Advice to give you a soft, but firm, kick in the behind.
***Disclaimer. I am not self-employed (my dream), but I have a strong passion to be. Currently, I’m employed with a state agency, and boy, it’s not what I imagined it would be. Please read carefully and DO NOT follow in my footsteps. This is a warning to you.***
What we’re told as children growing up
Growing up, you’re told by many adults that you need to study hard so that you can get a good job. A job that can afford you a nice big house and a brand new car. This often means putting huge amounts of effort into college, and paying even larger sums of money to afford that college. Very rarely are you told by your high school professor or guidance counselor to follow your dreams, to chase your passion, and to never give up on it. From my experience, the happiest people do just that.
I remember growing up having all these fantastic day dreams of big things, and there was always a teacher to put that back into “reality.” “Now, lets be realistic,” they’d say. Never words of encouragement, but the truth is, encouragement is far and few between.
What do you do for people with vivid dreams?
Whenever you have a friend, sister, brother, daughter, son, whatever, who wants to achieve something enormous with their lives, encourage it. Encourage it, so that they have at least one person supporting them. Talk out their plans with them, give them the resources to move forward when you can, and most importantly, be there when they don’t even believe in themselves. Self doubt can be a pin in anyones dream balloon.
I’m always fascinated when someone tells me about their passion. Sometimes, it’s something you’d never expect from that person, but it always says a lot about who they really are on the inside. That’s what intrigues me most. Seeing people the way they truly want to be seen by the world.
Now, if these people are a bit odd or seem off, it’s because their brains are always elsewhere. When I’m at work, I’m constantly thinking of my new creative adventure. I’m scribbling things down on random bits of paper, sneaking to read a section in a book while my boss isn’t looking, or publishing these blog posts when my boss calls out sick for the day. Sounds very incriminating, but it’s true. I’ve been bitten by a bug and I’m infected with a creative mind, that hates office distractions.
We turn into window watchers, eventually
I’m not saying that working for someone else is a bad thing. There are folks who enjoy that, and all the bliss and happiness for those of you. What I am saying though, in a round about way, is that it can be depressing for most. These people often sit and look out the window of their cubicle and wonder what life is like out there. It’s a foreign place, that needs exploring. I day dream for hours about what’s going on out my window. I am convinced that I’m letting life pass me by, without doing my part it in. It’s the worst feeling to be honest.
Succeed for yourself, not others
If you’ve worked for a company for any length of time, you’ve invested your hard work and success into that company. Twenty years with a company could result in a great amount of profit for that business, and it’s because of you. What if you were to have put that same amount of effort in your own company? What if that twenty years of hard work, went into your dreams? Don’t you think you would be happy? You could really be something out there.
We should all follow the things that drive us with the same amount of effort that we give to our everyday jobs. The returns are higher, and the investments pay off more. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re only valuable to the company when you’re successful at your job. If you aren’t successful, then a replacement seems to be the next course of action. Crazy concept right? I’m sure you already know this, but it’s worth reminding you. We’re just bodies, not people.
Following what you’re passionate about will save you from a life of unfulfilling memories. You will no longer have to wait until you’re in retirement, which is like seventy years old these days, to do the things you wanted to do, or see the things you’ve always dreamed of seeing.
The folks who have retired in my office always seem to have a list about a mile long of things they want to do, and they always say that they don’t have enough time to do them all. They always say, “I wished I would have done these things when I was younger,” or “I’m to old to do these things anymore.”
Humans have life all messed up. We should be enjoying life when our bodies allow us to and not after we retire which is when it’s too late. Working for another person can drain us of the freedom to complete this goal entirely. Now why would we want to let that happen? Simple, we ARE OWNED by our employers. Owned, because without them, we couldn’t survive. It’s a sad statement, but it’s true.
Be the real you, today
All of these points are hopefully enough for you to see why it’s so important to follow your dreams. Become a dreamer. The sky is the limit, the world is your playground. Pat yourself on the back and really go for something. If you only have one life to live, you should start living it now, before it’s too late. Although I’m twenty-two, I feel as if lots of valuable time has slipped through my fingers. I guess I have a lot of catching up to do.