I have a laundry list of things that keep me up at night. I think we all do. Anywhere from thinking up the best comeback lines ever from the that awkward lunch brunch two weekends ago to going through all the things I might not have gotten done that day.
Here’s the latest.
Banksy Art. Ironically one of my clients posted it and sent it over to me when we were talking about dream chasing.
When exactly do you start to buy in to the whole mindset of “Work First, chase dreams later?”
Why is it so hard to believe you can do both?
What if careers and dreams are the same? Or so closely related that you are already doing both. Isn’t that something?
This week’s late night deep questions that won’t let me sleep were provoked by a bit of a fight had this last week over my desire to learn photography.
That notion has always been in the back of my head, but the crippling thought of “What if I’m really bad at this?” has always been there too. And let’s face it, good cameras are really expensive. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize that if you spend all the money on a good camera and you don’t even end up liking the act of taking photos, you’ve wasted your money.
That’s not something I wanted to do so I’m currently borrowing my parent’s Nikon, taking loads of terrible photos, getting tips and crash courses from my actual photographer friends, taking loads more photos that are less terrible, and scouring Pinterest for tips, tricks, and walk throughs on cameras.
We’ve also spent a lot of time talking about cameras I am interested in and putting together lists of what I’m looking for in a camera, what cameras meet that criteria, and then actually fooling around with them so I have a better idea what to buy and will like when I decide to pull the trigger.
In my head that’s called research. Most people should do that before making any investment that’s going to eat a full paycheck or some savings. (Homes, Vehicles, electronics, and expensive toys should all fall in this category.)
I’m no where near ready to make that purchase, but at least I know what I want.
The fight came because it’s assumed I’m going to go blow a bunch of money on this right now. I made it past Black Friday when there were some sweet deals, I think I can wait longer and continue to pay down more bills.
Now while I can see how photography and a really nice entry level or step higher DSLR camera (Santa please bring me a Canon Rebel? Thanks!) can easily find a place within the things I already do (Blogging, Radio, some videography, other creative things) it is indeed more money than I can afford at this moment. But it doesn’t mean I can’t do my homework and put together a list of things it can be used for to make sure I will get my money’s worth instead of just having a new toy to play with for a possible hobby.
Yet somehow my family sees this as spending money right this moment.
It got me thinking, if you have the time, the money, why not invest in your dreams? Why do we put ourselves on the back burner so much?
Better question. Why is that just accepted as the way things have to be?
I’m not suggesting ditch work and go travel or chase your dream. I am however, honestly curious how we get sucked in to following the formula below:
“I will do X after Y.”
X is your own dream or goal. Here’s a few common examples: Take that trip I’ve been dreaming of, write a book, start my own business, learn a language.
Y is the goal you have to meet: saved a certain amount of money, after I retire, once I’ve planned for the future, when I have time. The list goes on and on.
Here’s the thing. You never reach Y. There will always be excuses that the goal you set for Y isn’t attained.
“I have some savings, but I need more so something doesn’t happen.” It’s kind of funny how that set dollar amount will continually grow.
“I retired, but there’s things to do around the house, and I have to do…”
“I’ve planned for the future, but I didn’t budget in the right now, so I have to build that in…”
“I have time this weekend but…”
No. Stop it. Stop it right now.
Why not make time?
Why not do both?
Why are you holding yourself back?
When did we go from kids that believe we can do anything and everything, to “I’ll do it someday”?
I’m not saying it’s easy to do both. Actually, it’s pretty fecking tough. I’ve watched several people start their own businesses to chase their dreams while working full time in corporate jobs, being full time parents, etc. I’m even going through it to some degree and it’s rough, but we’re managing. And seeing things take shape? It’s pretty neat.
If you keep putting your dreams on hold, you’re going to wake up one day and wonder what happened to all that time you had.
In the words of Varrick from Legend of Korra, “Zhu Li, do the thing!”
Do the thing. Make some time for the thing. Get better at the thing. Push yourself. Don’t keep your dreams on the back burner. Look at the stove. There are two front burners. Buckle down and light both of those puppies up and go for it!
More words about doing the thing? Look below. And keep your head up.
“Do your thing. Do it unapologetically. Don’t be discouraged by criticism. You probably already know what they’re going to say. Pay no mind to the fear of failure. It’s far more valuable than success. Take ownership, take changes, and have fun. And no matter what, don’t ever stop doing your thing.” -Asher Roth