If you could be anywhere in the world right now, doing whatever you wanted to – what would you be doing?
Mine is pretty simple – I’d be travelling the world, running my lucrative online business from my laptop and laying the groundwork to start a multi-faceted female empowerment foundation in Jamaica.
What’s your biggest dream, right now? Even if seems outside of your power to achieve, I want you to think about what would make you the happiest if you could pursue it, or become it.
Got your answer?
Yet, the next question is – why aren’t you pursuing it?
I’m sure you have a plethora of reasons why what you want is impossible, or why what you dream about couldn’t happen based off where you are right now in life. That’s understandable, because it’s hard to visualize things when your present situation is in stark contrast to what your desires are.
I think humans are funny creatures. We’ll expend all this energy trying to be like the next person, instead of going out on a limb to be ourselves and find what makes us truly happy. Why is that? It’s pretty simple. We’re afraid of judgement. We care what other people think too much.
I know that feeling all too well. Many times I’ve found myself in situations where I was pursuing goals that had nothing to do with what I really wanted to do. Two things caused that: I wanted to fit in, and conversely I didn’t want to stand out.
Fitting in is easy. You don’t have to think about what to do, and nobody will ever criticize you or single you out, because you’re doing the same thing that the majority is doing. It’s like one big club where everyone is average and you have a bunch of people to be miserable and complain with in your mediocrity.
“Hey Janine, how miserable are you about your life today?”
“Pretty miserable, Ashley. Thanks for asking! I feel like you understand me, we’re in the same crap, everyday.”
Misery loves company.
Standing out is hard. It leaves you susceptible to all this scrutiny. You have to constantly be defending your choice, and reassuring yourself that this is the right way to go, even when nobody else sees the possibilities but you. People will doubt you, make fun of you and even shun you for standing out. It takes a special kind of resolve. You have nobody to hold accountable but yourself, and sadly most of us don’t trust ourselves enough.
I’ve always wanted to be writer, ever since I realized that it was an actual thing that people could do. I’ll never forget how elated I was when I found out that writing could be an actual job. I’ll also never forget how crushed I felt when a schoolteacher (and alot of subsequent people) told me that I couldn’t make a living off “just writing.”
I never lost my passion – I wrote fiction in my spare time – but I flung myself into pursuing things that I was good at, but not passionate about. It wasn’t till I discovered the world of online freelancing and copywriting, that I rekindled my passion and started pursuing writing as something that I wanted to build a business out of.
I’m horribly stubborn – I think that’s why I never really believed those people when they told me that I couldn’t make it as “just” a writer. Still, whenever I think about other people with aspirations (people who aren’t as headstrong as I am) who lose their amazing dreams to small-minded people, I feel compelled to remind everyone that nobody is worth the price of your dreams.
Just because everybody is locked into mediocrity and taking the road most travelled, doesn’t mean that you have to too. Work on your dream in your spare time till you can make it your full-time. Do whatever you need to do – long nights, early mornings, weekends…anything it takes. Your dream is entirely possible and entirely rational.
Just remember one thing:
Don’t ever let your dream die because of someone else’s ignorance, crass comments or own fear of branching out into the unknown. It’s your life, you should live it pursuing what makes you happiest.