As I mentioned in my pervious post, there were three main ideas I took away with me from the conference I attended last weekend. Each one plays a subrole in the main idea of looking at your life from the outside in. The first thing was learning how to veer away from those you are comfortable with to vulnerably and daringly join a crowd.
Continuing on… the second idea I took away with me was this: don’t let age stop you from pursuing a dream. I know this seems pretty basic and self-explanatory, but I beg to differ. I’m not talking about the perfect career or the amazing lifestyle. I’m talking about the dreams that you stuff away in the bottom drawer because they seem unreachable, or take too much time, or something you have absolutely no experience in. I’m talking about the “bucket list” dreams. Well here are five points to remind you that you don’t need to dream your dreams…instead live them.
1) Just do it. Whatever it is. Pick it up as a hobby. Your dreams don’t need to be a time consuming, absolute, all or nothing endeavor for you to be fulfilled. If you love it, do it. It’s really that simple. Really. Then you can find a way to take it up full time or you might be fulfilled as is.
2) Do it for yourself. If you are pursuing a dream for someone else or to get noticed then don’t waste your time. It will become work more than a passion. Even then, when you do pursue it for yourself, keep in mind that you don’t need validation from others to like it, enjoy it, do it, love it or make it a priority.
3) Be aggressive. Network, go to conferences, and find local groups. Chances are you are not the only person who wants to learn the drums at 40 or become an author after taking only one English class in your entire post-high school career, or become a scuba diving instructor even though you have no idea how to swim. Go out there, no doubts or hesitation. Everything else will fall into place. If you don’t put yourself out there you will never know. Prime example is Langston Hughes- he worked all kinds of odd jobs to make ends meet. At one point, he was a busboy at a hotel when he assertively handed his poetry to a famous poet who came in. That was how he got discovered. Be aggressive.
4) Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared to walk away from what you aren’t happy with to pursue a dream. If you have to live frugally to barely make ends meet, it will be worth it if you wake up loving what you do. I don’t care how you try to spin it. Money does not buy happiness.
5) Don’t give up. The things that are really worth having take hard work to get or to keep. They require time, patience, and passion. Make the time, find a way, and do what it is you have always wanted to do.
At the writing conference, the majority of the attendees were 40+. Why? Some of them were already authors or published writers, but after socializing and networking, I learned that a lot of them were first time writers at their very first writing event. I was relived (for myself that is). I wasn’t the only person sweating my inexperience. The more I talked to people the more I learned how they were doctors, lawyers, psychologists, stay at home parents, who have all done everything the way they were “supposed to”. Go to school, follow a path, have a career (and in some cases get married, build a family and take care of them). Though this normalcy made them satisfied and comfortable with their lives, they all dreamt about writing. They were starting to fear having lived their life without actually pursuing a dream. So there they were, 20+ years later, saying Hell with it! I want to be a writer and a good one at that, so I’m going to go out there and study the art of writing.
What are you dreaming about when you aren’t living your busy life?
I bet you don’t have a good enough excuse as to why you aren’t trying to reach it. If you want something bad enough, you will go after it. It’s human nature. So, I dare say, that maybe you just don’t want it bad enough. :-X
Stay tuned for the last main idea,