“Follow your dreams – this requires courage, drive, and bold action.”
It is easy to ignore your dreams. To forget them. To label them as unrealistic, childish artifacts. To deny that they really matter to you anymore.
Adult life is filled with reasons that dreams are for children only.
Yet we all hear the admonishments to “follow your dreams.”
That’s easy for others to say, of course. But people who have responsibilities don’t have the luxury of following their dreams. A least not yet. Not until they finally make it big. Get the big raise or promotion, or (God forbid) they win the lottery.
When you have kids to feed, thinking about the life you once dreamed of is depressing. It’s counterproductive. It’s selfish.
Get back to work.
Yet I am telling you now, if you do not find a way to pursue your dreams, you will never be truly fulfilled. You will never live the life that you were created to live.
You have a purpose in this world. Your dreams are outlines of that purpose. You must “follow your bliss.” And your dreams highlight the essence of that bliss.
When I think about this I am reminded of the life of my great grandfather.
You see, my great grandfather lived in a world much more precarious than the one we live in today. He worked at odd jobs for years, never really finding his place in the world, squeaking out a living. He had a wife and children who depended on him for everything. And he lived in a world with no formal social safety net.
Yet, one day, he decided that he had found his calling. He picked up his family and moved away from the place that their family had been seated for centuries. He moved to another state and enrolled in a University, something no one that he knew had ever done.
Some people accused him of irresponsibility. He had no certainty of where his next meal was coming from. Yet, he knew what he had to do. And he was not going to let the practical world stop him.
Years later, when I came to know him, my great grandfather was a very old man. Yet he was also considered one of the most respected and influential members of his community. He had become an ordained minister, struggled with others in the church who didn’t believe in him, and ultimately built his own church, and later a grand outdoor tabernacle, practically by hand.
In a time when most people barely traveled a few miles from home in a lifetime, he had traveled a continent, spreading the Good News.
His church stands today as a monument to his dream. And the mountain of community awards that he received as a local leader today fill boxes in my attic.
I barely knew that man, but he inspires me to this day.
He could have stuck to what he did before he took his big chance. Those around him openly said that his actions at the time were immoral – they put his family’s welfare – perhaps their very survival – in danger. But if he had done what they said, would he still have been the man I knew?
You may be in a position similar to my great granddad. You have no right to chase far-fetched dreams. Doing so may be tantamount to endangering your family. Doing so may well be the height of selfishness.
Do it anyway.
Live the life my granddad did. Be the you that you know you must be.
Just do it.
All the best,