Life gets so hectic that it feels like your dreams aren’t worth pursuing at all.
You have bills to pay and somehow, pursuing your passions have become secondary to paying rent. Sometimes, you feel as though you’re only going through the motions of survival.
You derive no pleasure from work. And yet, you keep showing up. Why? Because somehow, along the way, you started believing that your childhood dreams are silly and unreachable.
People have told you to be realistic. And you started believing them.
But before you give up on yourself (and what you want to achieve), remember these ten reasons why you should keep following your dreams:
1) Life is short
Minutes turn to hours, hours to turn to days. In a blink of an eye, everything that you have can disappear.
One of the fundamental reasons why you should follow your dreams is because life is too short not to.
Steve Jobs, the founder of the tech giant, Apple, has some simple yet profound words to say about the value of time.
“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”
Too many people spend their lives going around in circles, wondering what life is all about. The answer is quite simple: it’s following your dreams.
Think about it: You spend seventy, eighty, ninety years alive on this planet. That’s enough time to figure out what you want to do in life and pursue it.
Don’t be the guy spending half of his life doing something he absolutely hates. Relish in your existence and make the most out of it.
2) Do it for yourself
Dreams always seem like they’re so hard to achieve – that’s why they’re called dreams.
But there’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that you have made it, that you have achieved everything that you always wanted.
There are many reasons why we stop pursuing our dreams. Sometimes circumstances made us think that it’s a selfish thing to do. We end up with responsibilities to follow through. And following your dreams is a luxury you feel like you simply can’t afford.
But that’s not true. Pursuing things you are passionate about gives you joy. It gives your life meaning. And no matter how much responsibility you have, you should never stop following your dreams.
So follow your dreams for one simple reason: yourself.
Do it because you deserve to feel proud of your accomplishments and because you deserve the best things in the world.
3) Prove the detractors wrong
Dreams feel especially unachievable because there will always be people second-guessing you, telling you that you’ll never reach them.
Sure, nothing is more frustrating than hearing people say you won’t amount to anything. And you will hear this for a long period in your life.
That doesn’t mean you have to listen to what the detractors are saying and actually give up on your dreams.
In his inspiring article, “Why you should pursue your dreams even if no one encourages you”, entrepreneur Daniel DiPiazza intones:
“This is all external resistance. If you let these people affect your decisions, the results can be disastrous. Here’s the truth: People who criticize you, overlook you or belittle you for doing what you love don’t actually understand your “why.”
“They don’t understand why your passions, dreams and desires are so important to you. And that’s OK. It’s perfectly OK to live a life that others don’t understand.”
Bounce back up from every adversity you face. Instead of taking it as a sign from the universe asking you to back down, treat every dark period in your life as a learning opportunity.
Come out stronger than before. Do this until you build enough momentum that you’re barreling through the haters and the naysayers.
Do this until you can rise to the top and proudly say you have achieved what you want to accomplish
4) Do it for your happiness
Dreams come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you just want to achieve a certain weight goal, maybe you want to be included in the Forbes 30 under 30.
Big or small, the result will still be one of the most satisfying experiences in your life.
Having something you always wanted when you were a kid might just be the best feeling ever. Imagine doing that for the rest of your life, over and over again.
And science agrees. Research shows that living a meaningful life can affect your happiness and help you live longer and healthier. Doing things you love also helps reduce stress.
Having your dream job or dream body or dream anything is basically you winning at life. It provides an almost unlimited fount of happiness and satisfaction.
According to expert hypnotherapist Marisa Peer, the key to living an uncompromised and happy life is to follow your dreams and discover what you’re passionate about. If you’re looking for expert guidance on how to do this, check out her free masterclass. It goes for 90 minutes and anyone can access it.
5) No one else will do it for you
Follow your dreams because no one else will follow them for you.
Do you want to be the next Michelle Obama, the next J.K. Rowling, the next Amelia Earhart? That’s awesome, but it also means putting yourself to the test and actually working to get where you want to be.
Your dreams won’t magically happen. No matter how much you will it into existence, you need to put in the work. Most of the time, you and you alone will have to do the work.
Your mentors, peers, and even colleagues can’t help you turn dreams into reality if you’re not leading the movement. The desire has to come from you.
You can get help from other people but it won’t change the fact that your dreams need you to set them in motion.
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6) Work becomes more bearable
Only a few of us ever get to land their dream job on the first try. Most of us have to settle with entry-level jobs – jobs that pay the rent but don’t necessarily satiate the soul.
And that’s okay. Jobs are a part of life; that doesn’t mean you have to feel stuck doing something you don’t love.
Having a passion project on the side will help you keep looking forward. Make some time to do things that make you feel alive. Even if it’s just a hobby or a side-hustle. And even if it doesn’t make you any cash.
The important thing is that you set a little bit of time for you.
Just because you’re doing a 9-5 now doesn’t mean you can’t invest the remainder of your time doing other things.
Having something other than your work helps keep your sanity and boost your motivation.
7) You have the potential to earn more
Passionate businessmen achieve their level of success not because they have an unlimited source of enthusiasm. They have the capacity to earn more because they won’t strive for less.
When you’re living the dream and doing everything in your power to keep growing as a person, you’re driven to grow what you have and make it better.
It’s called working smarter, not harder.
And when you enjoy your work, you become more motivated to succeed. Time flies when you like what you’re doing. You don’t mind putting more hours. Most importantly you’re excited to do it.
Whether you’re writing a best-selling novel or launching an amazing start-up, the result will still be the same: when you expend effort into what you love, it’s easier for you to grow it and make more money from it.
8) People need inspiration every day
Let’s say you get your dreams and are already living the life you always wanted. You’re going to look back and remember the person you once were and marvel at how you were able to achieve what you did.
You’re going to remember the times you felt lost and discouraged. Somewhere out there are people who feel what you felt and continue to doubt themselves.
People who are inspired to do great things but just haven’t arrived there yet.
When you reach your dreams, you become a symbol of hope for those who wish to achieve the same.
You become a living, breathing proof that things can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
9) You will meed kindred souls
As you go through your journey, you are going to meet people who are on the same phase as you. You will encounter those who are willing to give up anything just to achieve your dream.
When you do, you find a community of dreamers, and it becomes easier to remain optimistic about your success. It’s a known fact that surrounding yourself with like-minded people will enhance your best qualities.
You attract positive and motivated people. And when you are surrounded by such an electric crowd, you become even more motivated to follow your dreams.
You create a community where you are allowed to be different, embrace your uniqueness, and to follow where your heart leads, even if it’s not considered normal or realistic.
10) Life feels complete
One of the fundamental things we ask ourselves is, “What am I doing here?”
We spend our waking moments trying to figure out what our role is in the universe. Achieving your dream answers all that.
Doing what you want to do makes you feel validated, happy, and most importantly: complete.
No one else is going to complete your life but you. So don’t forget to be a little selfish.
If you really need a good reason to follow your dreams, it’s this: because you owe it to yourself to feel happy for the rest of your life.
Many people will tell you that it’s silly to follow your dreams. They’ll suggest that you’re better off focusing on making tangible and incremental improvement in your life, day by day. They’ll say that having dreams will distract you from doing the hard work that’s required to make changes in your life.
In one sense, they have a point. You do need to focus on creating habits and routines that move you forward in life.
But you’ll lose something if you follow their advice and give up on pursuing your dreams. The flicker of life that exists inside you will burn just that little bit more dimly.
Instead, you can follow your dreams and focus on the work that’s required to achieve them. It’s possible to do both at the same time. You can be grounded while also being a dreamer.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to start becoming the kind of person who follows your dreams while also achieving them, check out these articles:
Sometimes, the key to living your dreams is letting go of societal and educational conditioning that often shapes what we want in life. Check out this interview with the shaman Rudá Iandê. It contains practical advice on how to do this:
Finally, if you have some specific advice or life experiences to share on following your dreams, please comment below.