Yes, I’m A Dreamkiller: When Giving Up May Not Be A Bad Thing
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ― Socrates
“Don’t give up on your dreams”.
“Never let your dreams die”.
“Failure is just learned success.”
None of us are strangers to the motivation mantras of being diligent with pursuit of our dreams, but what about the dreams that just weren’t meant to be? When you’re a kid, you have the luxury of dreaming to being anything or anyone you want to be-and some people absolutely become the these things.
But for some of us, it seems that as we get older these dreams slowly find their way to the back of our mind’s closet, only peaking their heads out when we receive a trickle of momentary inspiration or grow nostalgic about our childhood.
I believe that some dreams are made to reach full realization, and that some are intended to be derailed and replaced with others. So when someone says that their throwing in the towel on their dream of “xyx”, my knee-jerk reaction isn’t “oh don’t give up, you can do it”, but more, “what are the reasons that you feel that you should abandon it?”
Here are 4 reasons why giving up on your dream may not be a negative thing:
1. When You Realize They Weren’t YOUR Dreams
How many people fall into careers because of expectations from their parents? “Dad and grandpa are cops, so I have to be one.” “Mom wants me to be a doctor so I have to finish medical school”. Allowing outside sources, such as your parents or society, dictate the roadmap of your life can lead you to a way of living that simply isn’t conducive to what drives you as a person-and it can be a pre-cursor to a full blown mid-life crisis.
Ever see those 45 year old guys who decide to get their ears pierced…hint.
2. They Don’t Consume You
If you listen to an interview or read a bio of any renown innovator, entertainer, CEO, or public figure you’ll find a recurring theme of people who were simply driven by their own passion. Even when they may have faced the most challenging obstacles such as time constraints or financial setbacks-they continued to think about and do the work to reach their dream.
The things that we want in life are manifested through our daily thoughts and actions-they become a part of us.
3. When You Realize That You Wanted The Result, Not The Dream Itself
I had a friend when I was in college who’s goal was to become a financial adviser who made at least 150k a year. Well, to no one’s surprise she did that, but to her surprise 5 years later she discovered that most of the aspects of her job bored her to tears- she later quit said job to work as a freelance landscaper.
Life is funny…and strange (she was the biggest germaphobe I’d ever met!). Money is one of the biggest motivators there is, but sustained motivation and inspiration usually requires much more than a hefty paycheck.
4. You’re Convinced You’ll Never Be Great At It
For example, I know with every fiber of my being that I’ll never be able to finish a rubik’s cube-just can’t do it (and I refuse to Google how to do so). I also know that I’ll never be a female Eric Clapton on my acoustic guitar.
…F that guitar…
But does this mean that I should stop enjoying fiddling with my rubik’s cube when I’m brainstorming at my desk, or playing some chords on the guitar (because I can only strum) when the mood strikes-absolutely not!
I’ve come to find the things that I’m great at, and I continue to find ways to apply and capitalize on them in various respects of my life. Why spend endless hours and resources working on what we’ve concluded is not our best skill set? Why not become a master of our best strengths?
Letting go of a dream doesn’t necessarily mean that we threw in the towel. It could simply mean we’ve changed directions, or eventually realized the inadequacy of its origin.
Sometimes it may just take a while to grasp a clear understanding of what our most strongest aspirations are.
Wait! Don’t go yet!!
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