Advertising
Advertising

Thinking It Is Too Late to Chase Your Dream? Then You Are the Killer

Thinking It Is Too Late to Chase Your Dream? Then You Are the Killer

We all have dreams, thoughts on things we want to do or have in life. Most of us reflect on them often, imagining and wishing they could become reality. More often than not, people sit in their cubicle or on their couch in their pajamas daydreaming and then formulating reasons to keep those dreams just that: dreams.

Here are some of the thoughts that have run through my head as I contemplated pursuing my dream:

  • People will think I’m crazy
  • My life will be screwed if it doesn’t work out
  • I’ll have to sacrifice too much to make it happen
  • I’m too young
  • I’m too old
  • I’m too busy
  • I don’t have enough money,
  • I’m not smart enough, knowledgeable enough, tough enough…
  • I’m not ready yet.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. I worked to relegate my dream to “someday”.

A lot of us put off our dreams, the things we want to achieve most until that fateful “someday…”

We tell ourselves the time isn’t right to change how I’m living and chase my dream. Five years go by; the voice in your head continues to rattle off the reasons not to start chasing dreams. Those reasons then grow into the belief that “it’s too late to pursue your dream” and then that dream dies. Left to be filed under “what if” buried in regret.

Here’s the thing: it’s never too late to start chasing dreams. You are never too much or too little of anything. Don’t put off starting to work toward your dream; don’t do that to yourself.

Don’t be a killer.

Here are 8 examples of regular people like you and me. These people didn’t let that voice in their heads steal their dream, they made their dreams reality.

Advertising

1. Pete and Dalene Heck

Pete and Dalene Heck chase dreams

    The Hecks are a Canadian couple who didn’t let personal tragedy get the better of their dreams. In fact, the tragedy they encountered in their lives gave birth to the extraordinary life they live and love today. In their words “they went from scraping the bottom of life’s deepest hole to blowing the roof clear off.”

    Once corporate ladder climbers living the quintessential Canadian dream; nice house, nice car, lots of nice stuff, promising careers. Pete and Dalene experienced a number of personal tragedies that caused them to re-evaluate life and realize their lives were short and they had to make the most of them.

    A lot of people could have used those personal challenges as reasons not to follow a dream. Not Pete and Dalene, they reduced their 2100 square foot home into combined luggage space of 200 liters and left Canada to travel the world.

    The Hecks have been joyously traveling the globe with little in the way of plans or possessions since 2009. They were awarded Travelers of the Year 2014 by National Geographic because of their blog that shares their inspiring, relateable story.

    2. Laura Dekker

    laura dekker chasing dream
      Photo via Wikimedia commons

      In 2009 a Dutch girl, Laura Dekker then 13, announced she planned to sail around the world on her own. Laura was born on a boat off the coast of New Zealand, living at sea until she was two. She and her family had a deep connection with boats and sailing.

      The Dutch government objected to Laura’s bid to single handedly circumnavigate the globe and blocked her from going. The whole world weighed in to debate how far parents should go to support kids seemingly impossible dreams.

      Faced with the prospect of storms at sea and dangerous pirates, Laura remained confident beyond her years saying “I’m not really afraid, everything is really prepared on my boat”. She fought the government and world opinion and ultimately prevailed beginning her 2 year 27000 mile journey at 14 years of age.

      Advertising

      Despite her youth, Laura Dekker fought undaunted to achieve her dream and was successful. No possible threat at sea could shake her. She set sail on her dream adventure leaving behind things most girls of her age would find impossible to leave.

      3. Pat Flynn

      Pat flynn chase dreams

        Pat used to have a 9 to 5 job he really enjoyed. As life goes, bad things happened that were outside his control and he was laid off from his great job—an unexpected set back that ended up being the best thing that ever happened to him.

        Pat discovered his 9 to 5 was holding him back, went on to make more money, and create more freedom to be with the people he loved the most: his family. Driven by his dream to do his own thing, Pat builds businesses online and shares his tips and strategies for making money online on his blog: Smart Passive Income.

        An accidental entrepreneur, Pat Flynn didn’t let a bad turn of events keep him down. He could have found another job in his field, but instead he used losing his job as a means to realize his dream, living life on his terms.

        4. Colonel Harland Saunders

        Colonel Saunders chase dreams
          Photo via Flickr

          At 40 years of age, Colonel Harland Saunders started serving chicken and other meals in his roadside service station in 1930 a midst the Great Depression. He worked to perfect his chicken for 10 years finally creating his famous secret recipe and expanding to more locations.

          People loved his chicken but construction of the interstate robbed the Colonels restaurants of much needed road traffic and he was forced to fold up his businesses. Seeing the value in partnership, the Colonel set out to find a candidate to franchise his chicken. He drove around, camping in his car, being turned away time after time until successfully finding a partner.

          Colonel Sanders encountered many huge challenges trying to bring his dream to fruition. He never gave up; despite being rejected thousands of times he persevered and ultimately was successful.

          Advertising

          5. Sean Ogle

          Sean-Boat (640x424)

            After graduating with a degree in finance in 2007, Sean Ogle was left with the feeling that school didn’t teach him tangible life skills to be successful after graduation. This lack of knowledge led him on a career path he quickly found wasn’t for him.

            In 2009 Sean started his website Location 180 as a means to hold himself accountable to do all the things he talked about doing in his life. Publishing his bucket list inspired the dream lifestyle he’s living today. The tagline for his website is “Build a Business, Live Anywhere, Achieve Freedom.” Sean’s life today is an example of just that.

            He didn’t let society’s opinion of success deter him from building his dream. He could have convinced himself to stick it out in the job he hated as many of us do, but instead, when he learned he was on the wrong track, he didn’t doubt himself; he began changing his life’s direction helping others achieve freedom to.

            6. Joanne Rowling

            J.K. Rowling chasing dream
              Photo via Wikimedia commons

              Jo (J.K.) Rowling once viewed herself as a failure. Her marriage had ended, and she was unemployed raising an infant daughter, but she recounts her failure as a sort of release allowing her to focus on her passion: writing.

              After completing the first Harry Potter manuscript while on government aid, she submitted her manually typed copies to 12 publishers, and it was rejected by all. Bloomsbury, a small publishing house in London, eventually gave it the green light and finally the world would get its first introduction to beloved Harry.

              Joanne Rowling never gave up on her dream despite rejection and poverty. She is the author of the best selling book series in history and rich beyond her wildest dreams because of that.

              7. Chris McCandless

              chris mccandless chasing dream
                Photo via Flickr

                Driven to chase his dream, Chris McCandless hiked across Alaska despite the naysayers that thought his minimalist lifestyle was crazy. He believed perceived security and materialism prevented people from pursuing their dreams and discovering their true selves.

                Advertising

                Chris went on to live his dream, paying the ultimate price to do so, with his life. Incredibly, he explored remote corners of Alaska for 2 years with little more than a backpack and a few odds and ends. Ultimately giving up everything, he lived the life he thought he was destined to live.

                8. Neil Pasricha

                Neil Pasricha chasing dream
                  Photo via Wikimedia Commons

                  In 2008, the 1000 Awesome Things blog was launched. The creator, Neil Pasricha was inspired to share his purposeful positive views with the world because of the doom and gloom that dominated the paper and the evening news. No stranger to life struggles, divorced and grieving a friend’s suicide, Neil was bent on looking for the positive things in life.

                  He went on to win the Webby Award for 1000 Awesome Things and was subsequently commissioned to write a book filled with his awesome views. The Book of Awesome, published in 2010 became a bestseller in its first week on store shelves.

                  All of these amazing people achieved their dreams because they believed in themselves. Others definitely tried to influence them and dissuade them from pursuing their aspirations but they were successful because they kept the dream alive, they continued chasing dreams.

                  What are you capable of? Don’t doubt living the life you dream of is within your control. Start working toward your dream today, don’t be a killer.

                  Featured photo credit: WalkingGeek via flickr.com

                  More by this author

                  25 Amazing Places in Eastern Europe You Have To Visit What You’re Missing When You Let Fear Dictate Your Travel Plans How to Travel Longer Cheaper 11 Amazing Countries Anyone Can Travel To On A College Budget Where On Earth Can You Drink Tap Water?

                  Trending in Communication

                  1Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional? 28 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies 310 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And Ways to Be Motivated) 415 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Brain Power and Your Mood 5How the Power of Positive Thinking Can Pay Off in Your Career

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on June 12, 2018

                  Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                  Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

                  A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

                  You know how this looks:

                  • Parents constantly comparing children.
                  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
                  • Domestic violence.
                  • Adultery…
                  • And many others.

                  For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

                  Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

                  Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

                  This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

                  In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

                  If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

                  How to fix a dysfunctional family

                  In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

                  And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

                  Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

                  It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

                  Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

                  Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

                  There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

                  Dysfunctional… Or just average?

                  Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

                  The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

                  You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

                  A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

                  Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

                  Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

                  • Unrealistic expectations
                  • Lack of interest and time spent together
                  • Sexism
                  • Utilitarianism
                  • Lack of empathy
                  • Unequal or unfair treatment
                  • Disrespect towards boundaries
                  • Control Issues
                  • Jealousy
                  • Verbal and physical abuse
                  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

                  The link to productivity

                  You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

                  If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

                  Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

                  How to turn it around

                  When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

                  But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

                  One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

                  We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

                  Advertising

                  As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

                  What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

                  Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

                  Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

                  Correction is possible

                  In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

                  Verbalize it.

                  All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

                  Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

                  This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

                  But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

                  So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

                  Putting it to work in real life

                  In real life it would be something like this:

                  “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

                  Or:

                  “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

                  Or:

                  “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

                  As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

                  This is what you have to remember:

                  1-Stop.

                  2-Why it’s wrong?

                  3-What you need.

                  And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

                  It’s a family thing

                  A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

                  Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

                  In other words, you will need cooperation…

                  So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

                  Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

                  Advertising

                  We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

                  You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

                  It’s not a free-for-all battle

                  In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

                  No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

                  Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

                  And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

                  The method

                  1. Drop the ego

                  Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

                  You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

                  Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

                  What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

                  It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

                  After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

                  Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

                  Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

                  Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

                  And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

                  You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

                  2. Not blame, but responsibility

                  When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

                  But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

                  When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

                  What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

                  Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

                  As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

                  You will do something like this:

                  “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

                  I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

                  You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

                  I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

                  Advertising

                  It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

                  What happened here?

                  We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

                  We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

                  We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

                  And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

                  You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

                  This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

                  3. Doing the work

                  What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

                  This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

                  Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

                  If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

                  It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

                  “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

                  I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

                  But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

                  You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

                  Love is all you need

                  You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

                  That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

                  And what happens if it simply is not there?

                  What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

                  What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

                  There is only one thing you can do:

                  To break away.

                  Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

                  There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

                  “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

                  If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

                  Advertising

                  Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

                  You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

                  Putting distance

                  So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

                  What do I mean?

                  Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

                  Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

                  Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

                  Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

                  They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

                  Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

                  I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

                  I choose my peace of mind.

                  And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

                  Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

                  Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

                  How to prevent it

                  There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

                  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
                  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

                  Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

                  You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

                  Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

                  Priorities and clear thought

                  You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

                  You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

                  You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

                  Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

                  If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

                  And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

                  Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

                  But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

                  Featured photo credit: Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Read Next