I was watching a documentary the other day about someone who is pursuing their dream to become a big actor in Hollywood. He arrived ten years ago and since then has had minimal success in reaching that goal. When asked, the actor said he felt the time he spent pursuing his dream was completely worth it.
And for the most part I agree. This guy showed persistence and determination in pursuit of his dream. How many of us can say we’ve done the same? In fact many people never even get started. And that’s a shame too because you should always pursue your dreams even if they never work out.
Are You Pursuing Your Dreams?
One of the biggest obstacles for people pursuing their dreams is that they have the belief that it won’t work. Before they even try, they’ve already determined that the odds are against them so much that they might as well not start.
I certainly understand the difficulties in achieving many dreams. That actor must have realized that thousands of people move to Hollywood every year to make it big, but only a handful of people actually become stars. The chances of success are so overwhelmingly against you that you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning on a clear day.
But hyperboles aside, the big question remains. Why would someone pursue a dream when the odds are stacked against them?
Well, there are actually two great answers to that question:
- You may not achieve your dreams, but you at least you tried which is more than most people can say.
- Life isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey.
Why You Might Not Pursue Them
I’m going to go over those two points further, but first let me tell you a story about a girl. I met her shortly after she had graduated with an MBA from a prestigious business school. She was smart enough to finish the program in one year and was even awarded “MBA of the year”.
But there was a problem: She hated it.
She hated the school, the people and especially the degree. She actually wanted to pursue something creative like writing or art, but her father forced her into this degree because it would offer her more options after graduation.
When I talked to her, she was happy to have options after graduation, but really sad that she could never pursue her creative side. Artistic careers may not pay the bills as easily as a business degree, but now she feels stuck doing something she doesn’t like. She’ll always wonder how things might have turned out under different circumstances.
This is typical of how most people miss out on pursuing their dreams.
While dreaming of one path, you end up taking the opposite direction. Usually that can be because the career prospects are better, but it could also be because you have no time or other responsibilities get in the way.
Why You Should Pursue Your Dreams
Let me ask you a question about the dreams you have. Would you rather pursue them and fail or never try at all? For me, I’d rather try and fail. I don’t want to leave things wondering what might have been.
Take writing for example. I’ve wanted to be a professional writer since I was a little boy, but I was too scared that I wouldn’t be any good at it. But several years ago I started pursuing this dream despite knowing how difficult it might be. I fully realize I may not make it, but I’m completely fine with that.
At least I tried which is more than most people can say.
I just don’t want to look back on my life when I’m 80 and realize I never even tried. Instead of taking the chance on myself, I would have taken the easy way out and regretted it. I don’t want to look back and wonder what might have been.
Life is a Journey
Don’t see failure or success as the only end goals when it comes to pursuing your dreams. I don’t think of dreams in these terms. A lot of life falls into a gray area and dream-chasing is no exception.
Instead, think of life as a big journey where what happens along the way is just as important as reaching the end goal. Even if I never reach my goal of becoming a professional writer, I completely believe the choice to pursue it was worthwhile. I’ve developed great skills and made wonderful relationships with other bloggers.
Plus, I am proud that I took the chance on myself; it’s very life-affirming. Pursuing your dreams can take a lot of courage and dedication to do. Plus all the experiences you get along the way can make every minute you put into it worthwhile. That’s something I’m sure that actor learned while pursuing his dreams. And it’s why you should always pursue them – no matter what.
What dreams have you always wanted to pursue? If you’re pursuing your dreams now, what have you learned along the way?
Photo Credit: Fiduz