Are You Following Your Dreams?19:00
A while back, I wrote a post in which I asked an important question: do you believe in your dreams? A lot of dreams seem impossible because we can’t quite bring ourselves to believe in them. I’ve actually been thinking a lot about my dreams recently. In just over six weeks, I will be completing my final semester at university. Very soon, I’ll be holding a degree, staring at the rest of my life, and trying to work out how to make this whole adulting thing work. And I’ve been thinking, what do I want to do with my life? What dreams do I have? And what can I do to achieve them?
I think everyone has at least one dream. For us writers, many of us dream of publishing a book, meeting a famous author, working in the industry they love, or making a living from their writing. Or maybe they love writing, but they have other dreams as well. But a lot of the time, even when we have dreams that are near and dear to us, we never get on to doing anything about them. They stay as dreams, something we ache to do, but can’t bring ourselves to try.
The problem is, a lot of dreams aren’t really ‘sensible’ dreams. And when I say ‘sensible’, I mean ‘sensible’ by society’s standards. It’s not ‘sensible’ to dream of being published. It’s not ‘sensible’ to hope to make a living from writing. And a lot of the time, because these dreams aren’t ‘sensible’, we don’t dare consider following them. Is it really ‘sensible’ to dream about being a fulltime writer? To hope to work as a freelance editor? To dream of being successful in a career that doesn’t offer a steady paycheck?
No, it’s not.
Follow your dreams anyway.
Because there’s always something you can be doing towards your dream, no matter how not sensible it might be. You might dream of making a living from your writing. But that doesn’t mean that you have to jump in with both feet right now. You can have a stable job and write on the side, pursue that dream and make a living at the same time, while you’re building up a body of work that will eventually support you. You might want to have a conventional job, but do something creative on the side that isn’t quite ‘sensible’. You can start that now. It’s ok to follow those dreams.
A little while back, I was watching this video, listening to a speech indie music artist Peter Hollens gave at a graduation ceremony at the University of Oregon, and in it, among many other inspiring, motivating thoughts, he offered this gem of wisdom. “Don’t overthink it”. Many dreams never get their start because we think about it too much. We convince ourselves that we don’t have a chance, that it’s never going to be feasible for us to follow this dream because it’s not sensible. It’s risky. You might not make it. What if you fail?
You have a dream in you. It might not be ‘sensible’. It might be risky. People might think you’re crazy for even considering following it. Follow it. It might not be feasible now, but if you work hard, it might be in the future. You may have to give up all your spare time to it. You may have to work a boring job to support yourself until you manage it. You may have to push on in the face of discouragement from family and friends. But there’s always a way to follow your dreams. And no one should ever stop you from trying to do what you love the most. It might not be a ‘sensible’ dream. But it’s your dream. And in the end only you can stop yourself from following it.
So, what do you dream of doing? How are you following your dreams? Do you have a dream that is crazy, risky, and totally wonderful? What do you think about following your dreams?