What are dreams? Are they unrealistic, never-going-to-happen aspirations? Do we deliberately aim for things that feel deep down we know we can’t achieve?
I have always dreamed of being a writer. At school the subject I excelled in was literature and my best memory that still has the power to make me happy all these years later, is getting an A and lots of encouragement for a piece I wrote on two members of my family who had to go into hiding in Kuwait during the Iraq invasion. I have always loved reading and dreamed of one day being able to publish my own books.
So this being my dream since I was a kid you would think I’d have already published a book or two or at the very least have a successful, self-sustaining blog right? Well no – I’m a marketing manager instead. Whenever I read author bio’s in a book they very often say ‘so and so has been writing since they were born’ and I think ‘oh that’s right I can’t possibly be an author/writer because there were years where for one reason or another I didn’t write’.
Which brings me back to my second question up above – is this particular dream unrealistic and never going to happen? Up until now the answer to that would have been a resounding yes! Why? I could say a million reasons excuses but the reality is it’s me. I am the only one who has stopped me from achieving my dreams. My fear disguised as apathy or inability to do more than I have always done has left me in a position where my dream to write for a living hasn’t become my reality.
So in answer to my third question of aiming for the unachievable – Am I aiming for something I can’t possibly do? I can write, but can I actually write well enough to make a living from it? The answer to that would be I have no idea because I’ve never just gone for it. I’ve had grown up responsibilities since I was 17 and I was always working to put food on the table rather than because I loved what I was doing. That mind-set is pervasive, you keep going like a dog chasing its tail and like the dog you never catch your dream because you don’t stop long enough to think ‘How can I actually achieve this?’. Well I’m certainly not going to achieve it by thinking about it or writing lists or researching how to – the only way I’m going to achieve my dream is to go after it, work at it, learn from the failures and take strength from the successes.
My dream is to write and make a sustainable living from it. If I can spend my working life doing what I love then I’m not really working am I? I’m setting out to achieve what makes my heart sing every morning when I wake up. Who can say whether my dream is unachievable and beyond my skills – no-one except me because I’ve never tried to actually achieve it. My belief is that being passionate about something goes much further on the road to success than being merely qualified for it.
What are your dreams and are you living them yet? If not then ask yourself why not? What’s stopping you?