BIO-Her passion for social justice drives her motivation in the field of youth and moral education. It is the prime reason for which she is called to travel to over 30 countries to give talks on the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual welfare of adolescents.

Nava has been awarded recognition in the area of International Youth Behavioral Development, Children’s Education and Women’s Rights.

Nava was born in Mission Viejo California and migrated to Australia when she was nine years old. She’s lived in Australia for 11 years while working and studying in the United States. Nava is now in the process of publishing a series of courses she has developed for teenagers struggling with drugs, alcohol and early pregnancies.

She currently lives in Baltimore and works in Pennsylvania as a Multi-media Journalist. For more information, visit http://www.navaghalili.com

 Dreaming: Don’t let them snap you out of it!

Dad used to say, “Reach for the stars Nava, and you’ll land in the trees,” or was it, “Reach for the stars and you’ll land on the clouds?” I don’t remember, my father’s analogies changed daily, the moral of the story however, was the only thing that stayed consistent; ‘Aim high.’

The details didn’t matter anyway, the sassy little girl that was me, had absolutely no desire for any trees, or the clouds for that matter…she wanted those stars, and only the stars would do.

As one could imagine, for a 6-year-old, dreaming up ways to reach these stars proved to be a frustrating dilemma. School didn’t seem to appreciate my daydreaming tendencies either. It seemed like my name was forever engraved on the chalkboard of chastisement and visits to the principal’s office became a weekly routine. As far as I was concerned, dreaming was NOT allowed.

Still, I remember spending hours at home after school, slouching on the staircase, gazing out the window, staring at the sun until my eyes felt a burn, just dreaming about what could possibly be higher than the stars.

For a while though, I thought I had figured out how to reach those shiny bright things that teased me from the sky. I’d proudly prance around the house announcing that I was going to be an astronaut when I grew up, convinced that THEY (astronauts) would surely know how to the grab those stars. But this astronomical aspiration of mine was short-lived as my (then) 9-year-old sister told me that astronauts had to be REALLY good at Math and of course my 1st grade math scores told me otherwise. Besides, all the pictures of astronauts in my storybook were men. So naively, I threw that dream away. Needless to say, as a student who graduated in the top 5 percent of her university, this dream of becoming an astronaut was indeed possible, but then again, at 6-years-old, you believe anything they tell you.

The fact is; we’re all born with the desire to dream. It’s in our blood, this desire to be the best at something. We’ve all been there. But it seems somewhere along the way, society (haunted by a fear of disappointment) discourages us from a young age to stop dreaming, just in case we don’t get what we hoped for.

“Get your head out of the clouds kid, it will never happen,” they say. To me, that sounds like, “Don’t even try to eat kid, you may never get full.” It doesn’t make much sense. Eating is the only way you can hope to become full, and dreaming is the only way you can hope to become…well, anything.

So the story goes; we stop dreaming, we stop wanting, we stop hoping…and eventually stop thinking in general. It is then that we stop becoming what we were born to become; our potential.

I can say, that for myself, what I have achieved so far in my career, I was told I wouldn’t achieve so quickly. What more I wish to be, I am told doesn’t exist. This same storybook of negativity that society has been trying to sell us has frankly grown outdated and rather costly. In a world desperate for your talents, you and I can’t afford to buy it anymore. ‘Cause I can tell you now, were it not for my dreams I never would’ve thought about becoming a journalist, television personality, public speaker and whatever else I am.

Despite what people tell you, there IS a manual for success, and in this manual there are chapter titles that include, ‘Wisdom’, ‘Dedication’ and ‘Hard Work’, but I can almost guarantee that the first chapter page is inscribed with the words, ‘Dreaming’.

I’ve never been so sure in my life.

And as long as we’re being totally honest with each other, I might as well just come out and tell you, had this ‘success manual’ been handed to me a little sooner…I think I would’ve made a fantastic astronaut!

 

 

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