All of us have a dream. A desire to do something important. A vision of what life would be like if it were up to us. Sometimes, the dream doesn’t line up with our current realities. Dreams may be squashed. They may be quieted. They might even be denied.
But, dreams never die.
They gasp for air, buried under the rubble of disappointment. They desperately cling to life in the famished aftermath of failure. They continue to speak in the dead silent plains of those who’ve “come to their senses.” But they are never dead.
So…what do you do when your dream isn’t your reality?
1. Refuse to believe it’s dead. Just because it isn’t now doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Seize the moment to clarify your dream. Write it down, then simplify it. Then post it on your bathroom mirror as a way of reminding yourself who you are. Your work may be what you do … but your dream is who you are. Never lose sight.
2. Obsessively feed it. Grow your skills, invest your free time, talk with people, network with those who have similar dreams. Don’t allow your dream to disintegrate or fracture … absolutely obsess about it. Allow yourself to dream about your dream. Voice it. Find avenues to bring it forward in your life.
3. Freelance it, regardless of pay. You may not be able to dedicate 8 hours a day. You may not be able to make a living off it. But you sure can unleash it. Allow your dream to become your reprieve…your retreat…your happy place. If you make money off it, great. If you don’t, great. Never do it for the money. Dreams aren’t about paychecks, they are about living. Refusing to do what you love because you don’t get paid for it is an excuse that will keep your dream buried forever.
This is personal for me. It’s what I’m living everyday. I’m starting a job that I’m not overly excited about … a job that requires none of my creative abilities, and isn’t a career move for me. It’s not what I want to do everyday for life. But, it’s a job that pays the bills.
So, I am choosing to not give up. To view this as an opportunity to refine my craft until it becomes profitable enough to live on. It’s time to obsess, to grow, and to freelance. It’s time to carpe the diem. It’s time to infuse life into the dream. It’s time to be a dreamer, and be unashamed.