Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Art of Following Your Dreams, Part 1
Traditionally, people follow paths that are either laid out before them by their parents, society, or by their interpretation of what they think is expected of them. If you ask most people whether or not they are doing that which they dream of doing, they typically respond with a resounding No! And when you ask them why, they typically respond with one of the following rationalizations:
That's unrealistic, how would I support myself?
I don't really know what I want to do, so I'm playing it safe
If I don't go to college and get a degree, what will they think?
If I don't make a lot of money, what will they think?
Who is this they of which they speak?
For some people, following one's dreams differs radically from the traditional model of looking to an educational institution or corporate structure for direction and meaning. If, perchance, it is your dream to become a medical doctor, then following a traditional educational path is par for the course as is working in a hospital or clinic.
If, however, it is your dream to become a world famous artist, why would you waste a single precious moment of your time studying unrelated subjects that do not augment your artistic knowledge and abilities? Unless you are curious about other subjects and believe this knowledge will enhance your skills and sense of knowing about the world, they might not be necessary. In fact, they might be detrimental to your success, growth, and overall happiness.
Following your dreams is not necessarily a rejection of traditional schooling or traditional employment, but rather an acceptance of where your happiness lies as well as the implications of this self-knowledge.
Following your dreams can happen by staying at home to paint, sculpt or write, it can happen while traveling the globe in a deep desire to know your world and help your fellow global citizens, or it can happen in a classroom as you sit there listening to profound thinkers introducing you to philosophical, mathematical or scientific theories that you later explore for yourself.
Whichever direction you turn, following a path that speaks to you, that makes you feel alive inside... that is the path known as following one's own dreams.