Everyone has a dream if not many. Be it realistic or just utter fairytale. I always try to keep mine close to realistic, though occasionally it would be borderline impossible.
For every step that I take in my life, it's usually accompanied with the reason why I want to do it, my goals to achieve in it, and a back up plan for the case things don't work out really well. Then I work on that goal like there's no tomorrow.
In my teenage years, the dreams usually come out fine, if not just a kink of minute failure here and there. Straight A's for PMR, gone to a boarding school, became amongst the best in that school, and lastly, got a full scholarship to the UK. Life was probably too good back then.
Then as I grow older, dreams got bigger, yet life gets harder. I learned to keep on reflecting, just so failure won't hit me so hard and I wouldn't need to hit the ground running. But you never really know when to stop working hard towards your dream, do you? Yes, you should never give up even if it takes every drop of sweat and blood in you but there would be a point where you just have to accept the fact that you're not going to be able to reach your goal. Be it because of unforeseen circumstances or you're just simply not good enough. Like when you really want a first class in your degree but no matter how hard you try, the highest you can get is a second upper. When most of the time, you know, you're actually settled with a pass.
It's good to be optimistic but very so often you need to be realistic too. And it's always hard to accept when your dreams would be mere dreams and your reality is going to be somewhat different. Like when you're climbing uphill on your cycle with a high gear, determined to go through that hill with that gear so you could reach the top much faster than everyone else. Midway, your legs give in and you have no choice but to shift to a lower gear. You might reach the top slower than what you aimed for but had not you made that shift, you might not have the strength to reach the top at all.
In life, it might take weeks if not months for you to decide to change your "gear". But life goes on and you need to move on too. What's more important is for you to be happy. And happy is a state of contentment, not really a sense of achievement or satisfaction. There's another word for that: triumph.
After all, whatever God has destined for you is indeed the best for you, even if it didn't feel like it at first.
I never planned to go to my current university but Allah brought me here and it is one of the best things that has ever happened to my life.
For everything that happened,
Husnu dzon towards Allah.
For His plans are mightier than ours.