Eight Harsh Truths About “Chasing Your Dream”
“Follow your dreams” is probably one of the most highly romanticized, yet inspirational quotes that ever came around. But, this one sentence leaves some of us on the path of a fantasy future. After all, what is the worst that could happen? The rags to riches stories are proof that once passion is turned into profession, success is bound to follow like an eager puppy.
However, what nobody tells us is that pursuing one’s passion comes with a few strings attached. This assumption that going after what you want; be it a career path, or a person you believe you are madly in love with - who stuck at the other end of the world that, is going to be your happily ever after, carefully excludes a few hard-to-swallow reality checks.
Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t follow their dreams, but what we’re hinting at is towards a full 360-degree approach... An evaluation of the pros and cons, and allowing ourselves a macro-perspective of what it really takes to follow one’s dreams:
The initial dose of inspiration will wear off quicker than cheap perfume on a sunny day
You may have been inspired by success stories of people who dropped everything to chase after what they love and managed to achieve what they’d set out to. However, the story will soon lose its charm when you find yourself ridden with exhaustion, cramped deadlines, struggles to break even and barely able to make ends meet. But remember - success is not overnight, and it wasn’t for your idol either!
Chasing your dreams is like a pendulum oscillating between success and failure
The famous dialogue from the movie 3 Idiots, “Success ke peeche mat bhaago. Kaabil bano. Kamyaabi saala jhak maarke tumhare peeche aayegi (Don’t run after success, become able instead. Success will chase after you)” is all good and inspirational. Except sometimes along the way, you are to find yourself overwhelmed with the missteps. Nothing that can’t be bounced back from, but nothing that can be escaped either. The sun will come out tomorrow, no matter what happens.
Following your dreams will leave your bank emptier than your heart is after a bad break-up
This is because pursuing your dreams is usually followed by you quitting your current job/state of affairs and that is followed by quickly blowing through your savings. The initial stages of starting out on your own might require you to fall back upon your safety piggy banks, but hey, every business idea needs investment, and this probably is yours.
Being your own boss is less about calling the shots, and more about getting shot..in the face..with your temporary defeats
Earlier, you had your annoying and complacent manager to blame, or share the blame with, for any mess that you’d create at work. Now, it’s just you and there is no escape from the occasional fallbacks or the repercussions of your decisions. Trust yourself and remember the old adage ‘Fake it, till you make it’
Chasing after your dream comes with constant feeling of self-doubt and guilt
The pressure to do well in the field you’ve chosen can put the mind and body under duress. After all, the last thing you want is to disappoint yourself and your family with the decision to go after what you desire. The feeling of coming up short, or doubting the field you’ve chosen is therefore part of the process and for a long time will be your norm. This only means you need to work double as hard to prove your worth.
When you do what you love, you "work all the time"!
The lines between work-life balance sometimes get blurry, and before you know it, you find yourself struggling to be able to say no to the work you put on your own plate.
Hello, dreams... Goodbye, comfort zone!
You may have been working at a job for 5 years before you finally chose to put in your papers. As you leave the old office, you also leave behind the comfort zone you’d formed for yourself in those many years, because that is one zone you won’t be treading for a while now. The training wheels are off, you’re are out there, making moves and making it on your own, without the safety net of ‘certainty’.
Chasing your dreams is different from catching them
Chances are, you may not become the next youngest billionaire, or make it amongst the Forbes 30 under 30 or win a Nobel Prize, but that doesn't mean that pursuing your dreams isn’t worth it. Following your dreams, is not a destination, like life – its all about the journey. It is absolutely fine to find yourself coming out a different end, than the one you’d imagined.
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