Those that answer yes are the ones who end up changing society. These are the ones that should be applauded. Risk is something that left the western world a long time ago. We have become complacent, leaving the door wide open for the brave few.
We aspire to the common
As much as we would all like to believe that the world is full of possibility, it is not. Distribution of information is limited where possible. The internet has not reached everyone.
Just under 60% of the population of the planet has access to the internet. Of this minor majority, most children now aspire to be YouTubers rather than astronauts.
With so much perceived possibility, no-one will ever achieve all their dreams, or will they? Fame is manufactured, with most children preferring to be a YouTube star than look to be an astronaut.
Today's kids are three times more likely to aspire toward a career as a YouTuber rather than an astronaut, according to a new study.
CNBC.Com, Kids now dream of being professional YouTubers
With the internet being everywhere, or at least the perception that it is everywhere, children want to be a part of it. The dream of being an astronaut is tough but a YouTube star needs only to grow his or her audience. This is the perception at least.
Aspiring to fail
Businesses take fewer risks each year. Just look at the average local authority in the United Kingdom. Most are happy with the status quo. Most do not wish to go outside their remit and help those who need it. This is because people are treated as a number rather than a person.
New systems of work are implemented but rarely filter across the country. Change is hard-fought. With most aspiring to star on their laptops, those who want to help those who are vulnerable reduce each year. The concern is for the self rather than the world around.
Being an astronaut is an impossible dream, whereas being a YouTube star feels tangible. Simply getting through to the interview stage is hard enough, when it comes to this out-of-this-world career.
“The fact that I applied to become an astronaut 15 times has not been lost on my friends, followers, or fans,” wrote retired astronaut Clay Anderson in his biography, “The Ordinary Spaceman,” as quoted in Popular Mechanics.
Space.com, how to become an astraunaut
You learn more from failure
The dream of becoming an astronaut becomes less common each year. With most set to fail and little evidence of Spock being around the next planet, we seem destined to settle. This is where we look for careers on firm ground.
Space is hard and so earth should be easy? This is the perception but you need to fail in order to succeed. Elon Musk is a billionaire. He has more money than most will have in ten generations of their lives. He has failed many times in order to get where he is.
All of those things have happened at various points to Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, co-founder of Tesla TSLA, -7.37% , founder of Neuralink, co-founder of SolarCity and co-founder of X.com which eventually became PayPal , and who now has a net worth of about $15 billion.
In the west, we aspire to ease. Something that we can see will give us instant results. The era of the Smartphone has controlled our behaviour to instantaneous satisfaction. We have everything we need at our fingertips.
Risk should be part of life. You only live once and the risks not taken today will be regretted tomorrow. Be sensible yes, but keep those dreams close as those that place their hands in the lion’s mouth are those who change the future.
A final thought
The internet is a wonderful thing, but is it pushing us forward or holding us back? Does it shove the famous down our throats when what it should be doing is helping us dream?
Going beyond the system of infrastructure that has been laid out is what we should do, but how many still aspire? Being a YouTube star can be accomplished at home. Being an astronaut involves putting yourself out there.
Should we feel sorry for the near 40% of the human race that does not have the internet? Are these remote communities being held back, or are they free to dream?
What is a dream anyway, but something that gives our lives meaning? Are we happier with the internet, or does it throw our lack of courage back at us?