Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

How would the world be different if people began to follow their own dreams?

Can following your dreams make the world a better place?

Share your point of view with Paulo Coelho, author of 'The Alchemist' and many other award winning books, about the journey to turn dreams into reality.


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4,038 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Such a world would be a JOYFUL place.

    To dare to follow your dream, you have to get past the fears that have stopped you so far.

    For Selfish dreams to be fulfilled, it depends on making others scared to stop the selfish ones. That would not be possible if the intended victims were fearlessly persuing dreams as well.

    The untapped potential of society is held back by people seeing problems and dreaming things could be better, but not doing anything about it.

    After all, the "chemical formula" of joy or happiness is fulfilling your desire (See quote).

    If this is research for an upcoming book, good luck, Paulo, and may you help many people find that dreams are just a little bit past that first step they need to take.

    Source(s): Everyone is struggling to attain happiness and avoid misfortune. From the commonplace affairs of individuals to the great events that shape the course of history, each is at root an expression of the human aspiration for ever greater happiness. How, then, does happiness arise? People feel joy when their desires are fulfilled. The word "desire," however, is often not understood in its original sense, because in the present circumstances our desires tend to pursue evil rather than good. Desires which result in injustice do not emanate from a person's original mind. The original mind is well aware that such desires lead to misfortune. Therefore, it repels evil desires and strives to follow the good. Even at the cost of their lives, people seek for the joy that can enrapture the original mind. This is the human condition: we grope along exhausting paths to cast off the shadow of death and search for the light of life.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The answer is in the question. So is the problem. You think about making the world a better place. It is not the world that has to change. It is you. The real question is, this is also for Paulo Coelho, "Can following my dream make me a better person?". We must start with the Self. If you try to bake a cake and add some rotten eggs, the cake will not be good. If you have a sport team and you put some bad players what do you get? Chose a movie where you think the acting is great and replace the actors by bad one, what will you get? Now, let us elaborate.

    What is a dream? What dreams are we talking about following? The illusion that we are being given? If we talk about following a dream that is not true to ourself, what are we doing? I think the world would be and will be a better place when we will all start to take responsability for our actions and results. Also when we will each stop believing that we are better than the next person.

    We are all the same with a dark side and a light side. It depends what we focus more on. Some of you mentioned Hitler. Hitler had a good side that some people saw. He used most of his dark side which were a way for him to express himself.

    You see, there is darkness and light, good and bad, left and right. We need this in order to have balance. You need one to appreciate the other.

    It is not the world that has to become a better place. It is us who have to become a better person. Then again this lead us to the beginning of the passage. We must refrain from thinking that one person is better than another, compare ourselves to others.

    TRY THIS: For 7 days, do not read any newspaper, magazine, watch television and talk about other people. Then during this time do all that you want to do without thinking about the outcome or how/what others will think. Write down all that you felt and did. Then compare with the week before. You will be true to yourself. Feel better and then this is how you start by making the world a better place. By simply being you.

    The change start with us because we are all playing a part in each other's existence.

    Michael J. Anderson

  • 1 decade ago

    Ok first of all as you wrote Mr. Coelho, " heart suffers when it goes in search of its dreams." Therefore if no heart suffers then no heart will want to make another heart suffer. I don't see how there can be any such thing as a malevolent dream. For those ppl with malicious intentions - their dreams were probably just disillusioned somewhere along the line (If only they had known that dreams weren't illusions that could be disillusioned.).

    Or maybe the world is the way it is beacuse "everything's written". But then why do we have choices or why does it "seem" that we could have made a different choice when we regret.?

    I think the answer can only be yes. I've noticed it with my own life. If I want something good "all the universe conspires in helping me achieve it." (I got an A in my GCSE Spanish, just thought I'd let u all know! :-) you wouldnt believe the things that happened the days preceeding the exam!) But the few times when i'd been disillusioned and wanted things I was uncertain about wanting - all the universe conspired to help me turn away from that course.

    Maybe bad things happen because the will of evil can be so strong with ppl that they manage to find a away around all the universe's blocs. However, somewhere along the line the universe'll catch up with em'!

    Anyway chin up! In the end I think it'll be alright. And u know what they say if its not alright then its not the end.

    Source(s): The Alchemist and that little voice in my head I usually try to ignore!
  • 1 decade ago

    Dear Mr. Coelho,

    I think people usually try to follow their own dreams, and that is how we managed to get where we are at now.

    So, my answer to the first part of the question- "How would the world be different if people began to follow their own dreams?"- is that the world would be the exact same as we see it now.

    Thus, the answer to the second part of the question- "Can following your dreams make the world a better place?"- as per my opinion, would not make the world a better or worse place than it is now.

    One may argue that not all the people do follow, or get the opportunity to follow their dreams, so we can't be too sure whether or not the world would have been a better place if all the people could somehow manage to follow their dreams.

    To this, I would argue that individual dreams may not necessarily mean to have a Universal positive effect. My sweetest dream could be a nightmare for someone or even for a group of people.

    Dreams, as we know, do not maintain any boundaries or follow any rules. So, it could be varied, resulting in both good or bad depending on the dreamer.

    Thanks for asking.

    Galib Mahmud

    New York

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  • 1 decade ago

    This question is vague. Do you mean like in the movie 'Flashdance' where the poor girl working in the factory dreams of becoming a dancer and she puts her whole heart into it and finally realizes it and everyone is just so happy. If a similar scenario could happen to everyone, the world would be a utopia, right ?

    First, many people have dreams that are unrealistic to acheive. What if the flashdance girl was pitifully ugly? Second, when the Flashdance girl got chosen, some other girl did not get chosen, so her dream was shattered (perhaps the other girl didn't really dreamstrongly enough?). Third, alot of times people realize a dream and then find out that they don't really like the results. For example, the Flashdance girl may love dancing, but she might end up hating the work because she is surrounded by artsy-fartsy snobs.

    In conclusion, I think that everybody needs goals - both long term and short term, that are realistic. You acheive a goal once or twice a year and it is good for your self esteem, so perhaps that makes you a nicer person to be around. Perhaps you smile more to strangers and it makes the world a brighter place. etcetera.

    With all due respect, I think that your books are naive too.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's sad to think that there are some who would think that to follow your dreams is just that a dream, NOT something you should ever really put any faith into but if people didn't follow their dreams the world would be a whole lot worse off then it is now.

    Nelson Mandela was a man who had a dream and look what he did for South Africa, Oprah had a dream and look what she did for the underpriveldged by building that school, Malcom X-Dr Martin Luther King.

    Dreams are wether we want to admit it or not what the world is built on. The problem is we have become an "Instant gratification society" where it would take to long to fulfill a dream so we don't bother. It's sad because if we put just one fourth the effort into our dreams as we did ourselves shooting them down. THE world would and could be a place we could/should/would be proud to call home.

    People like Al Gore and Julia Robert's with their "GREEN" ideas and lifestyles. What were they? Living GREEN was and is a dream of so many People in the world and it is NOW slowly becoming a reality, Hybrid cars and what not to help maintain what we have and cherish the earth that was given to us.

    Now some of us well we arent' so deserving a gift but the ones who follow their dreams to make this our home. THEY are the gods of our time. The ones who say "This is my home and I have a dream for it. To be better, cleaner and most of all safer for the people who come after me. It is my job to dream to make this a better place for them."

    So yes if the world took the time to follow it's dreams. This would be such a wonderful place to live and what a difference a few dreamers has already made. Technology was once a dream and so was the round wheel look where they have gotten us.

    Sometimes it's a hard road and sometimes you have to go against the flow but those who have, Well they have done so much for all of us.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think that the question is ambiguous. To what are the terms "your dreams" and "a better place" exactly referring? It seems like opinions differ greatly as to how people interpret these phrases in the answers I've read. Life, and "the world" could always "be better", if that is your perspective, and really, it is all perspective, meaning that if you had a different point of reference for what is "good" then the world we live in right now could be considered to be either a paradise or a purgatory.

    To use an juvenile example, say someone grew up in complete destitution. They finally obtain a little money and move into a "decent" two bedroom apartment. Someone else grows up in a mansion. When they reach adulthood, they are forced to venture out on their own and all they are able to afford is the same two bedroom "decent" apartment. Obviously, there's a good chance that the two people will feel very differently about the same apartment based on their social conditioning and perspective.

    As far as the term "dreams" goes, what does that mean? I'm assuming it means "a hope for a specific outcome for the future", in which case the problem doesn't lie with the situation, but with the person "dreaming". The present moment is all that exists. Hoping for a "better future" means that something is lacking in the current present moment. Once again, a shift in perception will allow this moment to be "good" or "bad" based on the opinion of the person perceiving. Accepting "what is" as truth and not opinion is the gateway to "a better world" for yourself. Making plans is a part of life, but investing too much in the possible future denies oneself the experience of actually being alive right now.

  • dgrhm
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    This is a catch-22 kind of question.

    On the one hand, when a person follows his/her dreams they become more excited and passionate about life. They fulfill various dreams, and work on fulfilling more.

    From this end, pursuing dreams is a positive thing for people to do. So, yes if everyone pursued their dreams, the world would be a better place from that perspective.

    However, what if two people pursue the same dream, and there's only enough resources to fulfill one person's dreams, conflict arises. (Say two men are in love with the same woman and each wants to marry her?)

    Secondly, some people have dreams that are harmful to the greater common good. A villain like Osama bin Laden, or a Hitler, has dreams of global conquest and wishes to subjugate all people to his will.

    If some people have such dreams, and it's the only way they can be happy by fulfilling dreams of dominance and tyranny? After all, people get crazy ideas from false or negative beliefs.

    Overall, I think most people would be better off pursuing their dreams, but ultimately dreaming must have a reality check.

    Dreaming is a form of fantasy, and reason is the process of deteriming if a dream is worth pursuing or not. People need to keep in mind, that sometimes they'll get what they wish for, and that is not always a good thing.

    Now, if I could just win the lottery, sell my screenplay, and marry a super-model all would be well.


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    My definition the word dream is something that is unlikely to happen lor impossible to attain ike winning lottery or perhaps being a concert pianist.

    Now, the dream of being a concert pianist is something that could be attainable through hard work. It can't be a dream anymore until you put effort into it and turn it into a goal. People with dreams usually say 'I dream to do this... this is my dream..' But in the end it never really happens.

    Some people are working hard towards their dream and turning it into a goal, others give up and the dream stays a dream and other people's dreams are not feasible eg. flying on a mystical dragon in space.

    If a person carried out his/her most desired dream of course through his/her eyes the world in their perspective would be a better place. People who accomplish their dreams would feel on top of the world! Everybody has a different view to a 'better world.' A better world could mean no more poverty and through another it could mean the end of war. Through other people's eyes it may not be so. So what defines a better place?

    When one person achieves something, others may despise them through jealousy or hatred, creating conflict. Would it make a better world for them? How can one person win the same trophy? If this is the case then a better world would be where everyone was satisfied? If only there was a situation that everyone in the world could just simply follow their dreams and achieve them...unfortunately there is no such world. That's why they're called dreams! There are obstacles and barriers that seperates us from the real world and the world of dreams.

    Even though this may be the case, everyone does ths best they can do each day. Dreams are what encourages us to move forward in life even if they're real or not.

  • 1 decade ago

    As most people are pointing towards a positive answer, I on the other hand would see a more negative affect towards this.

    Most of all this is really a type of question that would average from person to person and I don't think there is a real true full answer to be determined.

    But, my outlook on it would be one of being against following ones dreams. Some of us may hear everyday statements, quotes or some type of encouragement telling us to dream and dream big or to use huge amounts of imagination towards life. A problem with dreaming and dreaming big is there is a such thing as to big.

    Not everyone, if hardly anyone now days, gets exactly what they want let alone what they dream about. If everyone tried, the world would become nothing but of a pursuit of happiness. The problem with people chasing their dreams is not everyone knows how to deal with the failure of losing the pursuit and a negative outcome. There's over a million ways in which something can go wrong and only one way that would be right. People, let alone "the world" trying to get what they want usually will stop at nothing and they will go out of their way for it. Even pushing harder after that, people are always wanting more. In the end, about 80% or more will just end up some knock off dream chasers that never made it, causing a massive increase in depression rates and suicide rates. The world would simply, go mad.

    Sometimes there's a reason prayers don't get answered. Some people are more greedy then they'll every know, and who exactly knows what they really want now days.

    But then again, some could be like me and be afraid of failure. In all, I'd say if your going to follow any dreams at all, make sure there at least somewhat realistic.

    Take what you got and whats giving to you and make the best of it. Sometimes living your life as "just", can be easier than dealing with a huge failure.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The notion of the world here - in this discussion - is not the physical globe but the collection of people that we are, living within a huge symbiotic complex relationship with one another and other creatures who happen to be stuck here with us.

    Following ones own dreams may be actually a highly individualistic viewpoint to the point of excluding the rest from it. Everyone thinks of giving only the nice examples but not everyone has dreams that go beyond their own personal selves. Everyone does not dream of being a Mother Teresa. There are many with very unpleasant dreams ones the rest of us may not want coming to fruition too soon.

    I am not sure if the world would be a better place or not. Consider this - sometimes for the larger good or betterment, one has to sometimes set aside or defer ones immediate aspirations and go a different way, even if for a while. While I am not making a virtue out of sacrifice as many might, I am just posing that as a counter thought.

    Here is another thought - personally - I have always enjoyed the journey towards something, much more than the actual accomplishment of the dream.

    Given that this is a philosophical line of thought - couldn't give a clear answer could I?

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