One Thing That People Don’t Tell You About Living Your Dreams
This article was originally published in July 2016.
Recently, I’ve started doing interviews with various people. I send questions to those who are living their dreams and are making a difference in their community/the world in order to find out what it takes to get out into the world and actually do what you love everyday.
Most of the people that I interviewed ultimately quit their stable 9-to-5 job in order to pursue their passion. At their job, they would go through the motions day-in and day-out just daydreaming of doing something they actually wanted to do.
That got me thinking, what does it really take to start living your dreams?
I don’t think you necessarily have to quit your job, but I did realize this: in order to do what you love, you have to do what you hate or just don’t enjoy doing. Yes, it sucks, but doing what you hate can actually help you.
Doing something that you don’t enjoy doing makes your passion, hobby, etc. even better.
Imagine doing one thing 24/7? Personally for me, one of my passions is swimming. I love it, but I don’t think I could do it for most of the day, every single day, every month of every year. What makes swimming so great for me is that it is my escape from the real world for 2–3 hours a day. All of the stresses in my life seem nonexistent in those couple hours of swimming.
If I was to swim 8 hours every day, along with being exhausted, I just don’t think that I would enjoy it as much. It’s because I’m only swimming for a few hours that makes it so special.
Continuing with my swimming example, practice isn’t always fun. It’s like anything you have to work for in life, it’s a grind. I’ll take the hours upon hours of training for just the few minutes on the podium after winning a race. I love getting faster, and if that means doing something I don’t enjoy doing (such as a hard practice at 5am on a Saturday), I’ll be the first to do it.
I would relate this idea back to the quote below:
“When everything is beautiful, nothing is beautiful” — Stanley Kubrick
It’s the same for everything. A vacation to a tropical beach is much better when you are living in an area with harsh weather, relaxing feels much better after a full day of work, winning a game feels much better after a losing streak, and a steak tastes much better if you are a college student eating Ramen noodles (that will be me next month).
It’s the things that you don’t like doing that make your hobby, passion, etc. that much better.
So if you are in a job right now that you really don’t enjoy or are just in a part of your life that you want to move on from, your life will get better. It will give you the perspective to grow into whatever you aspire to be.
You know what unhappiness feels like. You’ve experienced it. That’s super valuable.
If you eventually decide to do the things that you love full-time, you’ll know when to keep moving and keep progressing. It’s that kind of self-awareness that will shield you from getting into the rut of your previous lifestyle. You know what things bring you happiness and unhappiness.
Now go follow your dream any way you can. If you start doing something, but start dreaming of something else, follow that dream. Don’t stop until you are doing exactly what you want to be doing every day.