Hiroshi "Mickey" Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc.
@hmikitani_e

They say that to dream is the privilege of the young.

I think this is a beautiful saying, but it could not be more wrong.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with having dreams when you are young, but I have always felt that within this expression lies the nuance that once you get out into the “real” world you no longer have time to dream.

I’d like to suggest to you that a dream that is swept away and forgotten amidst the challenges of adult life was never a true dream in the first place.

Just having dreams is meaningless. To actually achieve them, you must reshape your dreams into well-defined goals, and then think about what to do to achieve those goals. Based on what you come up with, take the steps to achieve each goal little by little. And you must put your all into this – all of your abilities, your strength, your endurance – you must be fully dedicated to achieving your goals.

Regardless of how long it takes, if you approach your dreams this way, there is nothing you cannot achieve. And in this process, I believe you will discover the true meaning of having dreams.

Do not be dissuaded by the cynics who say that dreams and reality are different. This is nothing more than a bitter excuse made by those lacking the drive needed to transform their dreams into reality. Dreams and reality are different, but it is for this reason especially that following your dreams is worthwhile.

Until the Wright Brothers succeeded with their experiments, the idea that people could fly was no more than a dream. The same was true for the steam locomotive and the automobile as well. Each one of these was a dream made real, and one by one, they transformed our reality. It is no exaggeration to say that contemporary society stands on the shoulders of the dreamers who came before us. Dreams are the fuel that propels society forward.