Friday February 17, 2012
Don’t give up on your dreams
PUTIK LADA By ANDREW YEAP
Pursuing your dreams requires action. Time and effort are necessary to see results, and difficulties should be seen as a challenge, an encouragement to put in extra effort.
I BELIEVE many of us would have at some time or other dreamt about our future. Some dreams are big, others are small – it depends on each individual.
It is important to have dreams, be they big or small.
It is dreams that keep us going, pressing on in pursuit of our targets in life.
Without dreams, life would just move along and nothing of note would change because we would have no desire, nothing to strive for.
Without dreams, our lives would still be unchanged 10 years hence. Driven by dreams, we push our boundaries and unveil our hidden talents.
Someone once said: “It is not a problem having just one talent but it is a problem if we don’t know how to use that one talent.”
As life goes on, our dreams fade.
Our commitments draw us away from our dreams.
The people around us discourage us from pursuing these dreams.
Perhaps, we become so distracted by what happens around us that we totally forget about our dreams or lock them away.
I recently came across some chambering students and young lawyers who indicated a desire to leave the legal profession.
There were various reasons for them coming to this conclusion.
They were aware that they were about to make one of the most significant decisions of their lives.
Some said it was because of the low salary.
Others blamed the imbalanced lifestyle that comes with being in the legal profession.
Whatever the reason, they were prepared to abandon a journey that they had embarked on for years – the journey to become a lawyer.
I have met many law students, chambering students and young lawyers who had been inspired by other lawyers to embark on that journey.
They dreamt of becoming a lawyer who stands up for justice and the innocent.
They pictured themselves being a voice for the weak and poor.
They imagined presenting a case well and convincing a judge.
These are some of the dreams that inspire young people to want a career in law.
These were the dreams that they had when they entered law school – but along the way, various factors knocked their dreams off course.
Before giving up on our dreams, we need to ask ourselves the reasons behind the intended change.
Is there something wrong with our dreams? Is there something wrong with us that we have no choice but to give up?
What happened to the desire and the burning fire that existed within us not too long ago?
Walt Disney once said: “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”
Pursuing your dreams requires action.
To be successful, a lawyer cannot simply dream and sit in the office doing nothing.
A lawyer must work hard. Time and effort are necessary to see results.
Being in the legal profession means committing to a lifetime of learning.
Everyone desires to progress and to grow and no one wants to remain stagnant.
Facing some difficulties in the initial years should not be a barrier to pursuing your dreams.
The difficulties should be seen as a challenge, an encouragement to put in extra effort.
Nobody said learning was easy.
Nobody promised it to be smooth sailing. But negotiating rough waters is worth it if it means you move closer to your dreams.
As part of the journey, you will make mistakes, but you will learn from those mistakes.
Chambering students and young lawyers should find a platform that allows them to make mistakes and learn.
Many senior lawyers are willing to provide that opportunity, but the question is: Are you willing to make the most of it?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” Eleanor Roosevelt once said. Are you willing to keep believing?
Let me encourage those of you who are contemplating giving up on your dream – whether or not it is a dream of a successful legal career – to carefully consider your dream again.
Set aside the countless reasons that come to mind on why you should give up on your dream.
Instead, try and recall why you had that dream in the first place.
Allow yourself to go back to the time of your life when that dream first took hold of you.
Think of the steps that will be required in order to make your dream come true.
Imagine how you will feel if your dream becomes a reality.
Do that and I believe your dream will regain the power to excite you once again.
Rekindle the fire that once burned within you; restart the engine that once kept you moving forward.
Allow your dreams to take hold once again.
And may all your dreams come true.
> The writer is a young lawyer. PutikLada, or pepper buds in Malay, captures the spirit and intention of this column – a platform for young lawyers to articulate their views and aspirations about the law, justice and a civil society. For more information about the young lawyers, visit www.malaysianbar.org.my.