Well, actually, Mr Wang thinks that for many Singaporeans, this is exactly the crux of the problem. They simply don't have genuinely personal aspirations of their own. They haven't poked around in their own heads and hearts enough to discover themselves, and their own dreams."... you say that people no longer aspire to those 5Cs listed, but I wonder what you think people now really aspire to? Very interested to hear what you have to say about this."
What happens when you don't have any dreams of your own? Well, you end up adopting the dreams which society has chosen for you. You end up doing what you think society expects of you, pursuing the goals which society tells you are the "right" goals to pursue. In Singapore, that means you'll probably end up chasing the 5 C's.
If you really don't know what your own dreams are, then it is not necessarily a bad thing to pursue the goals that society has chosen for you. It may even be a very good thing. After all, what would you do otherwise?
Things start to break down only when the costs of the pursuit get too high. For example, you may find yourself slaving away at a job you hate, so that you can attain the 5 C's. If the 5 C's are what you want, you wouldn't mind the slavery. But if the 5 C's are not what you really want, deep down inside, then you get the uneasy feeling that "your" dream of 5 C's has somehow gone wrong somewhere. Is this what you've been working so hard for?
A reverse kind of problem afflicts some other Singaporeans. Utterly lacking dreams of their own, their heads are completely overrun by society's programming. "We MUST have a car," they think to themselves. "We MUST have a condo." Must they? Of course not. But the idea is so deeply ingrained in them that they end up purchasing material things that they can't quite afford. Or sacrificing family/personal time for the corporate rat race. Consequences? Excessive debt, unhappy families and a lot of stress.
How do you know what your true dreams are? Well, that is a pretty tricky question. Still we must not over-exaggerate the problem. The dreamers and the poets, the soul-searchers and the visionaries, they are always a minority. Many other people can be quite content living like mindless ants scurrying about their busy little lives. They may not think of themselves as ants, but that's what they are. If by nature, you're a happy little mindless ant, then just be a happy little mindless ant. There are worse fates, Mr Wang assures you.
As for the minority dreamers and the poets, the soul-searchers and the visionaries, hey, you don't know it, but half the fun is in the struggle, in the process of working it all out. If you knew exactly how to make your dreams come true, they wouldn't be dreams - they would be more like household chores.
end world poverty, and star in a Hollywood production."