For many, Avatar represented a surreal, dreamlike environment. Indeed the images could only ever have been found in our dreams until introduced to us in theaters, and now in our homes on DVD. The landscapes in particular struck me with a profound sense of unspoiled beauty that it still pains me to think I would have to travel half-way around the globe to ever see sights comparable to the ones in Avatar. The floating mountains, Polyphemus and its moons hanging in the sky, and of course the breath-taking bioluminescence.

I have spoken before about the power of dreams and how they carry us forward, and also about nightmarish visions that deter us from an ugly future. However, I have come to find that the wrong vision has become the primary motivator for the path humanity has chosen. For a quick check of your personal feelings, consider how Avatar made you examine your own life: Was it out of admiration and respect for the Na'vi, or the disgust and fear of the humans of the future? Were you changed by a dream, or a nightmare?

Fear is an emotion, one that survival as living organisms has imbued within us forever. However fear may lead to survival, but it does not ensure living. I have spoken before about the differences between surviving and actually living, but in this blog I challenge you to check the premises of your decisions and the motivators in your lives. As a college student, I have turned the mirror on myself in the past and did not like what I saw, so I am writing this blog to share that experience with you.

Like any kid, I had interests, hobbies, activities I enjoyed doing. As I grew up, I had a lot of pressure on my parents to find my place in life, and start myself down that path. I know now that they only wanted me to be happy, but the problem was that I didn't know what would make me happy. People just think it's something you can wake up one day and just know. Its a lot like love, because we want to believe that it will just happen and will work out, but being happy takes effort, commitment, and a dream. Without a goal in life, I went to college thinking that I would graduate and then just find some job, doing something, and live my life. I used to believe that as long as I was able to provide for myself, then I would be happy. For three years I went through the motions of adolecent life. I realized that the primary motivator in my life wasn't achieving a goal or dream, but avoiding the nightmare of being poor or homeless. This is a serious motivator, but it is not a way to live life.

Then, I realized that I had to have purpose. It seems like it was overnight now that I look back, but it took me over a year to fully realize that I need to be doing something I love. I would rather be dirt poor and doing something that I love, and be able to wake up every day with a smile on my face. Over that time I also realized that the people with this mentality do not stay poor for long, because it is that passion for their dream that pushes them to new heights and greater success. When driven by fear, you only rise as far as you think you need to, not as high as you are able. It is people like this that become the great creators of the world.

Many of the problems in modern society are driven by fear. If individual members of society can't find a dream or goal, than how are we supposed to collectively as a people? Even now, when we see what we are doing to the planet and to ourselves, our primary motivator is out of the fear of extinction. Think of all that we have achieved when we put our minds to singular goals. Ancient men climbed mountains, crossed deserts, and braved frozen wastelands to find new worlds. Explorers crossed oceans. We sent a human being to walk on the surface of the moon. The power of the human mind is the most incredible force we could ever hope to weild, and yet even after thousands of years of mental progress, our prime motivators are still the boogeymen of our nightmares, rather than the temptation of our dreams.

People do change over time, I have no illusions about that. What I want to be now is nothing like what I wanted to be as a kid. THis is a good thing because life would have been a lot different as a ninja or a secret agent, and probably not as enjoyable as I thought it would be when I was six years old. But now that I have actually critically looked at how I am spending my life and where it is leading me, I can envision no future other than doing what I love to do. I did not want to wake up one day and be old, only to look back and think that I had survived but never really lived.

I am not a suicidal being. I recognize my fears as necessities to continue my existence. But it is my dreams that give purpose to my survival. Otherwise I am nothing but a collection of chemicals. Fear may keep us alive, but dreams are what allow us to live. I would urge anyone who is not happy in their lives to turn the mirror inward and think about what it is you want out of life, and how you can get it. In my past blog, I stated that Life and Liberty are guarunteed, but it is our responsibility to persue Happiness. We all have reasons for moving forward, but ask yourself are you being chased by a nightmare, or reaching towards a dream. Irayo Willofeywa 04:52, May 8, 2010 (UTC)

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