Being a man without a dream, what is the difference between you and a salted fish?

4 min readFeb 4, 2023
Photo by Aldrin Rachman Pradana on Unsplash

As much as we try to deny it, I believe that we all had dreams at some point in our lives. Some of us get to achieve them, while others put them aside for “reality”. I am a strong believer in setting goals and dreams for myself, and striving to achieve them. This is because, it gives me a sense of direction for my life. I like to have a rough “roadmap” for myself so that I know what I am living for and have things to look forward to. Dreams inject meaning into my life and gives me motivation to continue with what I am doing on a daily basis. Without dreams, I am like a salted fish, no difference from a living robot mindlessly doing the tasks that is expected of me.

Unfortunately, most of the time, our dreams may conflict with our personal responsibilities and require us to step out of our comfort zones. We may also face opposition, especially from people who are closer to us. How do we reconcile our dreams and reality? How do we decide if a dream is worth pursuing? It is always a challenge for us to build our muscles, gather our courage and swim against the current of opposition. Therefore, before we embark on the arduous journey ahead, I believe that it is very important for us to first have a clear understanding of ourselves. The first thing we need to do is to reflect and question ourselves about the importance of this dream.

Ask ourselves, is this dream important? Will we have regrets if we don’t do it? By thinking of this dream, does your heart beat wildly? Are you willing to make sacrifices to make this dream a reality?

If the answer is yes, then we can be sure that this dream is worth pursuing. With a strong and clear mind, we know that no matter what comes in our way to tear us down, we will always be strong enough to stand up against them. Bearing in mind the YOLO mindset, all the more that we should persist in chasing this dream of ours.

The downsides of not chasing a dream could be consequential and can impact our mental health negatively. They include having occasional pangs of regret and constant dissatisfaction with ourself for staying put with our mediocre life. Of course, chasing a dream does not guarantee success at attaining it. In fact, the process might bring lots of added stress and uncertainty to us. However, I personally feel that it is worth it in the end if we feel strongly about something. I would rather fail at my attempts to make my dreams a reality, than not try at all.

Our life is short and we should live for ourselves. Of course, we can’t totally neglect our personal responsibilities and commitments. On the side, what we can do is to do our best to minimise the negative externalities of our decisions and help our opposers resolve their concerns and understand why our dream is important to us.

For example, lets’ say I have a dream to live and work in an overseas country, but I do not have the support of my family. Of course, my family want the best for me and their concerns may be around topics such as, missing me and the uncertainty of me being alone and having to face potential challenges alone in a foreign country. With regards to these concerns, I need to demonstrate to them that I have the ability to handle those challenges or be able to cope with failures and put their minds to rest. For example, demonstrating skills like the ability to drive a car, cook for myself, take care of my own health and navigate adult life independently. After doing my best to placate their concerns, even if they are still not convinced, I will still advocate for sticking to my original plans and chase my dreams. As the saying goes, “时间会冲淡一切 Time will heal things”. Perhaps after a few months of living in an overseas country, my family will begin to gain confidence in me and see that I am able to cope well. The original concerns and oppositions will then subside. In this ideal scenario, it will be a win win situation.


In a nutshell, if we have dreams we should go for them :) If we do not have dreams, then we should start reflecting on our inner desires and find that dream.




𓆉︎ 𝙳𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚛 🪴𝙲𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚘𝚛 👩‍💻𝚂𝚘𝚏𝚝𝚠𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚐𝚒𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚛 ☻ I write & reflect weekly about software engineering, my life and books. Ŧ๏ɭɭ๏ฬ ๓є!