Follow your dreams, or else…

There is a downside to taking a safer, more conventional course through life. You may not have the experience you need to handle unexpected changes.

In a more predictable world, people expected to go to school, get educated in some useful way and then work at some job for most of their lives. In the last five years, that pattern has become less viable.

More and more employees can expect to be unemployed for months on end during their peak earning years. This suggests that you cannot depend on others to take care of your life for you. Corporations are facing unexpected challenges from international competitors and this trickles down to every employee.

A recent visitor to this site pointed out that I seem to have taken a turn toward the dark side of life, seemingly focusing on problems of age and of life after leaving the corporate nest. I empathize with my readers who would like to read less disturbing stuff. These recent posts merely show what life can be like when you fail to challenge yourself early in life and take the safe and conventional route instead of following your dreams.

When the inevitable time comes that the safe routine no longer applies, where do you turn for inspiration?

Let’s take a look at the other side of life, where you follow your dreams and work at tasks that are meaningful to you, no matter what the cost. You may succeed, but you will probably fail more than once. You may achieve your fondest ambition and find that you cannot support yourself in that capacity. You may find that your dreams change as you get closer to achieving them.

Whatever happens to you, you will be learning firsthand some of the most valuable lessons in life. You will learn to get around your own limitations and you will learn the value of true friends. By following your own dreams, you will probably be better at understanding the dreams of others and you may become a better person overall.

I have never regretted following my dreams. Even though my mistakes may have cost me dearly, I made up for them in the priceless knowledge I gained in the process. My only regret is that it took me so long to realize that following dreams is not a luxury, it is a necessity if you are to live fully.

The time to start is now, wherever you are in life. Not all of are as fortunate as Carly, a young woman who, at age 15, already realizes that she will never work for someone else and has started her own business several times. As she cheerfully put it, "I’m so headstrong, they would fire me in a minute!"

What would it take for you to start following your dreams?

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0 Responses to Follow your dreams, or else…

  1. Stephen Read says:

    oh god, I wish I had had more courage when I was younger, I now find myself at 55 in a dead end situation, where my fears keep overcoming me, but, I will be inspired to take care of my self by self employment, it really is the only real job security….keep on blogging

  2. Solon says:

    David, you faced and handled things very well. but… your point of view is so American or Capitalist… in your world there is no G O V E R N M E N T. Yes, I forgot, this is globalization, you can get fired and be trown to the streen, like in good old AMERICA… cooming to your country soon (you can even see it in DVD :)…

    David, in the beginning you were writing about life in the corporation…and it’s problems… but you talk only about getting out of there… what about staying there or trying to go back… or even get in the first time… Your vast experience and great writing is a treasure not only to retired/fired but also to workers & graduates. So pls dont forget these.

    Also, when you talk to those leaving the “mothership” you tell things that are not suitable for every one. like, sell your house & start a business. Sell your house? In the age of say 50? That crazy!!!

    btw, My father left old style job & never found other job again, but… he don’t worry…
    old style “mothership” (gov…) send him away with pension. That’s some thing that my generation will not have. btw my dad is an expert, he is very strong with eng, math etc… but very weak in politics, can’t lie, work hard, etc… and can’t get any job out of the “old mothership”. he was called few times back and worked on high salry, but only for “old mothership”…

    finally, you write very well and your life experience is a real treasure, and i am looking forward to read on.

    best regards,

  3. Stephen Read says:

    It is too bad Solon has not read the book that David has written, it is mainly about survival in the corporate workplace….it is on line follow David’s links

  4. I think Solon may live where private enterprise is not encouraged.

    If you have followed my writing, you will see that I encourage active ownership and management of your own business. Old Style Capitalism is all about passive investments. You invest the money and someone else works. A far better system is investing the money and working to make a living through the intelligent use of that money.

    As for selling your house, or mortgaging it to start a business, often that is the only way to raise enough money. The alternative is to hold on to your house and possessions even though your income plummets and wait for your creditors to take it all away from you.

    Life is full of choices. You make them intelligently or they are made for you. We are fortunate to live in a land where we are allowed to take advantage of opportunities.

  5. Avi Solomon says:

    Regarding inspiration I just watched the excellent Scifi TV series ‘Firefly’ which actually has quite a few good lessons for adapting to the post-‘mother-ship’ universe:

  6. Solon says:

    I don’t think that many people above 50 (or even young people) will sell house for business, in business jargon it’s like to put “good money” on “bad money”. bas = lost.

    When I was younger I applied for a job and my competitor for the job was retired from “mother ship”. He place his compensation money on a business and lost all. So, he had to go work. This poor man lost his life savings. Enough said about selling your house. May be I’ll accept selling your house, buying smaller house, cutting on expenses and using the margins for business.

    David, I line where private enterprise is encouraged on the expense of workers needs and rights.

    Now don’t misunderstand me. I am not against America, I even like to eat in McDonalds, but I am going to place a mirror to you.

    Bolivia. The Bechtel corporation, bought the water company, now citizens are not allowed to collect rain water. Water prices went up. Retired people had to go to work to pay for the expensive waters. It caused riots and clashes with police.

    In Vietnam, people were working for NIKE under poor condition. They worked 12 hours a day for 16 cents an hour. They were not allowed to go to the toiled, there have been cases of employees fainting. They organized a strike an got some improvements in salary and working conditions.

    The capitalistic system is destructive, the bean counter don’t care if they pollute with chemical when producing computer chips or when Monsanto put bad stuff in your milk.

    For the bean counters in American government and business, American citizens, Bolivians, Vietnam, they are all the same. This thing is spreading all over the world. When I said coming soon to your country, I meant any country (The U.S. is already like that).
    In USA you can be literally thrown to the street, in Sweden the GOVERNMENT will pay for a citizen going to hot tabs in Turkey, if that will help his health.

    I have followed your writing, and I think that what you call “active ownership and management of your own business” is simply being a craftsman.

    You said “old Style Capitalism is all about passive investments”, well, suppose you buy a shipping company, and you are not a captain, you will have to hire one. Nothing is bad with that.

    I agree with you about making choices intelligently.

    David, you are a good man, but you are the product of your culture, a self employed cowboy. As an American you (and I use your words) it doesn’t occur to you that there can be a bigger collective that takes care of you (be it church, government, or community).

    Finally, although we have a difference of opinion, it is always a pleasure to exchange views with an intelligent and educated person like you.

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