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“Shoot for the moon…even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” – Unknown
Today’s quote is one of my absolute favourites – a good one, but an old one. It was actually one of the first quotes I wrote down when I started keeping a “quote notebook” when I was 10 years old.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about why you should follow your dreams, even if they seem a bit “out there”, “different” or “impractical”.
That’s not an easy feat to take on, I know. Following your dreams involves a whole lot more than imagining the idealistic destiny. You know, the one that ends with you getting everything you desire, and having all your wishes come true.
If only it worked like that, right?
Why You Should Write Your Own Destiny
First, I’d like to talk about why you should write your own destiny. It’s SO easy to try to follow what other people do, without truly considering what you want out of your life, and what will make you happy.
Happiness doesn’t pay the bills, right? I’ve heard that argument a lot. It’s true that you need to be practical, and it does mean that there needs to be a balance between “following your dreams” and meeting your daily needs. Remember, though – your dreams are still important!
We all know people who tell us to “follow our dreams”, but this great blog post by Devi Natarajan reminds us that we have to know the price; the cost of following our dreams, too.
With a bit of practicality in mind, remember that in the long run, you’re not going to be truly happy unless you find a balance between a lifestyle you can enjoy, and following your passion.
How I Left My Dream Path (and Came Back)
Of course, I believe you should never give up on your dreams. However, I spent a lot of my twenties following a dream other people thought was a great idea.
I even started out university determined to be a writer, a novelist one day. So, I signed up to be an English literature major. Practicality got the best of me, and I decided that a few people trying to influence my decisions (like my parents) were right; there were “no jobs” for English majors.
Every time I asked a fellow English major in my program at University, though, they’d tell me the same two things:
- They had no idea what kind of job or career they wanted, but they’d “find something“
- “It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m doing what I love”
I am a little more practical than that, even though I am a dreamer! I would have loved to study English literature and modern languages (and I did continue to do so, for as many elective courses as I could), but I needed to be looking towards a future. To be able to visualize something great.
If the older students I asked had actually visualized their future (and helped me visualize mine), or had an idea of what they wanted their future to look like, it would have been different. I may have been convinced not to switch faculties!
So, this is how I ended up looking into the most creative part of a business degree I could get. I settled on a mix of my creative side, and something completely new at the time – marketing. One part I love about the North American education system is that you can take courses from other faculties. In fact, you’re encouraged to, which means you have a degree full of varied courses.
Yes, I took Accounting, Marketing, English Folk and Fairytale literature, Psychology, and Italian in the same semester 😉 While the goal of being a novelist some day is still on my long term goals list, for now I’m happy writing on this blog.
Key Points I Learned About Taking The “Wrong” Path
First of all, just because it’s not your final path or the destiny you desire does not mean it’s the wrong path.
- I learned so much from business school that helped me get a great start career-wise, work in Singapore for 8 months and really figure out what I liked (and didn’t like) about the corporate world. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie The Company Men, it’s the first one I watched after quitting my corporate job in 2011, and it’s a good one!)
- I met SO many people in business school since there were so many group projects! Some of these people are still my best friends today, and I’ve learned so much from them.
So, don’t worry if you think you’re on the “wrong” path – maybe it’ll lead somewhere great 🙂
Second, I learned that you can take all your experiences, everywhere you go.
Ironically, it’s the “wrong path” that led me to be able to be successful on the right one – running a tutoring business, teaching English, and being able to pay for a Master’s degree. With only a Bachelor of Arts, I’m sure I would have struggled more. Not only to set up my tutoring business in Canada, but also to move overseas. Even starting this blog (and making it a full-time venture one day) would have been a more daunting challenge.
So look at your “wrong paths” as detours. Detours that get you right back to where you’re supposed to be.
Where To Start: Defining Your Dream & Destiny
Okay, that’s great you say, but how do I actually start making my way towards my destiny?
I have 3 steps that I follow:
Step 1: Imagine
Of course, it starts with visualization and imagination; everything you can imagine is real. Don’t be afraid to create a vision board, and brainstorm to your heart’s content. It can’t become real until you can really see it!
Step 2: Plan
I’m a planner! If you need help planning, remember that my free printables library has the goal setting template you (or your students) need to be on your way.
Start slowly, go step by step and turn all of your ideas into dots on a timeline, and then weeks on a calendar.
Step 3: Keep Going (Don’t Be Afraid)!
Meeting goals is tough! Keep going! Sometimes, the hardest part is to trudge through the tough parts. Even with this blog, which I absolutely love creating, I’ve had technical challenges at times.
Remember that everyone has a weak spot, and your weak spot is someone else’s strength. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it! (You can read all about how I did, if you like).
If you happen to have a dream to run a profitable teaching or tutoring business of your own (like I did), check out my course to help you work towards success. (When you sign up for my free printables library, you’ll receive a coupon for 50% off, too).
Have a lovely, productive (and dream-worthy) Monday!
P.S. Photography fans, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took at a La Pedrera night tour, here in Barcelona
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