Do you love your life? Does your current trajectory reflect your vision and dreams? Has your life veered off its course at some point? Come to think of it, have you ever really had a handle on what course you should have been on to begin with?
There’s a lot of heavy thoughts to unpack in those questions. Maybe you’re not quite ready to sort them out. Maybe you are. Either way, I want to tell you something important: you’re not alone. We’re all on a path of self-discovery and even when we think we have things figured out, we find we’ve got something else to learn. I speak from experience.
Over the years, I’ve had many careers, including matchmaker, adventure traveler and guide, hiking guide, dating coach, jewelry designer, entrepreneur, coffee fanatic, story teller, and so much more. Today I’m a published author
and professional coach, among other things. Along my journey, I’ve learned some invaluable lessons such as:
There are worse things than failure
If you’re resistant to making that leap and attempting to give your dreams wings because you’re afraid you won’t succeed, listen up. Not going after your dreams is worse than going after them and failing. In that instance, you’re left with the question “what could I have done…?” Mulling over that great big “what if” is a slow, agonizing process. One you’ll never really have closure on until you push down the fear and find out.
You might fly!
Going after your dreams allows you to realize that you can do something you didn’t think was possible. Here’s the rub, that achievement may not even be what you set your sights on originally. Our goals, our dreams, our visions, evolve over time. In pursuing one “what if” you might discover an even bigger passion and the courage to go after it.
Changing course doesn’t equal unsuccessful.
Deciding it’s time for a course correction doesn’t mean you haven’t been successful on the road you were traveling. Even if you’re looking for a complete career change, remember this: You are building on your current success. Everything you’ve done to date lays the groundwork for everything you’re going to do tomorrow. You might be leaving behind a career in finance to pursue your dream of helping others; but the things you learned as you managed a team, met deadlines, engaged with others, budgeted your time, and so on are invaluable tools that will propel you forward in your new adventure.
Cover the basics, than make like Magellan.
Chasing dreams can be scary when our survival instincts kick in. Beat fear to the punch. Make a plan on how you’ll cover your basics: food, clothing, shelter. Then be willing to explore. That might mean you work a full-time job and begin dabbling in your passions as a hobby or side-gig. As your dreams take root and grow, make a plan to transition to a full-time pursuit.
Tune in to the noise
Listen clearly and closely to what other people are asking you. Is your friend asking you for advice on how to market her new venture? Does your sister depend on you as the official family photographer instead of going to a professional studio? Do your friends rave about the necklaces you craft for them and say things like “You should sell these!” If you’re not already keeping a journal of ideas and dream sparks, you should be and you should be including these requests from others on your list of things to explore.
Not every dream and passion is a career goal
rticles in major business magazines to blogs, you’ll find advice on how to find happiness by pursuing your passion. It’s good advice, but too often those articles delve into how to turn the things you enjoy into a profession. We can begin to feel like it’s not enough to have a ‘job,’ if that job isn’t what sets our soul on fire. If you can make a career out of your passion, that’s fantastic, but, you don’t have to. Some dreams make wonderful hobbies. Hobbies that provide you with an outlet to relieve some stress and reclaim a bit of peace. Other passions lead to viable side-gigs. And others are just right for a temporary exploration that uncovers new dreams and visions.
The best way forward is to keep on learning
“It's essential to keep moving, learning and evolving for as long as you're here and this world keeps spinning,” said Rasheed Ogunlaru. Take classes. Work with a coach. Attend industry events. Read. Keep learning. Want to learn how to get back on track so that you can live a life that you love and reclaim the happiness that you deserve? There’s a book for that: “Love Your Life: Cultivating Your Vision and Tending Your Dreams.”
You can find it on Amazon