Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You Can Change Your Dreams

And that's vegan, gluten-free mushroom pizza, if you were wondering.

Here at Monkey + Seal, we're all about chasing dreams - more specifically, we want to inspire you to chase YOUR dreams.

But sometimes, as we're working towards that dream, you might feel uneasy.  Maybe it wasn't what you expected.  Maybe you've heard a bunch of negative things from people you respect and trust.  Maybe you've found a different passion.  Do you give up on that dream, or do you keep plugging away?

This is something that unfortunately, (just like most big answers in life), there is no simple solution.  We can't just tell you what to do, because every situation is going to be different for every person at different points in their lives.  However, let's talk it through.

First off, why are you experiencing this resistance to chasing your dream?  Is it the hard work?  Because if it is, know right now that most dreams are going to take a good amount of effort.  They don't have to, but if you want to be excellent at something, it's going to take your 10,000 hours.  So if you want to jump board just because "it's hard," while we get it, and we empathize, it's no reason to abandon your dream.

If you give up because of your natural inclination to go with what is easy and avoid the hard work, then the unfortunate reality is that you're very unlikely to reach any of your dreams.  No matter what it is, putting in the work (let us emphasize that the work doesn't HAVE to be hard, there is just usually a lot of it), is a necessary component for any dream.  If you give up now, you'll find another dream, and then you'll be more likely to give that dream up because of the work involved.

So what happens if it's not the work but something larger and more fundamental?  What about when you achieve your dream, and you find out that your dream has changed?  Maybe you're older and want something else, or maybe your life's priorities have changed.  That's okay too.  It's a natural part of growing.  Maybe you've realized that that dream company with all the status isn't really the best place for you. Perhaps you woke up one day realizing that it was your mentor's dream, or your parent's dream, or what you thought you wanted based on what you assumed a rational human being would want.  Maybe it is what you imagined that your ideal self would want.  A good example of this case is if you think you should want to be self-employed because tons of people (Monkey included) extoll the virtues and freedom and all the benefits of being self-employed, when you really want stability and security and to not have to worry about all the challenges self-employment might bring (legal status, taxes, permits, finding customers, etc. etc. etc.)  Perhaps maybe you're just bored now that you've finally gotten what you've always been working towards.

Regardless, we want you to know that IT IS OKAY.  Whether you've invested four hours or fourteen years, it's totally okay that your dream has changed.  It may feel at first like you've lost a lot of time, or that you wish that you discovered that it wasn't your dream earlier.  However, you probably wouldn't have ever even known that your dream wasn't right until you achieved it, and you wouldn't have wanted to live you life with a huge "What if" hanging around in the back of your mind.

Also, think about all the new things you've learned on your journey.  You've completed a journey, which is a huge accomplishment in itself, and you've probably learned about your new passion and goals from achieving your first (or second, or third, etc.) set.  Feel free to take some time to reflect on your path to where you are now, and give thanks for all the challenges you've learned from, the good and great stuff that's come out of your hard work, and all the people you've met and who have helped you get to where you are.

You might be frightened because you're starting over.  After all, to quote Linkin Park, "the hardest part of ending is starting again."  You're might be switching fields completely, going from being an expert to being a beginner again, or you could be just shifting over, utilizing a slightly different skill set than what you were doing prior.  Whatever it is, don't fret.  Change is good.  It keeps things interesting and it's okay to be a beginner again.

Remember: if you learned anything at all, (even "I hate this"), then it wasn't a waste of time.  Wrap  up what you have to, and start preparing for the next major journey in your life.