Most people, by the time they are old enough to be classified as ‘youth’, will have been told or asked to set goals – or at least to consider doing so. Five-year goals, ten-year goals. Before-you-die goals.
I, unfortunately, have always had a problem with setting goals. Even if I didn’t have my health getting in the way (setting goals when you’re not really able to do much at all kind of defeats the purpose at times), I think I wouldn’t like it anyway, because it kind of doesn’t respect the transient nature of life and how quickly things can change. Plus, if you had asked me in high school (or even in my first couple of years of uni… or maybe even now sometimes..) what I wanted to do with my life, mostly I would have told you I wanted to be happy.. and that’s about it.
I didn’t have any plans for my future in High School – just getting through each day was enough. In some ways that’s a blessing. But now that I’ve decided to follow my dreams of being a writer, I find myself met with so many different views on following dreams.
There’s the positive side – following your dreams keeps you true to yourself, and more confident and happy in your abilities! If you follow your dreams, you can always say that you gave it everything you’ve got! Dreams and goals give you more determination and motivation!
But there’s also the negative side – be realistic, your dreams are probably only transient and won’t last long enough to get there. Are you sure you have the skill for that? Wouldn’t it be easier to try for something a bit simpler? What if you end up with no money, no job, and no home! Following dreams is for dreamers (here you are painted a picture of someone who seems to be permanently ‘off with the fairies’ and made to feel bad about having something you want to work towards), you should get a ‘real’ job. (Granted, a lot of this stuff is more related to arts dreams than anything, but you can hear these sorts of arguments everywhere.)
So whom do you listen to? Well, I can’t really tell you that. I’m overwhelmingly excited and terrified about following my own dreams right now. I have both the positive and the negative thoughts going through my head about two hundred times a day. I argue with myself incessantly.
But at some point, you’ve just got to realize that you’re the one who’s going to call the shots. Ultimately, it comes down to your decision. If the dream was just something silly, or ends up meaning nothing to you, then find a new dream. But if it’s something you really want to hold on to – get educated!
Find out about your dream: how other people made it happen (if it’s been done before), what logical steps you could take to get there, what you feel you need to know to get where you want to be. And practice, practice, practice!
Get a support group around you that encourage you to do what you want to do. Find out the risks involved – because it’s better to be educated about them than rush in completely ignorant to what could happen.
And, keep yourself INSPIRED. For example, if you want to be an artist, look for inspiration everywhere – go to galleries, look at other people’s work in libraries, or on the net, study different styles until you find one (or a few!) that fit you.
And, finally, don’t be afraid to go outside the box – develop new ideas and trust your instincts. Be passionate! But also remember to be clever.
Those are my notes on following your dreams. They may be different for you, but I hope you find something here to adapt to your own life, or to get you thinking about what you want. Because there’s nothing like a beautiful dream to light someone up from the inside.
Also check the related topics:Finding and starting work Starting in a new place Exams