Oh, how often we idolize the dream…
We idolize those who chase their passions, while never truly understanding how we could ever accomplish such feats in our own life. Celebrating every time one of your friends decides to take on a new endeavor simply because you understand the amount of courage it takes for such a plunge.
Courage you’ve never had. Endeavors you’ve never fully committed to.
Maybe it’s the constant burden of bills, that degree you’re only working on for your parents’ acceptance, the time you’ve already committed to your social circles, or any other myriad of excuses you’ve allowed to stand in your way, but the truth remains: your passions have laid dormant.
You’re not alone though. I too fell in love with the dream though I constantly put off the idea of actually chasing it due to work obligations, a lack of funding, and public perception. Rejoining in all the journeys of my peers, but blaming circumstances, all within my control, on why I could never join their plights.
After years of side projects, that were full of potential yet needed more commitment, and working full-time in Information Tech for almost 10 years, something finally gave me the clarity I desired. Last month my boss was let go after giving 20 years of faithful service to our organization and I realized that his life would be completely different if he had put that same amount of time into his personal development and passion. In that moment, it was like a veil had been lifted and the weights of yesterday could no longer stop me from entering the void.
Vowing to never live a life of regret, I turned my part time portraits and film business into a full time endeavor and let go of any and all negative tethers that I had been using as excuses for years.
Which finally brings me to the nature of this piece. Working for myself has given me plenty of time to focus on improving my self-awareness and breaking down the narratives I’ve sold myself for as long as I can remember.
We don’t fear the dream.
We aren’t innately afraid of chasing our passions.
We aren’t excited to live monotonous lives either, but rather we are attached to the security and ease of routine they provide.
The bi-weekly checks, the retirement plans, the daily tasks provided by someone else, and the feeling of being apart of an acceptable field that will bolster our social reputations. Our lives our predicated on working towards these means, which is why we applaud so loudly for others who relinquish them because we could never imagine losing such “perks”.
In no way would I seek to tell everyone to quit their job and to bury their company 401k plan, but it’s important to understand how the need for security is the sole reason why so many creatives an entrepreneurs will never be able to take the first step towards success. Personally, I almost requested my position back when I realized how much I was leaving on the table, but I’ve begun to understand the need for sacrifice, via Gary Vaynerchuk , on the way towards any dream worth dreaming.
If you want to live a life that less than 1% of people have, then you have to be willing to do what less than 1% of people are willing to do.
Sacrificing your personal comfort, your eccentric accessories, your cozy living situation, your socializing, etc, will give you the flexibility and the time necessary to become that friend that others celebrate. Those who refuse, but would still like to pursue their dreams, will constantly be fighting with the demands of day to day debts, lack of time and resources to spread, and considerably less energy to put into what matters most.
This sacrifice is temporary in nature. As we build our businesses from the ground up and seek to expand, there will be opportunities to put measures in place that will pillow any falls from grace. But the initial risk remains necessary.
My boss was a great guy. Somebody who toiled and sought to better the workplace day in and day out. Even in his last hour he worried about the future of the organization, but unfortunately, even after 20 years of service, he couldn’t take the job with him.
As much as I admire his work ethic, I don’t desire his outcome.
Eliminating security is worth the price of admission into a life I seek to govern on my own terms.