Long before people began making moves toward their desired destinations, they had dreams. Before they realized what they were doing and why they were doing it, they had a bigger, more vibrant picture in mind.
That’s because dreams are alive. They move us in ways we cannot explain. One of the coolest things about them is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone has some sort of dream.
There’s a special feeling that comes with the thought of obtaining what we long for. One day the wishful thoughts will become reality to us. In our minds, these dreams seem far-fetched, even though we know it’s where we belong.
How can someone like me do something like that?
The idea of accomplishing the impossible appears so beyond us that we disconnect ourselves from them in an all-too-common sort of way. And we do this mostly because of what we see.
Looking at the faces and lifestyles of those who’ve “made it,” we don’t consider ourselves as part of that equation. The formula just doesn’t match up.
This is what happens when we focus only on what we assume will happen, rather than what we should be doing now.
Doubt sets in and the reach for the unimaginable fades away faster and faster as thoughts arise.
And in an effort to shake ourselves free from the concept of doing what we never thought possible, we end up…somewhere else.
Where you find yourself right now does not mean it’s where you have to stay. Instead, it’s where you should start. Though it will take work, those dreams are closer than we assume.
But where do we start?
Figure Out What Moves You
Before I begin, I should say that I’m no expert on how to “make it big” in life or anything like that. I simply seek to share helpful suggestions on how to make your pursuits worthwhile, without pumping you up with fluffy words.
As I write these words, I think about the goals I have in mind. They seem crazy to me. Looking at where I currently am in life, I have a long way to go. But I can’t help but focus on things that move me. And this keeps me going.
One of the biggest obstacles that hold people back from pursuing what moves them, what stirs their hearts, is the question of where to begin.
If that’s you, there’s no reason to feel guilty. I know exactly how that works.
This is a normal response to taking on a new and difficult challenge. You want to know that you’re making the best decision, that you’re in it for the long haul instead of just playing games.
It will take a bit of curiosity, though. Manh of us insists on remaining where we are because we haven’t identified what we love, which is unfortunate yet adjustable.
What you should do is spend time sparking your flame.
- Read books that interest you, instead of cramming books you could care less about.
- Journal (you’d be surprised at what comes out with a consistent habit of doing this).
- Don’t focus on the money, as hard as it may be.
There is always a list of reasons not to do something. But things that move you aren’t coincidental. Telling someone not to follow that pull is foolish advice.
Your First Steps
After taking some time to think about what tugs your interest, it’s time to move. Hesitating will do nothing but make the first step harder to take. The reality is that anything worth doing will be scary at first.
The simple answer to the question of where to begin is to just begin.
Driving a car for the first time made me feel like my heart was about to beat out of my chest. Moving out my parents’ house was exciting, but there were moments when I didn’t know if I’d made the right choice.
As I look back on all those decisions, I’m so glad I made them when I did. Sometimes I think about what would’ve happened had I stayed where I was, but then I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
The same goes for much of our lives. We often think too much. Studying what could be, the act of taking our first step gets pushed off day after day until we give up.
I’m not telling you to quit your job today. You should think carefully about decisions like that. But you shouldn’t wait on putting those interests to work. Start in your free time and see where it takes you.
I would love to write full-time. Yet, this stage of my life doesn’t leave room for that kind of a choice. That doesn’t mean I can’t write at all. That doesn’t mean I can’t work on what I love. The same goes for you.
Never use time as an excuse to avoid your passion. Replace wasted time with useful time.
Ignoring the People Who Doubt You
There will be people who doubt the possibility of accomplishing what you set out to do. Some will even come from those who are closest to you. But don’t let that stop you.
If every person doing what they love right now had stopped at the hint of pushback, you probably wouldn’t know who they were today. They kept going when people thought they shouldn’t.
The key to keeping your feet moving is to know why you’re taking those strides in the first place.
Having an unclear pathway makes the journey foggy and prone to abandonment. It also makes the words of those who don’t believe in you sound like gibberish.
Don’t forget about your own criticism either. We can be some of our worst critics, and I would know. The little voice in your head telling you to stop what you’re doing and opt for something more “enjoyable” and satisfying.
In the end, though, it doesn’t satisfy because it’s not what brought you to where you are right now: the road home.
Ignore that little voice. Ignore other voices telling you not to pursue your passion. You can’t help but feel homesick, because you are. You know where you belong and you’re doing what it takes to get there.
Everyone won’t understand that, but some will. Surround yourself with those people. They will keep your steps firm no matter how long it takes you to reach your destination.
We have these inner yearning for something more, something worth our time. Even though you may not know where that is or what that looks like right now, you have to do something about it.
You know that place is where you belong. Funny thing is you’ll never know until you make your move.
It’s easy to become complacent: just don’t move. But that does nothing but deepen the pit of stagnation we so often speak of.
It’s time you headed home, to a place that is only tangible when you arrive but so welcoming at this very moment.
Kevin Horton is a photographer, college student, modest book-worm, and wanna-be web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.
’Til next time. Thanks for reading!