Chasing your dreams.
The subject of thousands of books, movies and songs. Everybody has one.
They manifest when you’re a child, before the burden of responsibility and worldly problems are cast upon your shoulders. We dream of the stars, of the great big world, of making a difference.
You can tell when someone is talking about their dreams because there is always an unsatisfied fire in their eyes. It’s something you can’t hide.
It’s different now. There is a sickness in the world and it is called mediocrity. I know, because I was sick with it for a very long time.
When I was little, I wrote.
In school, I relished every opportunity to write that came across my desk, and I remember when I told my friends, my teachers, and my parents that I wanted to write, they’d all say the same thing: “Go for it!”
They told me to grow up. They told me writing would never feed my family or pay my bills. When we grew older, they asked us what we wanted to be, then told us what not to be.
We were told that we must become what we are not, sacrifice who we are to embrace the identity that society wants to give us.
“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we grew up, our dreams were lassoed back to Earth and when we said we wanted to explore the stars as astronauts or wrestle alligators, they’d tell us: “Choose something realistic.”
When did we give up on our dreams? Don’t fall into the hype.
There are a few simple and effective steps that you can follow that can help you from falling into the same rut that I and many others have fallen into:
1. Realize what it is that you were put here to do
What is your dream?
Remove money from the equation and ponder for a moment what it is that you would love to wake up to and go to every morning.
2. Figure out how you can turn that into a career
Whatever it is that you love to do, there is a very good chance that you can make money doing it.
You have to go after your dream like your life depends on it, because it does.
Condemning yourself to security and a nine to five is the easy route.
It’s the route that most people will take, either because they don’t realize how to pursue their dreams or they’re too afraid to go after it.
Do not become one of these people.
3. Take the first step
Don’t quit your job. Don’t move across the nation, but make moves that will take you closer to your dream.
Whether it’s reading a new book on how to start a new business, or take a class that will get you closer to the degree that you need.
You need to make every single day an effective day of action.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
Write these three steps down. Look at them every day. Remember them, memorize them, and live them. Don’t buy into the hype. Whatever your dream is, you can have it.
To end my article, I am going to tell a short story that gives an example of everything I have discussed.
I have this friend, and he has a position in retail management. He’s climbing, albeit slowly, the corporate ladder to an inevitable six figure income, a 401k, and a house bigger than he’ll ever need in his life. But this isn’t his dream. Not even close.
He’s a fitness freak. He lives in the gym, and he aspires to open his own gym one day and help others reach their own fitness goals. It’s one of those back of the napkin ideas but when he talks about it there is a fire in his eyes.
The part that saddens me is that he will work his way up the corporate chain, most likely get married, have children, and drag that idea to his grave.
How many other unrealized ideas, half-finished inventions, and great works are in the cemetery, given up on before they were fully pursued?
You have one chance. You have one shot here in this world, and I’m here to tell you, no matter what dream you have, you can do it. When you dream big, most people will react negatively because chances are they aren’t chasing their own dreams.
Remember this, if nothing else, if you try and fail, you will live your life knowing that you gave it everything and more. If you never try, it will be a mistake that will hang in the air for the rest of your life