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Dreaming for Those Other than Yourself

"The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian Philosopher and Novelist.

"You used to be able to hit for three hours, and you can't even do an hour and a half! C'mon Khalid, pull yourself together."

That was one of the countless thoughts running through my head last Thursday. I was hitting with my great friend and coach, Brandon Nguyen.

He killed me on the court that day. I was huffing and puffing like crazy. Despite the fact that I've been working out 6 days a week during quarantine, put on some decent amount of muscle, and play tennis whenever I can, quarantine was really getting to me. I used to be able to play an intense three hours of tennis easily. Now, I can't even play tennis for an hour without feeling like I want to drop to the ground.

For the college athletes out there reading this, we have high expectations of ourselves, especially if you want to go pro like myself. Seeing this "backward step" on the path to my dream is no pretty sight to see.

Of course, you may be thinking "well, you just got to do more footwork". Here's the thing though. I've been doing footwork drills since quarantine started. My footwork is getting more precise, and the motivation is there.

But what sort of motivation?

See, there are two types of motivation.

One is being motivated for yourself, and the other is being motivated for others. Almost always, the later is the one that gets you farther.

I'll be honest with you. The thought of glory on the tennis court and imagining myself holding the Wimbledon trophy as the whole world watches is a huge motivation for me, but it shouldn't be the case. In fact, I'd say that having that motivation being the bulk of the reason why I want to achieve my dream is blatantly wrong.

How do I suppose I will become someone who motivates people and is a leader for humanity without being motivated for the people I want to motivate?

This is a selfish characteristic I have, and it is absolutely necessary for myself and others who suffer from this disease of the heart, to be cleansed of it.

We cannot be selfish by any means whatsoever.

I credit the poor performance I had on the tennis court mainly due to my selfish motivation. Yeah, you can say it's also because I haven't been on the court everyday and you're right, but regardless. Whenever I've implanted the thought of motivating people and helping them on their path to greatness by my own dreams, I play 10 times better, and that is no understatement.

Although this is a different topic but relates to what I'm presenting to you, think of Nelson Mandela. After he was sentenced to life imprisonment, 18 out of the 27 years he was in prison, he was kept in a tiny cell on Robin Island Prison. If you go look at the pictures of his cell, you will be awestruck as to how on earth he stayed motivated to his cause. I'd argue that if he was only fighting for his own rights, he would've given up a year in the cell, maybe three or five at most. But he persevered for decades. Why? Because he was doing it for his people's freedom from Apartheid. He did it for others.

I hope and pray that none of us have to go through what Nelson Mandela went through, and bless his soul, but he achieved his dream. As a result of motivating himself for his people, he became the President of South Africa! That's more than what he asked for!

It is necessary to understand that when your objective is to motivate people and help them improve their lives, you will directly make your dreams and aspirations more fulfilling and necessary for yourself to achieve. It won't only be for yourself, but for all of humanity that ends up finding out who you are.

There's a saying that goes "stop existing and start living". We all exist, but what is it that we live for? Why do we wake up every morning?

If the reason why you jump out of bed every morning is only for yourself, your dreams will melt away right in front of your eyes sooner or later.

But if you do it for others, for your fellow human being, your dream won't only be manifested in your lifetime. Like Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Confucius, your dreams, aspirations and purpose will manifest to humanity and benefit the world till the end of time.

Your dreams will become your legacy.


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