Saturday, May 23, 2015

What Were Your Aspirations When You Were Younger?

All of us will have aspirations and dreams no matter how big or small. If someone asked you what are your aspirations for your future, what would you say? How about your aspirations when you were younger? Now, is there a difference between your aspirations currently and those aspirations you had when you were younger?

I came across this video by where they did a social experiment on the streets of Singapore asking random adults and kids what they want in life? Watch how different the kids answer this question as compared to the adults:

As we grow up, somehow the innocent dreams we had as a child fades off. We become more practical and are faced with the reality of life. Working for money and making money for survivability becomes a priority. Having a better lifestyle clouds our mind. Some will say passion cannot put food on our table. Is this true? Is there a way to make a difference in this world and still have the money to survive? 

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  1. Hi SGYI

    I would say that dreams when young are at times unrealistic but ambitious. The truth kicks in when we get older and the reality of the society hits us.

    1. Hi B,

      From the video, kids had aspirations where they can help people. Suddenly, i remembered seeing a lot of people in their 40s and 50s doing charity work and volunteering since they had reached a certain level of financial stability. When money is no longer a concern, we become helpful just like kids again. Hopefully by that time, we won't be still chasing money and never have enough of it. It happens to people too.

    2. Agree very much on your thoughts :)

  2. SGYI,

    I think you are on to something here ;)

    Entrepreneurs talk like kids too - its all about dreams and aspirations.

    The "rest of us" use another language that's "taught" to us by land owners and shepherds...

    But whether this is a say say only post, or if you are doing real soul searching on what drives you forward, time will tell...

    Especially on what you do with your "financial goals" tab ;)

    1. Hi SMOL,

      Well, i always believe in a balance in life. If we can help others and at the same time make money, then it works. Somehow, entrepreneurs create value in the society by solving problems and creating jobs and still make money. Even if we're working, we can also make a difference in someone's life. To me, it will be really sad if we are working just to make money. Life would not have a purpose anymore. So, let's help others and make money at the same time ;)

  3. Hi SGYI,

    This vid makes me smile. I like seeing kids give their opinions. Does not matter of it materialize, as long as it is truly from the bottom of their heart.

    Adults just think so much and are so polluted!

    The ending is the best "I want to be a good person... woo hoo!"

    1. Hi Rolf Suey,

      We think too much as adults because of responsibilities also. Responsibility to earn money, responsibility to take care of our family and so on. This is actually good because it makes us responsible people.

      The problem comes when we do things for ourselves instead of for others.

  4. You may (or may not) realize that the desires of the adults and the children in the video are on 2 polarized conflicting ends. The children are intrinsically motivated to do something where the beneficiary is everyone else but themselves. On the other hand, the adults are extrinsically pushed to seek out more and more gains for just themselves. Whatever happened to "love thy neighbour" ?

    A step to think like the kids again, is perhaps to learn to draw a deep firm line of "enough". I won't dwell a lot on this topic of "enough" because John Bogle, one of the titans of Wall street, wrote a fantastic book on it (titled "Enough"). Have a read at it because it offers a refreshing perspective about money & life when the other publications from Wall street will continue to tell you wealth and material gains will never be enough.

    I don't believe we need to look forward to a situation of able to help others & make money from it concurrently; we can still do it even if we don't make anything from it. Notice how people who do budgeting can boast of our monthly saving rates. Yet, I've yet to see any who can boast of their monthly "giving rates". Perhaps we are just shy about it. But if we can save 50-70% of our income, it wont hurt to just give some of it away to charity, say 5% for a start (& aim towards 15-20%). Contributing to places like Club Rainbow or Straits Times Pocket Money Fund will certainly help kids like those in the video, a step closer to their dreams & aspirations.

    1. Hi Philip,

      I suppose the "enough" you mentioned is also called contentment. Sometimes, we are so engrossed with being better than others that we become self centered. When we want to be ranked no 1, then another person will not have the chance. If we want to be the manager of this company, then another person loses the opportunity.

      I believe giving doesn't have to be in monetary terms only. It can be a voluntary service that we do or even knowledge sharing. It is when we help others that the world will be a better place.

  5. A change in perspective does wonders for the soul. =) every job contributes somewhere somehow.

    1. Hi,

      Let's do our part in whatever ways we can to make the world a better place.

  6. I wonder if it has to be one perspective or the other - as kids, we think of giving our best to the world around us, as adults we mostly think of whether we have enough to give.

    I agree that giving doesn't necessarily have to be in monetary forms. It can be in the form of sharing experience and knowledge, educating and inspiring others. Still, therein lies the conundrum of whether we know enough to share with people or not. I think the problem lies with the fear that we will be cast aside if we do not 'have the goods', which is something that kids do not have. It's not exactly that we are selfish, but we are afraid of not measuring up. It's actually something quite prevalent with our society.

    I believe in order to truly succeed, we have bear the prospect of failure and be unafraid to venture even upon failure. JK Rowling said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” Thomas Edison gave the famous quote, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” As it seems, creativity and innovation does relate on 'the ability to fail'. I guess this is something we have to relearn from kids again.