What would you give up to be able to follow your dream? Your car? Your home? Your job? All of the above?
Just for the record, we’re not talking about winning the Lottery (though I will continue to try) or striking oil in your backyard (unless you live in Texas or the Middle East). We’re talking about a life change.
I suppose it depends on where you are in your life and how badly you want to pursue that dream. Oh, yes, and how risk tolerant you are. Dreams do not come without risk.
Does it matter how far you need to go to reach that dream, which may be measured in distance, effort, or both? No, I don’t believe that is a limiting factor. One of the most important things to consider, though, is how confident you feel about reaching that goal. If your journey appears long and hard, and you are unsure of your ability to see it through, then you might want to think twice about selling that car or quitting that day job. You aren’t necessarily doomed to failure, but self doubt could end up raising the mountain you wish to climb.
Another consideration might be your support system. Some people can survive quite well on their own while others need that gentle nudge once in a while to help them continue moving down the path.
Is your dream something you can envision yourself enjoying every day? Even 10 or 20 years from now? How you feel giving wild rapids raft rides twice a day in your 30’s will differ significantly from that of your 50’s. Do enjoy what you are doing now? If so what is the degree of difference between this amount of enjoyment and that of your dream. If not, is it possible that during the pursuit of your dream you will feel more stress or struggle than continuing on your current path?
Do you have a skill set you can fall back on if things don’t go as planned? Athletes can only survive in the minor leagues so long. If not, are you content to flip burgers or be the greeter at the local superstore into your 70’s?
What are you willing to do to survive until your dream comes true? How many 60, 70, and 80 year olds are still waiting tables in Los Angeles waiting for their big acting break? Remember, there are no guarantees. No matter how hard you try, how much blood, sweat, and tears go into the pursuit of that dream, it may not be obtainable. Through no fault of your own, you may just find out that you were at the airport when your ship came in.
Take a moment and picture yourself 5, 10, 20 years from now, having not fulfilled your dream. Will you look back at the years you spent in pursuit as wasted? Does the diminished or now nonexistent bank account bring thoughts of could-a, would-a, should-a; or will you just smile and remember the ride? What is worse, waking up 20 years from now knowing that you may never reach your goal or regretting never having tried?
Of course there are other important things to consider such as family or other obligations and don’t even get me started on health insurance. It’s certainly not as easy as it appears on the surface. But the whole question here is risk versus reward. Are the risks worth the reward and can you weather the ride.
All of these are important questions to ask yourself as you contemplate following your dream. As you go off to answer these for yourself, I will do the same; and if you have any other good questions to add, please let me know.
Beannachtaí ar do thuras, cibé acu is bóthar leat
blessings on your journey, whichever road you travel