Captain of Destiny
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Captain of Destiny

Why your dream is not your dream?

“woman looking at the sky” by Cody Black on Unsplash

Innovation is not born from the dream, innovation is born from the struggle. — Simon Sinek, Start with Why.

When I was in high school, my dream was to play basketball in the NBA.

When I graduated, my dream was to own my own business.

The truth is I didn’t know those dreams were not my dreams. Those dreams were popular and cool.

Sounds awesome on paper, but it made me miserable when I can’t meet them.

Now I am living my dream as a software developer, working on my own terms. I still have time to play basketball whenever I want.

I can work on my business through trial and errors because I won’t starve to death.

But I never imagined that my dream would come in this shape. The following hints are what guided me to my own dream.

Dream of being someone else

I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant.

— Kobe Bryant

We all have our idols and heroes. I wanted to be like Kobe Bryant, hitting the game-winning shots. I practiced his moves every day in the gym.

However, I am not Kobe Bryant. I can learn from his “Mamba Mentality”

Mamba Mentality: Release on October 23, 2018

To sum up what Mamba Mentality is, it means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself

— Kobe Bryant

Ultimately, my journey will be different from Kobe’s, and it’s ok. His inspiration can be applied to other areas in my life.

When you find someone who inspires you, don’t try to be that person. Integrate his or her thoughts as part of your own. You will inherit their ideas and inspire others on your journey.

Dream that you just talk about

A dream is like underwear. It’s important to keep it close to you, but you don’t wear it on your head.

— My brother

“selective focus photography of boy wearing black Batman cape” by TK Hammonds on Unsplash

Dream is exciting to talk about. But if we are only talking about it to give us temporary pleasure, it will always be a dream.

Only talk to the people who will hold you accountable for your dream about your dream.

They don’t need to be your best friend. They can even be your critiques.

When I was learning code, I would say to a senior developer,

“I want to build my own website.”

Then he would say,

“Just build it.”

Even if he didn’t check on me all the time, I could hear him calling out my BS whenever I didn’t work on my website.

In other words, inaction spoke louder than words.

Dream Basic

What it means to be Basic:

only interested in things mainstream, popular, and trending

Urban Dictionary

Every time when a success story comes out, their journey becomes mainstream.

A kid drops out of college to create a startup and succeeded. Now people question the value of college.

I used to chase what success meant to other people. When I was in school, success means to be popular.

Reading manga was nerdy, nerd was not popular back then. So I hid in my room, whenever I wanted to read One Piece.

But the feeling that I can’t share what I love created a sense of emptiness inside, I was merely trying to impress others when I talked about playing in the NBA.

Your dream doesn’t have to be approved by everybody. Only you have to let yourself live your dream.

“shallow focus photography of traffic light” by Franck V. on Unsplash

Dream only the positives

The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience

— Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

When I dream of playing in the NBA, I wanted the fame and the money that come with it.

But secretly, I didn’t want the 12 hours training every day. I didn’t want a 80 points blow out loss. I didn’t want to win just to lose the next one.

It’s easy to smile when you sleep and dream about your teammates jump up and down as we win a state championship.

Our optimistic mind doesn’t prepare us for defeats. When it happens, we laid on the ground and paralyzed.

We need to accept the possibility of defeat and be prepared to get back up.

When we get better at getting over losses, we recover faster and strike back stronger.

In life, you can choose to cry about the bullshit that happens to you or you can choose to laugh about it. I choose laughter.

— Kevin Hart, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons

A dream is not a dream if you know it will come true

If you have a clear picture in your head that something is going to happen and a clear belief that it will happen no matter what then nothing can stop it. It is destined to happen. It’s perfect.

— Conor McGregor

Don’t call your dream a dream.

If it’s something you want, it’s a goal. Work every day towards it and live it.


Find the dream that belongs to you.

Back up your dream with action.

Go by your own definition of success.

Be ready for adversity.

Not a dream, start living towards your goal.

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You are in control of your destiny

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David Yu

David Yu

Full-stack developer based in Shanghai. I help people turning their ideas into reality.

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