The Banjo Man

The Banjo Man

The Dutch pop group BZN recorded in 1994 the song The Banjo Man that is about a man who wants to become a famous guitar player. He didn’t achieve this and instead he was playing in “honky-tonky bars” on his banjo to earn his living. How much chance do you have in life to make your dreams come true?

During a presentation about his book The Fearless Monkey Dennis Heijn mentioned that there is no such thing as that you can achieve anything you want. Firstly, because only a few people have the privilege to know what they want to achieve. Secondly, if there is a clear goal, like becoming a famous artist, it is only a few people who reach that goal.

I fully agree on above as I believe that a mix of elements such as luck, the amount of work being done, the context, network settings and your family roots do influence the possibility to achieve your goal yes or no. That being said, many of these elements you can influence yourself. If you start taking action on these, it can lead to a higher chance of getting your dreams come true.

Look at the Velites, the youngest and poorest soldiers of the Roman army. By showing good work during battles, they’ve got a chance to get a career in the formal organisation of the Roman army. I’m talking about a chance, as only by showing everything you can as a great soldier didn’t lead per definition to a career. I’m thinking about timing (the officers had to see you during battle at the right time), capacity (is there an open spot available in the official organisation of the Roman army) or money (is there money to hire these soldiers) that could influence the chance of getting a career. You might call it luck, you might call it taking the right moment or something else. But this is what is needed together with very good soldiership to get the opportunity for a future career.

Going back to our world today, what can you do to increase your chance of getting your dream come true? Knowing your dream, following an education, getting the right people around you and so on can definitely help. Also, without action, nothing will happen, so start today.

You might not get your dream come true. You might not become a famous guitar man, but is that a bad thing? Does it mean you’re not happy in life? Would it mean having no dream is better as the chance of getting your dream come true is really low? No. Dreams might not come true, but they can give you energy, hope and can give you guidance in life. Maybe you don’t live the life you dreamed about, but that doesn’t mean you cannot accept that situation. And it also doesn’t mean you cannot work towards your dream. As Bob Marley said: “If you don’t start somewhere, you will never get anywhere.”

And if you’re one of the lucky ones, knowing what your dream is and achieving this goal you might start thinking is this what I expected? Was it this I was looking for? Or do you already start thinking of another dream?