We wish our dreams weren’t quite so, well, way out there.
We think we’re even a little crazy for having this dream. We've had a lot of those reactions whenever we say something that’s a little off-piste, that is, compared to everyone else.
We wonder if we’re just selfish.
We’re not. Oh, we’re so not.
When we start to dream of a life of simplicity, with love and excitement for living; and also with quiet, in peace, where we long for a walk to work which doesn’t involve us physically wincing when a motorcycle zooms past or a permanent rainy drizzle, we often shut it down…before it gets too good.
Why do we do that?
We’ve been hurt before.
We don’t think we can achieve it.
We don’t want the disappointment of trying…and failing.
I took a meandering path after I left university. I would often catch myself being the chameleon that I know I can be - approaching any (ANY) task which was given to me with determination, enthusiasm and thoroughness. I do this because I want to be good. Which is great. But if it’s not my dream, ultimately it won’t fulfil me. It will sap my energy. Perhaps not when I take on such a task once, or even on an occasional basis, not the first time maybe, but after a few years, it will take its toll.
In my search for fulfilling, meaningful work I hopped around industries and roles. I took jobs at companies I’ve liked and because I thought I should. And all along I’ve wondered if this was it. Was this happiness?
Happiness is us living the very best version of ourselves. Yet we find ourselves casting around for that person in our mind when we've been used to doing things the way we’re told to, following the ‘obvious', ‘sensible', ‘expected' path that we think we should (job+ husband +mortgage+ children anyone?). Finding her is not easy.
When we’re used to doing the things we ‘should’ do, getting hold of her - the one we secretly dream of being - can take us a little while and we start when the pain of NOT being her gets too much.
I am good at building simple websites. I understand and can teach people Twitter. I know about marketing. I considered providing services around these things, building up a small business helping people market their stuff. I could have done it.
But it’s not what I want to do.
Just because I’m good at something, doesn’t mean I have to do it.
Aged 22, I asked a wonderful friend and early mentor: What do you think I could do as a job?
He said: "I think you could do anything.”
What a lovely encouragement I had received! I felt abounding in energy and motivation.
Yet, it hadn’t covered the question I had really asked because I was the only one who could answer:
What did I want to do?
And I didn’t ask myself until found myself in pain, living a half life of seeming contentment but actually one filled with disappointment.
Have you got your answer? If not, when will you ask the question?