․ Written by Kim Su-young
․ Genre: Travel essay & Self-improvement
․ Published in September 2012
․ 460 pages
The Roman philosopher Epictetus said, “first say to yourself what you would be and then do what you have to do.” With this question, we can ask ourselves whether we are attaining what we want to do or not.
Kim Su-young, the author of What Is Your Dream?, tells us that we have to practice what we have to do (reality) after you write down what you want to be (dream). She overcame her gloomy adolescence, entered a prestigious university and got her dream job at Goldman Sachs. Then she was diagnosed with cancer in her 20s. Fortunately, she had surgery and healed completely, and then her life completely changed. She made a list of 73 dreams to achieve before she dies, and so far she has achieved 46 of them.
To inspire others, she traveled around the world to meet people and hear about their dreams, and this book is a result of those adventures. From June 3, 2011 to June 1, 2012 she traveled to 92 cities in 25 countries. She asked 365 people from 67 different countries aged 4 to 87 their dreams.
In ten years, she plans to visit these people again because she wants to know whether they have attained their dreams or not. If they have, she wants to look into how they managed to do it. If they haven’t, she wants to know the reason or reasons they were unsuccessful.
She got to experience 365 different lives that are ordinary and special. Through their lives, she learned that there is not just one answer for everyone. She discovered that when a person knows and lives his or her own dream, that person is happy.
While she interviewed people about their dreams, she also critiqued her own dreams, and shared the process through which she achieved her dreams. Some of her dreams were sailing in the Mediterranean and appearing in a movie in Bollywood.
She also wanted to share her mission of achieving dreams with many more people, so she held a Dream Party in Seoul, London and Naples and had a Dream Workshop in a refugee camp in Palestine and an orphanage in Nepal. After finishing her travels, she held a Dream Parade with 100 people in front of Seoul City Hall.
In this book, she doesn't give her readers who are wandering between reality and dream definite answers, but instead she gives them the inspiration to find answers for themselves. After reading this book, we can feel motivated to think about the dreams that we want to attain and figure out how we can achieve those dreams.