There is an age old struggle between dreams and reality, aspirations and illusions.
We all ask school children, “What do you want to do as an adult?” When the child is young, honest answers that reflect their interests and passions draw smiles and enthusiasm. Bold dreams of changing the world are encouraged. As the child ages, he is told the hard “truth” by well meaning adults: passions must give way to practicality, dreams must yield to the necessity of a secure 9-5 job with benefits.
But what if there was another way? What if there was a way to live your dreams and to offer something of value to the world in doing so?
Someone who is doing what makes them come alive will throw their whole being into it. It won’t be a job at which they punch a time clock, it will be a mission.
Of course, practical necessities must be met. I am not advocating that people become martyrs for their cause, or starving artists. Circumstances may prohibit one from earning their livelihood by doing what they are passionate about, but nothing is stopping them from pursuing it outside of business hours.
But all too often we make excuses, at least I know that I do. “I don’t have enough time.” “I can’t do that because I have kids.” “I am just too tired.” “I am too young/inexperienced.” “I don’t have enough money.” And you know, there is truth in all of these statements.
But perhaps if I examined my life more closely I would see things a bit differently. Maybe I am right, that this isn’t the right season in life to undertake a new challenge. Or perhaps the truth is that the time is as ripe as it will ever be, but I have not made the new undertaking a priority. That is something I can change if I so desire.
This week I will be chatting with several individuals who are actively pursuing their dreams of being a published author, training as a competitive gymnast, traveling the world, and more. All of them are striving to do what makes them come alive in different ways. All of them are millennials.
Why the focus on millennials? For starters I am a millennial, as are most of my readers. But beyond that, I see members of my generation claiming their relative youth as a reason that can’t do X,Y, or Z. I want to show examples of millennials who aren’t letting their youth get in the way, and instead are seizing the day amidst a variety of challenges, college debt, young kids, 9-5 jobs, etc.
On the flip side of the coin, so many take great delight in enumerating “everything that is wrong with young people today.” Allegedly my generation is lazy, narcissistic, selfish, etc. Well, I want to show counter examples of millennials who are hardworking, driven and generous. Generations don’t come one size fits all.
Throughout the series, I will be sharing other articles and resources for those who are looking to turn their dreams into reality.
None of this is meant to cause feelings of guilt or anxiety, but rather to inspire and encourage. Often discovering your true calling takes time and effort, but it is worth the investment of both. It is a journey that should not be approached out of fear, but out of a desire to share your gifts with others.
I hope you can join us as we share these stories together. I invite you to take a step back this week and reflect. Are there any dreams that you wish to pursue? What is holding you back? Are there ways to work around any obstacles standing in your path?
Got any dreams you would like to share in the comment section? I would love to hear them!