Once upon a time, you believed in fairy tales.
In beanstalks leading to secret treasure vaults in clouds and toads turning into princes. In fairy godmothers who create the perfect dress out of thin air and genies in lamps who grant every whimsical wish. In true love’s kiss that breaks death’s slumber and happy endings that go on forever and ever.
Once upon a time, you believed in the magic of hope.
And then you grew up.
Magic became a trick. Dreams became a luxury. Happy endings became delusional.
You taught yourself that wishes needed to be practical. Actions needed to be reasonable. Decisions needed to be level – headed. You learned to regard everyone with skepticism. Analyze everything to death. And feel smug in your cynicism each time a bright-eyed, ‘impractical’ dreamer spewed nonsense about faith, wish and hope.
Because now you know, hope is one hell of a heartbreaker.
You learned the hard way that wishes – the kind you daydream about – don’t usually come true. That Prince Charmings, the walking talking perfections, usually end up being major disappointments. That fairy godmothers and genies usually go MIA right when you need them the most.
Hence, you taught yourself to listen to the voice of reason. Which is a good thing – it keeps us safe, grounded and anchored.
But, it also keeps us slightly dissatisfied, and restless.
Because we humans are like these brave little ships – we were not born to be stuck in a harbour all our lives.
We need the big adventures. We need the impossible wishes. We need the crazy. We need the drama. We need to believe that this life we’re living, at this moment, is not it. That there is something more magical, exciting, and breathtaking out there, waiting for us.
You can tell the world how much you love the predictable and practical. How safe it makes you feel and how in peace you are. When all the while, you secretly wish life will surprise you, someday.
Who are we kidding? We don’t want the calm and the safe. That’s what we think we should want.
In reality, we want the raging storms, the numbing fear, the stubborn dreams, the trembling hope and the soaring joy of surviving them all. We want to feel consumed by it.
Because then and only then do we feel alive.
Why do you think entrepreneurs would rather go from one failure to another than take up a secure 9 to 5? Why do you think make-up sex feels so good? Why do you think New Year Resolutions are still a norm, even though most don’t keep them beyond the first week of January?
Because each of those instances is fuelled by hope. The hope that the next venture would be a success. The hope that you got another shot with love. The hope that you can get a clean slate next year to be who you wish to be.
Hope is indeed a heady drug. Sometimes foolish and irrational. But it doesn’t go wrong in one area – it always tells you, point blank, what you really want.
So start believing in its magic again. Start living life inside out. Keep your voice of reason close to you. But learn to lose yourself, once in a while, in the squealing delight of imagination, dreams, and irrationality too.
Each morning, before you begin your day, make at least one crazy, impossible wish.
Maybe it’ll never come true.
Oh, but what if it does?