Afraid of dreaming big? Don’t worry — you don’t have to

History is littered with tales of people who have climbed the tallest of corporate ladders to become ultra-successful in their chosen field.

As a result, we’re forever being told to ‘dream big’, ‘reach for the sky’ and forge paths that enable us to maximise our earning potential and latent skills.

But what if that all sounds like far too much hard work? What if the thought of removing yourself from your personal life and those closest to you in order to chase a commercial dream seems like a monumental waste of one’s life?

Dreaming big isn’t for everyone. There are people on this planet who crave success and large pay packets, and that’s fine, but the rest of us are far more focussed on simply doing well enough to ensure that we’re happy.

You may be sat in the former camp. If so — fantastic. Go for it. But, if you’re in the latter, you may have that constant, nagging doubt that you should be striving for more.

Good news: you shouldn’t. And I can say that, because I’m right with you.

I run a small business that enables me to do something I love doing for a living. It won’t turn me into Richard Branson, nor is it likely to place me on any form of reality television, but it makes me happy and ensures I can spend adequate time with those I love.

For me, that’s enough.

So, from invaluable personal experience, here are five reasons you should find something you love doing and forget about climbing the ladder of success:

1. You’ll wake every day delighted to be alive

Do Sunday evenings hurt? They shouldn’t. Equally, you should wake every work day morning and feel delighted that you’re living and breathing. If you don’t, something’s wrong.

Chasing success in the corporate world is inherently stressful, and if you simply don’t enjoy the stuff you have to do to be successful, you shouldn’t do it — it’s that simple. There are plenty of other options to explore.

2. You’ll be more productive

If you love your work, you’ll be more productive. And who doesn’t want to be more productive?

Setting tasks, completing them and delivering your finished projects to happy, paying customers, is joyful. And, despite what people say, it absolutely is possible to make decent money from doing something you consider to be a hobby.

3. You’ll meet countless likeminded people

You’re not alone. If you can forge your own path by starting a business, becoming a consultant or jumping into the world of freelancing, you’ll find countless people who have done the exact same thing.

We live in a different era now, where people are gradually swapping the traditional working environment for something they have built themselves, and, as a result, an inclusive, friendly community has awoken.

4. You’ll realise that you can offer a service that people value

The first time you get paid for doing something you deeply enjoy is a special moment. Something clicks; you realise, finally, that people are willing to pay you for your services.

It’s hard to get your head around at first, but when you finally accept that you have a skill people are willing to invest in and that you enjoy performing, it’s a better feeling than any big promotion.

5. You won’t have anyone to answer to but yourself

Ah — the ‘be your own boss’ thing. This post was always heading in this direction, wasn’t it? But it’s true; if you build a self-contained career of your own, you’ll have no one to answer to but yourself.

Chasing commercial fame and fortune relies on an awful lot of sucking up to those above you, let’s be honest. And that’s never much fun.

Be your own boss and set the standards of success yourself.

Wrap up

Listen to your heart. If you wake every morning dreading the day ahead but feel you’ve got to do whatever it is you’re about to do in order to be ‘successful’, you’re doing something wrong.

Find what you love, and you’ll scale the heights of what matters: happiness.

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