Many - perhaps most - people on their deathbeds reflect upon their lives with deep regrets. Ashley Montagu articulated this so well: "The deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become." If you are getting no satisfaction in your life, you undoubtedly know that the ache of unfulfilled dreams can be the worst pain you will ever experience. If you experiment with a rat by consistently placing cheese in the third of several tunnels, the rat will eventually figure out the cheese is always in the third tunnel. The rat will go directly to the third tunnel without looking in other tunnels.
Start putting the cheese in the sixth tunnel and the rat will keep on going to the third tunnel.
Sooner or later, however, the rat will realize there is no cheese in the third tunnel; the rat will now start looking in the other tunnels until it discovers the cheese is in the sixth tunnel.
As a matter of course the rat will now consistently show up in the tunnel with the cheese.
The difference between rats and human beings is that the majority of human beings will remain in a tunnel when there is no cheese in it.
Weird no doubt - but true.
Most humans get themselves into traps from which they never escape.
Clearly, it's pretty hard to get the cheese when one is caught in a trap that has no cheese left - or had no cheese in it in the first place.
Needless to say, "cheese" here is a metaphor for happiness, satisfaction, and creative fulfillment that come from pursuing and attaining one's dreams.
Somewhat tragic is the large number - at least tens of millions – of stupendously intelligent, well-educated, highly trained, and extraordinarily skilled people in the world who have yet to experience any measurable success in their lives.
These unhappy and disheartened people didn't follow through on their plans or pursue their dreams.
Instead, they chose the best paying job available and have remained in careers they don't enjoy.
The problem is that after forty or fifty years of boredom, they are still in the same tunnel, without any cheese, wondering when the plots in their life stories will take a turn for the better.
On the other hand, there are individuals who are living their dreams.
Dreams often do come true for many people, but only for those who focus and work on them.
To be totally playing the game of life, you must have dreams toward which you are working.
According to Richard Bach, "You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true - you may have to work for it however."
Clearly, you will never get satisfaction from the important things that you intended to do - but never got around to doing.
Whether it's fame, fortune, romance, or adventure that is part of your dreams, you must go for it.
If you are not getting satisfaction in your life, you must rearrange it. Otherwise, you are going to keep getting out of life what you have been getting.
What important things do you dream about most?
There are probably several ambitions that you want to fulfill.
Now is the time to explore your dreams and wildest fantasies to give you some clues as to what you should be pursuing in your life.
You must identify the things that mean the most to you and then make them the focus of your existence.
If you can't make your dreams happen where you are today, you must go somewhere else where you can make them happen.
Statistics provide overwhelming evidence that you are going to die unfortunately; it could be sooner than later.
Start doing those important things in life as soon as possible because you may not get as many chances as you are hoping for.
Careful planning and sustained effort will go a long way toward achieving those dreams.