What are you passionate about? Where do you find your inspiration? Where does that fit into your current life? These are all questions you may or may not be asking your self, but chances are you do have something you feel you would love to spend your time doing. Maybe it’s just a relaxing hobby, or maybe it’s something more. Something that drives you to constantly learn and get better. Even the learning part gets you excited.
If this sounds like you, you may be a ‘creator’. A seemingly rare breed of individual that believes they can take that passion and achieve greatness, you are a dreamer. Often times in today’s society, a ‘dreamer’ is someone people refer to as being unrealistic and the cynical world tries to show them how they ‘should’ be acting. It’s true that life is difficult, and achieving your dreams can be a very long and winding path, but does that mean you should ignore them? Obviously not.
However, there is a ‘gray area’ between chasing your dreams to the fullest and ignoring them completely. Often, your dreams, passions, hobbies, etc are only part of what is most important to you. If you had one primary goal in life, for example becoming a well known musician, you could run off and chase that dream where ever it may take you. But what if you also have other equally important goals and passions that stand in conflict with each other? Perhaps you have a family you love dearly and you love being with, or a job that requires large amounts of your time. Now you are in a balancing act, and it can be frustrating at times, and depressing at times. So how do you balance?
I’ll be upfront in saying that I don’t have any magic answers for this one. I feel it is something many have faced for years and it is part of our culture. There is beauty in our dreams and ambitions. Mine is obviously photography, and I fight the balancing act daily between work, family, and photography. It can be a difficult balance at times, but it’s worth it to get it right. Here are a few things to think about that may help you. I try to work through these steps and feel it benefits me.
- Clearly define what you are passionate about and make sure it is not just a passing interest. It doesn’t do you any good to get stressed out about a goal that you will change a month from now. It doesn’t mean those are bad. Everyone gets temporary inspirations to try new things and pursue them. I have probably 50 different hobbies and interests that I seem to obsess over for short periods of time, then move to the next one. When it’s more than that, you’ll know it deep down.
- Relax and understand the important things in your life such as the time you spend with your family or the time you know you need to put in at work. Perhaps you regularly volunteer for a community organization. These are things you don’t want to lose while you are busy creating your other dreams. Take the time to live a full life, not a narrow one.
- Here is the tricky part. You have this deep desire to spend time on your goals, and only you can determine how much time and sacrifice it will require to be satisfied in your own mind. You may not have the time to devote fully to this because your life is not one dimensional. Determine, in detail, what you would need to do to reach you goal and feel successful.
- Most people give up on their dreams quickly because they look at where they are and where they want to be and become completely overwhelmed. It seems too distant and far fetched. Too much work, too expensive, too much time, not enough support, etc. Achieving your goals won’t happen easily or quickly, so it is best if you accept that now. I know it’s difficult. Begin by looking at where your time and resources are going currently. Talk to your family about budgeting specific times you can devote to working on your goals, even if it is a small amount of time at first. Help them understand that you have a vision that is important to you, even if they can’t see it yet. Their support is critical.
- Try to break down your goals into smaller steps that are achievable and work on something several days per week (but not everyday). Spending your days dreaming about working on your goals, but not actually having time to do any of it for weeks at a time is a recipe for disaster. You will constantly be frustrated and be on the brink of giving up. When you do finally get time, you will try to cram so much into it that you will be mentally fatigued. Take small steps, frequently. Creativity can not be forced.
Individuality, creativity, expression, and passion to create something better are traits that are to be cherished. They are what is fueling the new worldwide cultures as the industrial revolution is winding down. Societal roles are changing and opportunities are arising for new leaders. Trustworthy people that bring greatness to others through their vision and creation. Be inspired to be one of those people, and work to find your way through the daily maze and reach for success on the other side. Our society needs more like you, so don’t be shackled by the ideals of yesterday. Don’t wait for a training manual, create one.