There seems a dream of some young people rushing to make quick money and achieve rapid success. And yet, how many last through till the end?

Many young people are aggressive, ambitious, and sadly, some are also too focussed on making money at all costs. When I asked some young people what they hope to achieve, many would reply that they hope to be millionaires or even billionaires. Not many were able to tell me that they hope to hone their skills and talents, and become a recognized talent in some field.

A famous Taiwanese author and host Kevin Tsai (蔡康永) recently chatted with an audience of young people, about his life and philosophy. One of the interesting things he said to his audience, which I concurred, was that our dreams should be unraveled at a natural pace, and that even if we don’t seem to have reached our goals early on, it does not mean that we should give up.

I have always loved fine art. I was trained as a Chinese painter in the “xieyi” (寫意) style at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA) when I was a teenager. After life caught up with me and having worked through my career and eventually becoming a consultant for the past two decades till now, I have never given up my hopes of returning to become a painter again.

I have always loved writing too, and it is a blessing that I have always been allowed to write, whether as a training program developer, a corporate trainer, an advertising copywriter, a public relations practitioner, a journalist, a blogger, or a book author. The constant demands of writing keep my writing in at least some semblance of readable material. I am grateful for this blessing of a sustained writing regime.

The same cannot be said of my painting. When I attempted to pick up a brush sometime ago at an art jamming studio, I found an embarrassing lack of skill. Likewise, when I tried to illustrate on a digital tablet, I was rather appalled at the chasm between what I saw in my head and what my hands could deliver.

But, should I simply give up? Not at all. I know that I will revisit my art again some day. I hope God will gift me with sufficient time to still do that at some point. With sufficient practice, it is entirely possible I will pick up my old skills at least, and better yet, go on to render sufficiently pleasing paintings for my own enjoyment, and who knows, sufficiently acceptable to others as well. It is about approaching our goals as much as possible, and nurturing our skills and talents as much as possible. Time will tell, but I will not give up. Neither should anyone with a dream.

Keep your dreams alive. Keep your dreams close to your heart. Find every opportunity to nurture the seeds and roots of your dreams, such that eventually, you realize suddenly, that you have reached your dreams.