that 12 year old kid. I come from a conservative family and am the first girl to go for a post graduate. Was it easy? No. But it happened. Because I dreamt of it! I dream of being a businesswoman and I am working towards my dream! Langston Hughes has said, “Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” I resonate the same thoughts. I believe dreams bring people to life. More importantly, dreams give a sense of purpose to exist. Dreams indeed are powerful, the fire needs to be kept alive throughout when we set goals and chase the desires. Dreams are the imperative part of our lives and motivate us to move forward. But is dreaming just enough? You need to run like wild fire towards your dream and achieve it. The biggest wall one has to climb while dreaming is the one build in the mind. You should never let your mind or anyone else talk you out of your dreams, trick you into giving up and become the greatest obstacle to success. Perseverance is the key. No matter how many odds you have to fight you need to get out of your comfort zones, be willing to be uncomfortable, be comfortable in being uncomfortable. When we dream, we should realize that it is going to be a roller coaster ride trying to achieve it. Failures would be a part of the dream, but the right passion would drive you to continue towards your goals. Jack Ma was rejected in 32 interviews but he did not stop dreaming, he kept working and innovating to achieve his dream. Had Jack Ma given up, would Alibaba exist today? Oprah Winfrey, the host of the most successful talk show in the world, was fired from a News Channel for being ‘Unfit for TV’. Who knew she would grow up to become one of the most influential women in the world and North America’s first black billionaire? People like Jack MA and Oprah Winfrey have one thing in common- they never gave up on their dreams. You need to keep the dream alive, no matter how long it takes or how many obstacles come your way. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, makes you believe in dreams, he says “It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

To be a dreamer is not a choice. Dreaming is an involuntary action that kicks off whenever the mind gets time from the normalcy of life. Mind ventures out into the domain of limitless and unhindered fantasies that it wants to achieve. All of us have, at some time or the other, dreamt of a life with abundance of success and devoid of difficulties. Everyone dreams differently based on their own perspective and aspirations. History corroborates the fact that a dream precedes the achievement in reality. Be it the story of finding the cure for lethal disease like polio or the narrative of man reaching an unknown terrestrial land like the moon, we see that all these milestones were lived by people in their dream before they could live the moment in reality. Had Wright brother not dreamt of flying in the sky like a bird we would have never had the luxury of traveling by air. The precedence of dream before success is justified by saying that people who know their dream are focused towards them. Nothing in life comes for free, focus is the key to steer through all the negativity and failure. Without actually delving into the intricate details of what we want to achieve we can never figure out how far we are from it. It is of utmost importance to clearly know what you want to achieve before you can even think of how to achieve it. The easiest to tackle a problem is to break into smaller and seemingly manageable problems. Once we know our target we begin to identify our habits that are pulling us away from the finish line. Dreams help us to realize that where we stand today will never unlock the opportunity to realize our dream. That is when we chalk out an improvement and development plan with the end result – the dream. Self improvement becomes a necessity and not a choice because just dreaming is not enough, slogging for it is. Every second we are subconsciously thinking about our how and what will affect our dream, these thoughts enormously impact our life. We often try to seek help from people who have trudged through the same path. Life is short, we have just enough time to dream, chase, and achieve. A lot of the people do not dream big in fear of failures that might crush their self-confidence and the willingness to work. If a dream does not scare us then we are not dreaming big enough. Growth comes wrapped in failure and pain, it’s just a matter of perseverance and time to reach the innermost layer. It is dreams that push us to achieve heights that we otherwise couldn’t have reached. Always remember that you may lose the battle but you will win the war. Never settle for the limits of complacence and mediocrity, dream out loud.

Thank you sir for inspiring us with your real life story and it help us to run towards our dreams. Dreams are powerful which occurs with the series of thoughts, sensations and images through our sleep. Human life is long and difficult journey leads inevitably to that ultimate point. The limited time is given for us to achieve our dreams as much as possible within the allotted period. Everyone have their own dream at each stages of life. Dream is a never ending process because after the completion of one stage of dream it moves towards the next stage to succeed more and more. Nowadays some of the working professionals leave their jobs and turn to the dream factory called cinema industry to fulfil their dreams. For example Gautham Menon is the famous film director who left his profession as a mechanical engineer and he run towards to achieve his dream. Now he recognized as a film director in kollywood because of his hard work and perseverance. Dream and dedication are a powerful combination. Dhirubhai Ambani started his career as a gas station attendant who holds on his dream to become a world’s great entrepreneur. “Our dreams have to be bigger, our ambitions higher, our commitment deeper and our efforts greater” is the famous quote of Dhirubahi Ambani. Now the sons of Dhirubai Ambani have added their own dreams to progress the company into the next level. Many of them cannot move in the direction of their dream due to some constraints. Achieving dreams does not happen in a single day but the goal towards success is being found in daily routine life. We must keep in mind the famous quote of our former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdulkalam quote “Dream is not the thing you see in sleep but is that thing that doesn’t let you sleep”. Keep dreaming. Keep Achieving.

I completely agree with the thought shared that dreams are really powerful.All of us might like to dream, we all dream differently but we don’t always hold on to our dreams. The Author has rightly said, keep your dream alive and don’t let them go away. We should keep it in back of mind so that we can find the ways or paths to achieve those dreams. Having dreamt, we must continuously work on it but the truth is that many of us forget or give up. Some time we give up as we fear of failure. Being a dreamer, we should not lose hope as everything can’t be achieved instantly, we need to work on continuously as it might take many years to fulfill our dream. Effort made to achieve those dreams provides us a platform to success. The only thing that restricts us to achieve those dreams is ourselves as we don’t believe in our capabilities. One who dream big and focused on it, he/she lives those dreams. Being a dreamer, you have to set meaningful goals and work on then for self-improvement. It does not happen overnight but eventually it happens. Take the example of Late Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries who started his carrier as petrol pump attendant but made it big through his dream. Never be afraid to dream as because you might fail, dream it as it will help you to succeed in the long term. Keep dreaming…

I too deeply believe ‘Dreams are Powerful’ as cited by Prof Anil Vishnu Vaidya. Living the dream while awake as conveyed by Dr APJ Kalam in ‘wings of fire’ deeply impacts me. The tagline of blogger takes me down memory lane. I considered being an average student in school days with strong liking for mathematics. But at the back of my mind I dreamt to go to the best college of the state. This was possible with only very good marks. I focused on my dream and it did materialize the way I wanted. I am an avid music lover and a good singer. I dreamt from school days to perform western numbers at some high platform. When I joined my company, I got chance to perform in small functions as suggested by some friends who heard me singing. This gave me an opportunity to perform at other platforms and won me great applause. I had dreamt to see of Europe. As I dreamt, my thoughts channeled towards making it happen. After few years of my career when I could actually afford, it transformed into reality in the year 2015 to my heart’s gratification. It is etched in my memory because it was my first trip abroad. From childhood I had dreamt to see the land of opportunities. It was in November 2015, when the idea came to my mind to visit USA. Immediately put up the proposal to my husband. Without thinking much he booked for a short trip to east coast of USA. It was a trip to cherish for lifetime. I also dreamt to pursue a management course with a reputed management institute which was difficult due to financial constraints. Finally when opportunity came, I applied for it and became a part of the prestigious SPJIMR. I go by what Ronda Byrne say –“Law of attraction of thoughts which can dramatically change one’s course of life.” Give wings to dreams and it will soar. I believe in this and will never give up dreaming.

I completely agree with Dr Vaidya. As children, we dream big and strongly believe in them. But reality strikes soon as we grow up and forget to dream big. One needs to keep the child alive and work towards fulfilling their dreams. As experienced by Anil sir, dreams are powerful and the determination to achieve them is even more powerful. To my surprise, Anil sir shared his journey which is very similar to mine. I had a dream to pursue MBA from one of the top institutes in the world too. I started working towards my dream right from my college days. Strong basics have not only burgeoned my zeal towards technology and management but also bolstered me in taking up the job offer from one of the Big 4’s. I strongly believed that pre-MBA work experience is required to prepare myself for the challenges post MBA. I worked for 3 and a half years before moving to the next phase of my life. I am glad that I had an opportunity to work with many talented individuals, on multiple projects in my previous company. I never gave up on my dream though work kept me occupied. I put in extra efforts to build a good profile. In today’s era of globalization, the need for international exposure is immense. I joined the Global Management Program at SPJIMR. I got tuition fee waiver from the partner university in the United States. It was a dream come true and I want to make the best of this opportunity. When I was reading Anil sir's blog I could see my own journey shaping in his words. Like sir mentioned I used to verbalise my dream of pursuing MBA openly without any fear or apprehension of being ridiculed. Swami Vivekananda and the great Buddha also suggested this approach. Let us all keep our dreams alive. Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.

It is always lovely to read about someone living their dream. Who wouldn’t want their dreams to come true! We have all painted a picture in our minds that we would, someday, want to take a real shape. But it isn’t that easy, is it? There is a long way between our dreams and fulfilling or dreams. Often our current circumstances make it seem like a ‘distant’ dream and almost immediately, we push it into the ‘unachievable’ category. My father had once told me that a vision with a mission and action can never be unattainable. It might take a lot of time or it might not, but, can never be unattainable. These words stuck in mind. Life is not a bed of roses; we will have to encounter numerous obstacles and we must. We must see these obstacles as challenges and use them to fuel or hunger to reach our goal. We might succeed or we might even fail. In my opinion, failures are extremely important because each failure has a different lesson to teach. And with each lesson, we are a little wiser because we then know what not to do the next time. “Failure is a stepping stone to success” might be an age old saying but it holds true in every phase of our life. Easier said than done. Failures are not easy to accept and often lead us to doubt or abilities or even the dream. We’ll have to try to keep such thoughts at bay and continue to hustle. I would like to take this opportunity to share my dream as well. I have never done this on a public forum but I would like to do this now. I’ve always aspired to be a playback singer. Ive always loved music and have had a strong affinity towards pursuing a career in the field. Thanks to my genes, I’m blessed with a decent voice and I want to make use of that. I’ve seen how much music affects people and I want to play my part n that. Since it is not a promising field of career, I’ve taken up a different road towards it. But I’m going to pursue it and make my dreams come true. I strongly believe that the goal is not a destination, it is just one of the many stops in a long journey. There is always space for improvement.

Dear Sir, I am really thrilled and motivated after reading your blog. I strongly agree that dreams can come true if we have the courage to keep them alive. Dreams are what keep us motivated and give meaning to our existence. Once a business man went to a guru and he asked the guru what is the wealthiest place in the world. The guru replied – it’s graveyard because that is where you will find ideas which were never implemented and dreams which were never realized. Most people failed to realize their dreams because they can’t keep them alive. Quite often we see a dream and for few days we have lot of enthusiasm to make it come true. Sometimes, we know how we can make it a reality and quite often we don’t. Also, as life bring challenges we start forgetting them and eventually we lose them. Dreams take time and efforts to get realized. We must stick with our dreams and keep them alive until they come true. Relating it to my life when, I was a kid, I used to have so many dreams some of them were crazy like going to mars and some were even more crazier like becoming spider-man. But, as I grew up I started becoming more realistic and so as my dreams. I was fantasized by Sachin Tendulkar and like most of the Indian kids I wanted to play for my country. But, I always doubted myself whether I should take cricket as a career or not. I lacked the courage to accept it and fear of failure dominated my inner voice. Hence, I could not voice that dream and unfortunately they died along with my childhood. I failed to keep them alive. But, life goes on today I have another dream. I wanted to become a successful socio- tech entrepreneur. I want to change the lives of people with technology. I don’t know how I will do that, I don’t know when I will do that and even I don’t know what it takes to do that, but I definitely know some day it will come true. Even though I am still in the process of learning at SPJIMR. I can proudly say that I have not let my dream die, I think about my dream every day, I talk about it without any fear of being ridiculed. I have internalized my dream and I will surely keep them alive until I achieve them. I strongly believe in what Gail Davers ( Two time Olympic Champion) said – “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe” Eagerly waiting for some practical insights in second part .

Before anything else, I would like to congratulate you on your success – coming all the way from earning ₹1400/month to completing your doctorate and heading Information Management at SPJIMR. I completely agree with the idea discussed in this blog. The book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne discusses the same subject by calling it the universal “law of attraction”. According to the author, the law of attraction states that “if you sincerely wish for a particular thing, all the forces in the universe will work with you and help you in achieving that”. This statement had such a deep impact on me that I have implemented this in my daily life. I would like to share a personal story to validate this claim. While preparing for entrance exams, SPJIMR was my dream college and every day I imagined myself walking around the campus as a full-time student of this institute. The extremely high standard of this college forced me to push my limits and work very hard for the entrance exam. Since the interview calls here are based on the score as well as the profile, I had to ensure that I did not compromise on my professional life. My hard work paid off and I got an interview call for PGDM. However, my happiness was short-lived as I was sent home after the first round itself. However, my faith in the “secret” was undeterred and I was thinking that some miracle would take place post which I would be given another chance to join my dream college. That miracle was a call from the GMP office (in response to the interest I had expressed towards the programme). I decided to divert all my energy towards converting this call into an admit and here I am amongst you all as part of SPJIMR family. Having a clear set of dreams is very important for a person because these dreams act as a source of motivation for him to work diligently and persistently. Also, clearly defined dreams will help him better utilize his energy as he will be channeling his energy towards achieving that particular dream rather than trying to experiment with multiple options. The dreams might change over time but, during testing times, one has to ensure that he doesn’t give up dreaming, or working towards his dreams as the law of attraction has been found to favour the resilient. Dreams show the direction which one has to follow to achieve success but hard work and sincerity will determine how far one actually goes.

I totally agree with powerful message & which is evident too by your story. I believe dreams are necessary but should be based on own aspiration & desire. We can’t achieve anything in life without goals, and for these goals, we need to dream. With dream we can find purpose to live life.As we start working hard towards the dream, we will never lose interest in life. We will never tire and always be motivated. This is the best way to become successful. As you wrote, “Openly Verbalising the dream” I found this can help to create self-responsibility & commitment to achieve it.Every day we should move one step ahead toward to achieving the dream. Failures may come, but an attitude to keep moving on and not losing hope is key to achieve dream. Hope you achieved your dream to drove Mercedes..!!

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