What are your dreams?  Have they changed over the years?  What have you always dreamed of doing?

Since an early age I have been inspired by the amazing TV shows of the 80s, the movies of the ’90s and the last golden decade of the superhero movie.

Picture

Alan on Batman’s bike on a green screen in LA in 2016
I have loved watching these movies and it has left me with a dream of being involved, writing or creating something.  If you’ve got a dream, shouldn’t you pursue it?  Why don’t more people follow their dreams?

The reality of dreams

I have always wondered why people don’t follow their dreams.  Is the reality of the dream not as exciting as the actual dream? It is:

  • The person that dreams of being a published author but doesn’t like the thought of sitting down and writing
  • The person that dreams of running their own business but is scared of selling it and putting it out into the world
  • It is the person that dreams of owning a restaurant but doesn’t actually want to work Fridays and weekends serving people

Why don’t more people follow their dreams? What’s stopping them? What stops you from following your dreams?

Why don’t people follow their dreams?

There are so many reasons/excuses that people don’t follow their dreams.  Here are the top 8 that I hear time and time again at Rebel events and in life.

1. Dreams are a risky business
I think one of the main reasons people don’t follow their dreams is that it is seen as risky.  If you go full out, quit your job and follow your dreams it is risky!  What if it doesn’t work?  What if you fail? You could walk away from a good income and it could all go wrong!  You might invest money and lose it all!!?!

2. Fear of failure
What if I go out there and give it my all, and no one likes what I do?  What if I sing my heart out and people tell me I can’t sing?  What if I write a book and everyone tells me it is dreadful? What if, what if, what if?

Most people are petrified of failure and the consequences of it.  I wrote a whole article to answer the question How do you know if you will be successful?”

3. Waiting for the right time
I am just waiting for the right time.  I need the right situation to get going, I need to find the right investor, I need the right people, I need the right timing to come together before I launch.  I think a lot of people are waiting for the right time……..

4. There is an easier path
I have a cushy job, I earn reasonable money, things are comfortable.  It is easier just to fall into a job and work (mindless yes) but it is safe and easy. Why rock the boat when life is comfortable.

Comfort is the enemy of achievement.

5. Not enough time​
I just don’t have time to do it.  I have got a family, a full-time job, and I am just exhausted after work; there just isn’t time, and even if there is time I am so tired in the evenings that I just can’t do it! Where do I find the time to make my dreams come true as well?

6. Get a job and follow the path
Follow your dreams?  That isn’t what society teaches us to do.  You have to follow the path, get good grades, get a job, get a house and settle down.  You don’t take risks like that; what are you, crazy?  If you want to know more about this one I wrote a whole article about why people follow the standard plan society gave to them and how to do things differently. 

7. Someone else has already done it
I thought about writing a movie but there are so many people doing that.  I thought about building a business but I couldn’t come up with an original idea and there are so many people doing it.  I don’t have any unique ideas.

8. I have missed the boat – It is not the right time
It is too late to launch a blog; there are already so many of them and I missed the best time to do it.  I missed the boat for podcasts; everyone is doing that now.  I missed the golden period for launching a business; it is so much harder and there is much more competition nowadays. I missed the right time to do it and it is too late for me……

There are so many reasons not to follow your dreams and make it happen, and there is an answer to every reason that people have for not following their dreams.  I have done it in the past, I have given excuse after excuse about why I can’t do something.  I have excused myself from following my dreams in the past.

Why you should follow your dreams

If you have a dream, what is stopping you?  What can you do about it? Do you really want to give it a go?

Some people like discussing the dream more than they do actually living it.  One of my friends many years ago liked to talk about the book he was writing, Edge of Dreams.  He was always on the edge of publishing it, always on the edge of launching the next big project but he never seemed to follow through.  Don’t live on the Edge of Dreams – dive right into the middle and live them.  Life is for living.

Here are the reasons why I think you should get out there and follow your dreams:

  1. The timing will never be right.  If you are waiting for the right time there is no such thing.  In fact if you are waiting at all you are missing out.  You just have to get on with it now.  There is no other time than now; just start!  The analogy that really hit me is the one about planning a car journey and sitting at home waiting for every single traffic light to turn green before you leave the house.  The lights will never all be green and you have to just start anyway!  Expect a few reds along the way and just keep going!
  2. You don’t get motivated to do things; you get motivated by doing things.  So many people I know sit on the couch and wait for motivation to hit them before they do anything.  If you are waiting for motivation then you are going to be waiting a long, long, long time.  What I have found is that the motivation comes after you have started.  If you want to write a book, start writing!  If you want to sing, start performing. If you want to launch a business, start selling!  There is magic in beginning something and putting energy into it.
  3. The pain of rejection is less that the pain of regret.  According to a recent study*, the #1 regret of people that are dying is “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”. You don’t want to get to the end of your days and be riddled with regrets about what you didn’t do.  Living the last years of your life thinking “I wish I had.”  The pain of rejection and failure is far, far lower than this pain that comes later in life.  Most people don’t think like this though and they are more afraid of the instant pain of rejection that the larger pain of regret later.
  4. It doesn’t have to be risky.  There are so many ways to live your dream where it doesn’t have to be risky.  People think entrepreneurs are risk takers and maybe some of them are, but in my experience the best ones aren’t!  They take calculated risks and minimise the downside.  There are many ways to launch a business without spending any money.  There are ways to get your dream job and get paid to do what you want.  There are so many ways to minimise the downside.  Think through what could go wrong and protect yourself against it!
  5. It is not about time, it is about energy.  Do you have any energy left at the end of the day?  Do you get home from work or after a day’s activity and have the energy to make things happen? What I have found is most people have time to make their dreams come true but they don’t have the energy to use those hours to get things done.  Focus on increasing your energy levels. You can do this by eating clean, exercising, bouncing around, dancing, getting better quality sleep and so many more things.  I am going to write an article on energy soon.  I ate bad food (brown food, sugar and bread) today and I was destroyed, falling asleep on the couch for an hour afterwards.  It is amazing how much diet can affect your energy levels!
  6. Time will pass anyway.  It might take you 10 years to get to your dream (build a business, write a book, launch a blog) but those ten years are going to pass anyway so you might as well get on with it as quickly as possible!  Time is going to pass anyway so just start now; stop overthinking it and just get going.

It is this thinking that has finally got me off the fence with some of my biggest ideas. This year, I have launched my blog (yes the one you are reading) and I am going to Los Angeles to make my dream of being involved in the movies come true!  You can read about my trip to Los Angeles to write a movie script here

Following your dreams

Why am I writing this article?

Because in the middle of 2018 I had a realisation that I had been putting off following my dreams for years and that if I didn’t get on with it now then when would I?  This article is as much for me as it is for you.

The thinking above has finally got me to take action and I am off to Los Angeles to write my movie script, and I wanted to capture this thinking and share it with you to inspire you to have a go and make it happen!

Find a way to start – it is not all or nothing!

Following your dreams is not binary.  What do I mean by that?  It is not a one or a zero – it can be every shade in between.  You don’t have to give up your day job to do this!  You don’t have to flee the country like I am to make it happen. You can find a way to start small and make it happen.

There are so many ways to start small today:

  • If you want to write a book then start writing the introduction now and then write one page a day
  • If you want to launch a business then do 2 hours a week on it each week with a friend or your partner
  • If you want to become a singer then start singing once a week whereever you can in front of people

Just start with me.   I have been writing more on making dreams come true.

I would love you to leave me a comment and tell me what dream you are working on.  What are you building?  What are you creating?  Have you started?  Has this article given you some energy to have a go?

Write me a comment below; I would love to hear from you.

Alan

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