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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