Persuing and Fulfilling Your Dreams
Quit your job. Follow your dreams. Find your bliss. Do what you love. Easier said than done, right?
Having passion for something is great, but turning it into a career is something else entirely. It may take half a lifetime to even figure out what your passion is, so how do you just drop everything to follow it?
Get Your Finances in Order
Truthfully, you don’t. Not completely anyway. Before you start following your passion, it’s important to at least have some kind of financial safety net in place. It’s not easy to change careers, never mind change your entire life and start going after your dreams.
Do you have emergency savings you can live off of for a few months if things get tough? Ideally this is three months of living expenses that will go untouched unless you really need it. It’s also a good idea to look at your financial situation as a whole. Do you have good enough credit to get a business loan if you need it?
Sure it has been said, “Do what you love and the money will come,” but a little dose of realism can go a long way before making a potentially life-changing decision.
Plan and Set Goals
All things considered, it’s pretty remarkable to even have a passion to follow. Regardless of if you’ve know what it was your entire life, or it’s just now coming into focus, you will need a plan. Setting goals will help you take the necessary steps to get from point A to point B and progress.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine your idea of a perfect life. What would you be doing if money was no object? Now write down what you saw and figure out how you can get there. Decide on a specific long-term goal that is the ultimate definition of your passion. Then break that into smaller short-term goals that are necessary for eventually reaching your long-term goal. Even if you don’t have a specific career path in mind, knowing what you like to do and the kinds of careers you’d love to have can help you set off in the right direction.
Surround Yourself With Likeminded People
Any time you make a huge life change, it’s important to surround yourself with likeminded, supportive people. These should be individuals who are invested in your success as much as you are, or even more so.
Whether they are close friends, family members or former colleagues, ultimately they should be your cheerleaders. If you have access to a mentor or an intimate group of people that also share in your career path passion, even better. Being able to bounce ideas off of others, especially those who have already been where you are, is an invaluable tool. Surround yourself with people who you can also stay accountable to and will help you on your way to success.
Nurture Your Passion
Chances are you won’t be able to devote yourself completely to your passion every day. You may not be able to quit your job right away or you can only pursue it on a part-time basis due to inevitable life obligations. There’s no need to feel bad about this fact, just recognize your limitations.
Work a little bit at a time every day toward your goals, just don’t let your passion take a back burner in your life. Take the time to nurture your passion every day — whether that means reading an informational book, taking a class, or even talking to a trusted friend about your passion.
Whatever you focus on in life is what you attract. Keep at your passion until working on it becomes habit or second nature to you. Oftentimes the simple act of doing so will make you feel even more passionately about your goals and the route it takes to reach them.
Evaluate and Celebrate Your Progress
As you follow your plan and reach short-term goals, don’t forget to evaluate your progress. Learn from your mistakes and failures, but push through them and keep going. When you do reach a milestone, take time to celebrate. Whether you reward yourself with an ice cream cone or a weekend getaway, do something that will help keep you motivated.
Always keep your long-term goal in mind. Evaluating your progress is also a great way to see your growth along the way and will make you appreciate all you’ve been through. Remember, life is all about the journey, not just the destination.