Dreams. The magical elixir of self-help books, magazines and blogs. “Follow your dreams” they chirp cheerfully. “Live your dream life” they proclaim, tempting you with images of deserted white beaches framed by palm trees and a perfectly positioned piña colada. These self-proclaimed truth tomes practically scream at you to drop everything Right This Minute and pursue the yellow brick road leading you to a life filled with unbeknownst passion and joy. All you ever wanted, and more!
Just in case the piña colada didn’t sell it to you in the first instance there are a plethora of real life anecdotes detailing the stories of people who did in fact drop everything and follow their passion. The bank teller who had a Come-to-Jesus moment over his morning bowl of cheerios, handing in his resignation that very day. Effectively saying cheerio to the 9-5 grind to begin a new life in Africa helping displaced refugees. The stressed out mother who had her very own Oprah ‘aha’ moment and came up with a new business idea that revolutionized childcare, netting her a cool 50 million dollars when she sold the business to Google. There are literally thousands of these types of stories about people who waltzed off into the sunset and lived happily ever after just by following their dreams.
But really, what’s so great about following your dreams? Here are 5 reasons why you should just keep on doing what you do and never follow your dreams.
1. You will have an abundance of free time.
Think of all that extra time you would have to take out of your already packed to the gills schedule to implement those next steps that are required in dream following. No more sitting on the couch and watching Mob Wives as you tuck into a bag of potato chips. There’s dream’s to be followed! Think of all those nights you would have to stay up late researching ideas for your new business concept, putting time and energy into your passion project. Think how tired you would be the next day. Urgh. More work on top of the work that you already do all day without getting paid? Sounds less like a dream and more like a nightmare.
2. You will be safe.
Do you really want to give up that regular paycheck on a whim? How do you know your dream will succeed? Just think how embarrassing it would be to give up your comfortable office cubicle after announcing you are off to save the rainforest in the Amazon only to come crawling back 12 months later, tail between your legs begging for your old position back. If you don’t take the risk, you will stay exactly where you are. Safely tucked away in your office cubicle day after day after day until you finally retire 40 years later. Why on earth would you want anything out of life other than a completely predictable outcome?
3. You won’t get weird looks from people.
You want to move to Costa Rica and open a yoga retreat? Be prepared for some eye rolls and barely concealed sniggers. People will look at you strangely and they will think you are weird. You will stand out from the crowd and become a target for ridicule by your friends and family. Not to mention what on earth the neighbors would think. Think how awkward it will be when you find out that you are the talk of the town and people just cannot comprehend why on earth you would want to give up your safe and comfortable life to move to a third world country.
4. If you never try then you will never fail.
If you don’t pursue your dreams in life then there is virtually a 99.9% chance that you will never fail. Think about it. Never failing. Never having to put in all that effort only for it to fall flat. If you live a life that involves taking no risks you know exactly where you stand. You can predict that in 20 years time you will be doing exactly what you are doing now, only with a few more wrinkles. Think how comfortable and safe a life free of any type of failure would feel as you slide into old age.
5. You will leave a legacy of stability.
Just think of the example you will be setting for your kids, friends and loved ones. They will learn to treasure the important things in life such as routine, predictability and sticking with what you know. They will learn to play it small in life and never to take risks. They will learn that although they may have wanted desperately to be a singer when they were eight years old, it’s just not a realistic life choice. They will learn to lock up these lofty aspirations into the deep recesses of their mind and limit their singing to the shower. After all, does the world really need another Lady GaGa?
Do I need any more reasons to convince you that living the life of your dreams is just not worth pursuing? Stay safe, play it safe and you will never know anything more about yourself than you know now. Draw that comfort zone nice and tight around you as you relax on the couch for the latest episode of The Voice. When it comes down to it, isn’t watching everybody else chase their dreams far more fun than actually doing it yourself?