Living our dreams is something that we all want to do in theory. Most of us have some kind of ideal future and have some kind of dream that motivates us, that gives us hope and that gives our life meaning. But what happens when that dream starts to slip away and ‘real life’ starts to take over?
When most of us are younger, we start out meaning well. We have goals and plans and we know what we want to be when we’re ‘older’. Even if other people think that the goals are unrealistic, or if the jobs we want are highly ambitious it’s not enough to deter us and we still keep the hope in the back of our mind.
Then we leave school or university and realize we need money. Then we settle down into a relationship and quickly find we have responsibilities to other people. We can’t just quite our job or we’d end up throwing ourselves and our partners out onto the street. Children then come and take up all of our time, and we find ourselves with less and less time at the end of every evening. Then we look in the mirror one day and realize that we are now probably too old to be a rock star, or that we’re never going to be in a position to up and leave for Hollywood. And at that point the dream can seem dead and life can lose its color. But is there another way?
The ‘Other Way’
Of course the answer is yes, and of course there are many people out there who are successfully living their dreams. They may be athletes, politicians, musicians, actors, or something else entirely – but whatever they do they have ascended above the mundane to achieve something remarkable and to be universally recognized. Some of them never made it big until they were your age, and likely there were times when they lost sight of their dreams too. So how do you go about chasing the dream? Here we will have a look at a few ways you can bring your dream to you and to make it more attainable.
First of all, make sure that you remain adaptable. In other words, make sure that your dream is not completely set in stone. What is important rather is to achieve the ‘essence’ of your dream and as your circumstances change that might mean going about things in a different way. So what is it precisely that makes being a rock star so appealing to you? Because if it’s the recognition then there are other ways to be famous. If it’s the music making then there are other outlets for your musical talent. If you want both then does the genre have to be rock? You might find there are more ways to achieve the same goals but in a new way.
People have always said you can ‘be whatever you want to be’, but right now that is truer than ever before thanks mostly to the internet. Thanks to the internet, and other technologies such as ‘print on demand’ printing, it is now possible in many cases for the individual to compete with the big corporations and to do so with fewer resources and with no upfront investment. Take publishing for instance. Once you had to publish through a recognized publisher such as Penguin which would mean getting an agent – in itself no mean feat. Today though you can simply publish your books yourself through LuLu or Amazon and have copies printed out each time someone orders one, or you can have your books on the Kindle store or on iTunes. They’re all great ways to make money doing something you love and to get recognition. Want to be a rock star? There are plenty of examples of bands that made it big just by promoting themselves through MySpace. Want to be a comedian? YouTube is the perfect place to start making a name for yourself.
Go it Alone
What this tells you is that you can often start working on whatever it is you want to be on your own before you have the backing of a big company. The internet isn’t the only way you can do this either – you can set up your own business, or you can start offering to sing at events. As long as you keep doing what you love then you will be working toward that dream. And in fact you will already be what it is that you want to be. If you write every day, then what is it that prevents you from calling yourself a writer? You may not be a professional, but you certainly are a writer. If you have people watching your videos on YouTube then you’re a presenter or an actor. You are what you do.
Do it On the Side
And remember you don’t have to give up what you do now in order to make it big – you can easily do it on the side of what you already do day to day. For instance if you spend a few hours at work, then there’s nothing to stop you from coming home and spending a few hours writing that novel – or even from writing it in your lunch break. Many people who are afraid to change careers will say that they can’t because they don’t want to leave their current jobs. This though is quite clearly just an excuse, as there is no reason that they should have to leave their current job in order to start looking for a new one – you can apply to other jobs in the evening when you get home and your current employer need never know that you’re looking elsewhere. This way you can afford to apply to only the jobs that fall into the category of ‘dream jobs’ because you are already financially stable.
Don’t Be a Slave to Convention
There are many aspects of your dream that you could be living right now. If you have a home and it appeals to you, then there’s nothing to stop you from literally turning your garage into a Bat-Cave. Likewise if you want to travel more, there is nothing to stop you from buying a caravan. If you want to go to space, then take out a huge loan and sign up with Virgin Galactic. In other words then, if the only thing holding you back is what other people would think, then you should stop worrying and start doing. Even if they shake their heads, a lot of them will be very jealous deep down.