At some point, you’ve heard someone say, “follow your dreams.” And while it might have seemed like an empty accolade, it is a worthwhile pursuit, so let’s look at what it means.
Chasing after what we truly want
Ultimately following your dreams is about going after what you truly want, even if that is something that might be seemingly impossible.
So often in life, we are encouraged to go after things that make sense or are the most logical, but that often comes at the expense of doing what we want.
Following your dreams means going after what you want, even if it isn’t practical.
When I was in university studying science, I wanted to quit and be a fashion designer; my dad discouraged me, saying it wasn’t practical. While I disagreed then, he ended up being right as I lost interest after a few months.
Chasing after what you want means being sure about what you want and then putting all your energy into it.
Working towards what might seem impossible
Related to the idea of something being practical is the chance that it is impossible to begin with. When we think of following our dreams, it often means doing something that we might not believe is possible.
Arguably, thinking something is impossible partly makes it impossible, but that warning or caution can help us avoid wasted time.
Following your dreams means dedicating yourself to what might seem impossible for others.
I remember reading this quote, “the difference between the possible and the impossible is your determination.” If we commit, almost anything is possible, at least theoretically. This gets to the core of what it means to follow our dreams.
Your dream may seem impossible, and maybe it is, but it is also possible that you only believe that it is impossible, and all that is required to make it happen is determination.
Doing the kinds of things that other people think is a waste of time.
Often our dreams are so incomprehensible to others that they believe our efforts are just a waste of time.
Whenever I talk to my mom about writing and making money as a writer, she brushes off the idea, but here I am, writing away whenever I get the chance. My efforts haven’t paid off yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t; I just have to keep pushing.
People may think we are wasting our time following our dreams, but they can’t see our vision.
Doing something unique takes time and effort, often with goals or tasks that don’t make sense to others. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing to our dreams; only we can know that.
Trying to live your dreams mean working towards goals that other people can’t understand, but that doesn’t mean we are wrong; it just means that other people can’t see what we see.
Being open to the possibility of finding true happiness
So often, we are told or encouraged to believe that happiness is some compromise we must accept to get along in the world.
We may believe our job might not make us happy, but at least we have our friends and the weekend. Or we might be told, “sure, you don’t like school, but in the end, you will get a job you like.”
So often work towards compromises rather than what would make us happy.
It is difficult to find what would make us happy; it is formidable to be privileged enough to do what we want. Following your dreams means realizing what will make you happy and being brave enough to follow through.
True happiness might be some pipe dream, but if we think ahead, stick with our plan and maintain determination, we might find the fulfilment we are looking for.
Following our dreams means fulfilling our purpose.
We are all here for a reason, or so we have been told, and while that might sound like a cliche, it is ultimately true. Though it might not mean what we hope it would mean.
Fulfilling our purpose is about finding what we were born to do. You can take this; differently, one being that we have some fate or destiny. The other is that we choose our fate or destiny, and thus we can be what we want.
If you believe you were born for a purpose, you better do anything possible to make that a reality.
Even if there is no such thing as fate and everything is up to us, that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t try to fulfill our destiny. Where the target comes from doesn’t matter as much as the effort we are willing to put into getting what we want.
I believe that my purpose is to share my stories with the world, and even if the world isn’t ready for my stories, I get immense satisfaction from transmitting them, so I continue to do what I do.
Working towards something that will make you proud
I don’t mind my day job, it is essential work that makes a difference to many people, but does it make me proud? It is hard to say, there are many things that I could be proud of, and people think what I do is important and meaningful.
Other people might think our work is essential and we are making a difference, but if our work doesn’t align with our core values, we might not be proud of ourselves.
When we follow our dreams, we are proud of what we do because our internal purpose is being satisfied.
There are many different reasons why we could be proud of what we are doing, but if those reasons don’t come from within, we might not value them as much.
What the world and the people around us value aren’t as important as what we think matters most.
Following your dreams is inspiring to others.
When you follow your dreams, you provide an example for everyone who has a dream they wish to pursue.
It is easy to give up on your dreams or stick with what you are supposed to do if you don’t have any inspiration. We tend to do what we think is typical or expected, which often means living an ordinary life.
When you follow your dreams, you inspire others to do the same thing.
If we are willing to push beyond our boundaries and do things that seem impossible, eventually, we might find some success. And while we might not get everything we want, we will show the world that getting what we want is possible.
Our ability to follow our dreams shows others that out-there ideas are, in fact, possible and worthy of our time, which will help others to take steps to make their dreams a reality too.
Not wasting time on things that don’t matter
If you are clear about what you want, even if it seems impossible, you will know what you should spend your time on.
So often, we waste our time cause we have nothing to do or don’t believe that what we want to do is worth our effort. But when we do this, we fall behind in making our dreams a reality, and thus our dreams seem to become more impossible.
Following your dreams means dedicating your time to what matters.
We all have a limited amount of time on earth, but that doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish what we want. Instead, it means we need to be clear about what we want and not willing to compromise on the way there.
If you know what you want from your life, you need to be willing to work towards it, even if it doesn’t seem like it makes sense to other people.
Being willing to keep pushing even when things seem bleak
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Surely if we believe in our dreams, that should be enough to keep us going even when things get difficult?
So often, people give up on what matters to them because they feel afraid or like they are wasting their time. But so often, it is just after people give up that they have the opportunity to find the success they seek.
If you are willing to give up easily, you likely aren’t following your dreams.
It can sometimes seem impossible to get what we want, but that is why we must keep pushing forward, even after it looks like the time to give up.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t give up; instead, I’m suggesting that if you know your aim is true, you need to keep pushing forward even if things seem hopeless.
Sometimes the universe tests our determination, so it is up to us, to be honest with ourselves and the world.
Following our dreams means becoming our true selves.
Ultimately, following our dreams is about becoming our true selves; it is about being who we were born to be and showing the world what we can do.
Many of us don’t know who we are or want to be, so we go with the flow and accept whatever is thrown our way. There is merit to this approach; we shouldn’t resist nature. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be something else, something much more significant.
Becoming who we are is a matter of doing what we were sent here to do.
This is alright, but if you want to live the life of your dreams, then you need to decide who you want to be and be willing to work towards that end.
Following your dreams means living the life you want to live.
No one else but you can decide what you are supposed to do with your life, choose the easy route and do what comes your way, or choose something else and dive head first into the challenges. What will you choose?
Do you want to follow your dreams? Have you ever felt inspired by someone doing what they were meant to do? What would you suggest to someone who is looking to follow their dreams?