Following your own path and chasing your dreams can be scary, risky and the most fulfilling thing that you will ever do. The problem is, the people who care about you and whose opinions matter to you the most might not be as excited about your journey as you are. In fact, because they care about you, they may try to talk you out of it, because they are afraid that you might fail or even be afraid that you might succeed and threaten their idea of what actual, obtainable success looks like.
But, people who want to follow their own path to success know that it isn't easy, but also realize that you can't achieve something different by doing the same things you have always done. In fact, Steve Jobs, one of the leading innovators of our time had this to say about pursuing your dreams:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
The people over at Mint recently wrote about the lies you'll hear before you pursue your dreams, and I think that they got a lot of it right. Here is a summary of some of the points they made:
- There will be time to chase your dreams someday, but for now, you need to buckle down and be responsible – When is someday? It is most likely a time that will never come, and there will always be a reason why now isn't good enough. Chasing your dreams is what life is about and there is no better time to start working on it than now. You may have to take baby steps at first, but you will never regret making today the first day of the rest of your life.
- You'll be in bad shape if it doesn't work out – This is a complete and total lie. I heard this a few times when I was considering being a freelance writer. The truth is, if it doesn't work out, you will be in the same shape that you are right now and you will have to go back to what you are doing now. If it doesn't work out, you can always go back to the 9 to 5 job world.
- It is safer to keep your day job, just in case – In case what? Safer than what? Not chasing your dreams might be safer than doing what you want, but you never get anywhere by being safe. If you were worried about safety then you would never leave the house.
- Only the lucky few “make it”– Maybe it is because they are the only ones who actually took the risk to try it. When you have the dedication and determination, success is up to you. You can be one of the ones who make it work. Success isn't won in a lottery, it doesn't require luck and there is no random success fairy who doles out chunks of success to people arbitrarily. Having the skills, the passion and making it happen is how success works.
- You might fail – I always think “You say that like it is a bad thing”. Failure is just what happens before you succeed. If you take a chance, you either make it work or you learn something. Either way, you win. The key to being a good winner is to know how to be a good loser. Making mistakes and failing on occasion is how you know that you are being challenged.
- It sounds like a lot of hard work – Which is absolutely true. Success doesn't come to the people who aren't willing to work for it. But, it is worth it. And, when you are doing what you love, it doesn't seem like work, it just keeps energizing you and making your life that much richer.
Following your dreams is hard work and it is not for the faint of heart. It can be the hardest thing you have ever done, but it is worth it. Choosing to take the path less traveled means that you may have some bumps along the way, run into some rough spots, but the view is spectacular. And you know, it is the journey not the destination that matters the most.
Stay tuned next time when I will give you some tips for staying sane on the road less traveled.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.