The number one reason we don't pursue our dreams. We need money to live day-to-day, and the cost of living in most "developed" countries is considerable. We're taught that money + possessions = success. We are encouraged to go into debt to get the things we want. We use credit to buy cars, homes, furniture, education, and vacations. It's the normal approach in our society. When we ponder pursuing our dreams, we wonder how can we afford it? Starting something new, like a business, going back to school, a career change, etc., will require money to make the change, we'll potentially stop making the money we're used to, and it will take some time to re-coup the money spent to make the change. As a result, our debt may increase, while we still have our current debt load and our day-to-day living expenses (and maybe supporting family members).
2) Taking the Easy Way
It's easy to do what everyone else does. We don't have to figure out anything new. We go to school, have a career, get a house, have a family, and plan for retirement. Life may be difficult or monotonous at times, but it's predictable and understood. There's a lot to be said for following the crowd so you don't stand out, and so it doesn't feel like you're swimming upstream. This path is well worn and easy to follow.
3) We're Afraid of Being Different
Judgment is a big part of our lives. It starts early. As a child we are compared to others. There is competition in school, sports, hobbies, jobs, and comparisons with the car we drive or what neighbourhood we live in. So we conform. We do our best to fit in. We don't want to feel different. We want to feel like a part of a community. So we talk about common societal topics: the weather, our next vacation, how the kids are, the job, sports, TV shows or movies. Fit in, and don't talk about or do anything that may "rock the boat". Pursuing our dream would make us feel different than the norm.
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1) Create the Money You Need
Start by simplifying your life; buy less stuff, decrease your expenses, cook at home, ditch the TV, get a smaller home, get rid of your car, or get an older car or join a car share, ride a bike or take the bus. Decrease or eliminate your debt. Make a 6-month and 1-year plan to save the money you need, and stick to your plan.
2) Take Small Steps on the Path Less Trodden
By taking small, manageable steps towards your goals, you will increase your confidence and build your motivation. So read some books, take classes, or take a trip to a place where your dream is already alive (try work/volunteer vacations). If you want to be a writer - start writing, a painter - start painting. You can do it, but it will take time. Learning anything new takes practice, patience and persistence. Remember learning to ride your bike, tying your shoelaces, or playing an instrument? It takes time to become proficient at something new. Be gentle on yourself.
3) Be Different
Find your tribe. Find people that can relate to your dream. Surround yourself with supporters, not detractors. Join local meet-up groups, Facebook groups, and Internet sites with people that have similar passions. Within these groups you'll find camaraderie, encouragement, motivation, and inspiration. You'll share successes and challenges in a safe environment, one without judgment, which is crucial for taking positive steps towards your dream.
The number one recommendation is to start now. Stop procrastinating. There will never be a "perfect time" to start. If you're not moving forward, you're stuck. Do you want to settle for the known, the comfortable? Or, do you want to take a chance and move towards a life of possibilities? There are two voices we hear.
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