There’s something you’d much rather be doing, than whatever you’ll do today. As kids, our future aspirations (which changed frequently) seemed so possible. Is it because we were naïve adolescents? Or were we actually full of the hope and confidence necessary to accomplish our visions, before being drained of that conviction over the years? Our dreams are put through the wringer as we allow laziness, letdowns, and the preconceived notion that we must attend college, obtain a degree and jump into a career squeeze the life out of them, as we succumb to being “realistic.”
So you forget. You disregard your passion, and do whatever pays the bills. Sure there’s that thing you love, but what are the chances of it working out? It’s best to just drop it. But one day something triggers your memory. You watch a low-budget movie that you could’ve acted in or produced. A local singer is gaining exposure, but you’re a better performer than them. A former schoolmate is traveling the globe, and that’s what you always wanted to do. Then, just when you had begun to disregard your fantasies, a nerve is hit and you realize, GASP! You’re not doing what makes you happy!
And so, you continue working for the weekend, questioning what could be. Why aren’t you chasing your dreams? Well, there are plenty of reasons, but here are the main ones.
1. You can’t just quit your job. You’re miserable being overworked and underpaid at a dead-end job, but it’s safe. Why risk being content and comfortable? After all, you can’t just have no means of income and expect to survive. Being scared to quit isn’t a great feeling, but neither is homelessness. You need this job.
I mean, sure you could save, and maybe you even convince yourself momentarily that you will. Then the weekend comes. You spend that extra cash on booze, grub, or a cute top — and voila, those funds are depleted. It’s not your fault that your job pays so low. If they compensated better you’d be saving effortlessly. Yeah, it has absolutely nothing to do with your lack of discipline.
2. You’re afraid to fail. What if you set off to achieve something, then have to return shortly thereafter, because things went awry? What if you look boldor egotistical for aiming at such farfetched targets? Ugh, failing — it’s such a humiliating concept. I mean, you failing means that the doubters are correct, the haters are happy, and the believers are letdown, right? If that’s the case, then it’s not worth the risk.
Because when you’re old, wrinkly, and on your deathbed, you’ll think: I may not have lived life to its fullest, or chased my dreams — but at least I didn’t fail, and face disparaging remarks from some hateful naysayers. Additionally, the risk of disappointing yourself, and those who believe in you is far heavier than the potential glory of success… isn’t it? ISN’T IT?
3. You worry that your dreams won’t be as amazing as you thought. Sometimes the best part of imagining your dreams is the ability to visualize them flawlessly. What if you attempt to go after ’em, only to find that they’re not as magnificent as you had anticipated? It’s like when you really have a taste for pancakes — but then you get the pancakes on a plate in front of you, and meh. I mean, they’re okay — maybe even delicious for the first two or three bites, but after that it’s just monotony in warm breakfast form. What if your dreams turn out to be like pancakes? You’d rather just never know, and envision them in their golden brown, melting butter, syrup covered, perfect stack glory.
4. You don’t know what to do. Experience in the field you’re seeking to join is a bonus, not a necessity. You disregard the fact that Stephen King had to write his first piece, Beyoncéhad a first song performance, Michael Jordan had a first jump shot and Kim Kardashian had a first sex-tape. You’ve got to start somewhere, too. It’s tolerable to not know anything about your dream job, but for the love of God, why don’t you learn? Well, I suppose that could be because of this next reason…
5. You’ll do it later/You’re too damn lazy. Yeah, today just isn’t good — you have the one thing, and the other thing. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, but you like your chances enough to put things off for today. You may hate how fast the years have flown by since high school, but you’re still not managing your time efficiently. You’ll keep putting the important stuff off, and nothing of significance will come to fruition.
You’d rather browse YouTube, play videogames, hang with friends, watch television, or do anything that isn’t productive. You fail to match the get-up-and-go, motivation of others — therefore, you don’t deserve to achieve your imaginings. Remember, you chase your dreams — they don’t chase you… unless your dream is to be hounded and chased by bill collectors — in which case, I’d recommend you remain a bump on a log.
6. You’re busy chasing someone else’s. Maybe your parents want to live vicariously through you, or a significant other has steered you toward a specific route. Either way; is it truly what you want, or are you trying to please others? This is your only shot at life, should you really spend the defining years of it satisfying someone other than you?
The bottom line is that if you decide firmly that you want something, and make a conscious effort to achieve that goal, you really can. It may be a strenuous process full of highs and lows, but you wouldn’t fully comprehend the value of your ups, without having experienced some downs.
Author Paulo Coelho wrote: When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. I’m a firm believer of that. Pay close attention. Take a couple of sincere strides toward whatever it is you truly want, and see how the universe responds to your wishes. Don’t expect the whole kit-and-caboodle to magically appear on a silver platter in front of you. Instead be prepared to give it everything you’ve got for the long haul. If you refuse to give in, then you literally can’t be stopped. The only thing holding you back is you.