Following your dreams isn’t easy. You have to be willing to listen to yourself and shut everyone else out. Most people will be obstacles or distractors from your dreams. The dream itself will stretch you – inspire you to quit often. Yet, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I’ve been following my dreams for the past 5 years. A serious life setback cleared the path for me to quit my job as a lawyer, end my career in the legal field and start chasing my dreams. I started writing 1000 words a day and pursued my dreams of becoming a writer. Today, I can say that I have a growing blog, passionate readers, books on Amazon and the joy of doing something that I enjoy every day.
If you’re pursuing a dream, you must be willing to ignore these 7 things:
1. What appears difficult
Dreams are not easy. If they were, everyone would be following theirs. Dreams take work, require you to sacrifice other aspects of your life and demands you stay true to yourself. It requires you to envision something that isn’t here already and stay diligent to a future day that you’re creating today. You will feel many roadblocks and see many challenges to achieving your dream: time, money, location, and resources. Instead of harping on the difficulty, look for the solutions. Allow your creativity to find solutions that appear impossible. The more committed you are to your dream, the more creative ideas will jump out to inspire you.
2. What your colleagues say
If you look at your peers, colleagues from work or friends from school, all of them have been inculcated by their networks and families to follow the known path. Each will encourage you to stick to the known path of education, jobs and career advancement. They will insist you get married, buy a house and have kids because they are. You don’t have to follow the known path and you’re free to ignore what works for others. Stay true to your heart and your path instead of sharing notes with colleagues who are on society’s well-worn path.
3. What your fears say
You’ll only have fears, and big ones, when your pursue your dreams. If you’re not terrified and scared, you’re likely not fully committed to your dreams. Your dreams will challenge you to face your fears, doubts and uncertainty. Your dreams will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone, do things you haven’t done before and grow as a person. Your fear is a guide to help you navigate your dream but don’t allow it to be a roadblock that derails your dreams. Thank your fears but use it as inspiration to follow your dreams.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
4. What your elders say
You’ll hear it from everyone who has lived longer than you. You will hear it from grandparents, parents and even more experienced mentors. All will tell you to “be practical” and ignore your dreams. They will prod, question, challenge and discourage you from pursuing your dreams. They will pose roadblocks, challenges and hypotheticals to “help” you succeed. They are not helping you succeed. They don’t want you to pursue your dreams and succeed because they will feel left out if you did succeed. Forget about what others say and only listen to your dreams whispers.
5. What others do
Everyone around you will be living one kind of life. They will be attending the same schools, getting the same jobs, living in the same neighborhoods and doing the same things with their lives. It’s so easy to look around you and compare yourself. You have to learn to ignore what others are doing and live your own life. It may seem like others have it figured out or know what they are doing. They might but it’s for their path and their journey, not yours. Stay true to your path without the undue influence of comparisons.
6. What failures come your way
I’m not telling you to ignore failure. There are gems of knowledge and wisdom from your failures. Listen to your failures and understand what they have in store for you but don’t give up after something doesn’t work. The key to success and life is finding out what doesn’t work so you can figure out what does. Listen to failure but don’t let it get in your way. Don’t allow failure to stop you. Allow it to fuel your next steps.
“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something” –Morihei Ueshiba
7. What a comfortable life looks like
This is the most important dream killer because it is so alluring. If you do end up with a college degree, good job and comfortable life, you will have no incentive to follow your dreams. You’ll have passions and dreams but you won’t feel like they are worth pursuing. To stay true to your dreams, you have to choose sacrifice over comfort, action over leisure and persistence over giving up too soon. Let go of the comfortable life so you can pursue a well-lived, fulfilling and meaningful of achieving your heart’s desires.