Follow your dreams!
It may come across at first glance as cliché, idealistic, overly simple, but I don’t care if I sound like the biggest rainbow-hugging optimist ever born into a world of pessimistic realists--I’m here to you why you should knuckle down and chase the big puffy white cloud that makes up dreams, your aspirations, your passions. If I’m vague about the nature of your dream, it’s because I’d like this blog to include everything from writing to music, arts, crafts, trades, food... as much as I can fit under one umbrella. I’m going to break my reasons down into categories by answering these questions: Why should I? Isn’t it dangerous? When should I? Why support other artists?--Ready? Okay, here we go.
Why should I chase my dream?
Because no one is going to do it for you. We are social creatures, and as such, it is easy to attempt to rely on those closest to us to supply our happiness. It happens in movies often enough, doesn’t it? The truth, as I see it, is that no one can make you happy. That is a feat reserved only for you. The same goes for achieving goals, lofty as they may seem. At best, good friends and family members will support you, at worst, no one will, but regardless of the influences given by the people in your life, no one will do the work for you.
Isn’t chasing an ambition dangerous?
I’m not saying that people should throw their responsibilities out the window, or drop everything that has brought them up to this point in their lives. It is important that we take care of ourselves so that we are in a position of strength to help our families and friends if they need it, but that is no reason not to act. See next paragraph.
When should I do something like this?
As I said, you don’t have to throw everything practical out of your life, but you should begin working on your dream now. Whenever you have a spare moment, chip away at it. Our society is swiftly moving to a culture of instant gratification, but the best things are almost always the things that we fight the hardest to attain. Why? Because it is in the journey, not the prize at the end of the road, that we find meaning, validation, and contentment. Working on your dream won’t always be easy. I can’t promise you’ll always be inspired or motivated--that’s normal--but as you go, you just might to begin feeling fulfilled. You took the reins and you did it. Achievement is in the doing.
Life will always supply you with seemingly endless reasons not to take action, make a change, or strive for your daring goals. More often than not, we’ll push our dreams away, saying that it isn’t the right time. We want to wait for the perfect circumstance to be present, hoping it will pad our fall if things become too difficult. Again, my perception of the truth is that there is no such thing as, “the perfect time.” Whittle away at your dream, little by little, day by day, and a month from now, two months, six, you’ll look back and see a mountain of accomplishment. You have the power to do that, and the secret is: Now. Time is ticking away this very instant and that is one commodity that you can't buy back.
Why encourage other people to follow their dreams?
Even without knowing you, I understand how difficult this sounds, I know that many of you have a million-and-two reasons to talk yourselves out of following your dreams. Life is difficult, and like Odysseus, the odds seem ever stacked against us. Life’s hardships are all the more reason to do something. By bringing your passions out into the light of day, you will inevitably help other people. You’ll make the lives you touch better, because by reading your book, by listening to your music, by eating your food (I could go on and on... sitting on the chairs you carved, snuggling into a scarf you made etc...) your customers/audience/patrons will sense the passion in your creations and be inspired. If you think your work won’t be good enough, you’re wrong there too. This very moment, more than seven-billion people exist in our world, and all of them are equipped with different tastes, loves, and cravings. I’ve always felt that there are many people in the world who would appreciate every (non-harmful) creation brought into existence.
I’m an author, sitting here in my writing chair, encouraging other people to stand up and be authors. Some people might say, “Doesn’t that create competition?” No. Competition in the arts only exists if money is your single goal. I, for one, don’t subscribe to greed. Authors are in the business of sharing dreams. It helps to get paid, because then we’re able to improve our rate of releases, but I can tell you without the slightest hesitation that I wrote before I made money doing it and I would continue to write if I didn’t make another dime. I write because it is my passion, and that passion comes directly from my heart and my soul. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I love books, I love reading, I love fantasy, and if you write a book that speaks to me, I will adore it and not be afraid to tell you so. Even if your work only manages to touch a handful of people, you have left an impression, you have made someone’s life a little better, and you have achieved your dream.
I hope this has helped to encourage a few people to take action, grab onto those dreams and never let go.
As always, all yours,
A. R. Ivanovich is likely typing away at her desk, with a cup of heavily caffeinated tea and a cat on her lap.