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.
1. Pete and Dalene Heck
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
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.
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 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
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.
5. Sean Ogle
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
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
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.
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
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