Following your dreams

following your dreamsFrom the age of 5, and in some cases even earlier, our lives are structured into timeframes and regulations that are determined by other people, or by institutions or organisations. Even at baby-stage, we may be enrolled in a crèche or nursery because our parents are working. At that age, we’ll be taken there at a certain hour, picked up at a pre-arranged hour and will be fitted into a programme of play, eat, sleep that’s fairly structured. Thereafter we go to school, where respecting the rules becomes even more important. Although the early days in school are likely to be less rigid than the later ones, there are nonetheless rules and timetables to be respected. Once we get into the workplace, we’re often on another rollercoaster of getting up, going to work, doing our job, going home and longing for the weekend to come. All of this structure can wind up a real trap for some people.

So what would happen if those people could change everything? Or is change simply not possible? It’s only too common for people to daydream about what they’d do if they were to win the lottery, but then reality takes over again. What many of us choose to ignore is the fact that if we have dreams, even without a lottery win, those dreams could be attainable.

What’s your dream? It might involve travel, or a change of work direction, a change of country or even just to change in how you look. No matter what your dream is, what’s stopping you from following your dream?

One of the most common reasons that stops people following their dreams is fear. Fear is a really powerful emotion and can freeze us in our tracks if we allow it to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that thoughtlessly following your dreams is necessarily a good idea, but I can’t help but feel there is a need for more balance. For example, if you’re a parent of two toddlers, it probably isn’t a good idea to simply throw caution to the wind and resign from your job, sell your house and travel. However, if this is really what you want to do and it’s not just a crazy notion, what I am advocating is that you work to discover what’s stopping you following your dream. If it is fear, is the fear justified or not?

When it comes to living life, the expression “feel the fear and do it any way” might be the way to go. There’s little point reaching ripe old age only to discover that you’re full of regrets surrounding the opportunities you didn’t take in life. Unless your dreams could mean financial ruin or might place your family at risk, is there any reason for not following them? Probably not. So why aren’t you doing it? It may be that you’re placing too much importance on the fears that you have and are giving them a greater position than they deserve. If this is the case, then maybe it’s time to think again.