When did it become surreal to follow your dream?

As someone who recently left a stable, but not so fulfilling career in the accounting world, whenever I meet people and tell them that I quit the corporate rat race to pursue jewellery design, I’m often met with comments like these:

Wow, you’re so brave for following your dream!

Aw cool, you’re so inspirational, I wish I could do something like that

Why is it that people “ooh” and “ahh” when they meet someone pursuing a career that’s creative, but almost never give the same response, when it’s someone’s dream to become a lawyer or accountant?

I just finished reading “What I wish I knew when I was 20” by Tina Seelig. It’s an inspiring book, where she recounts real life examples from both her teaching experiences and from industry where people had thrown out the old rule book, gave themselves permission to pursue the seemingly impossible and succeeded. (Of course, they experienced inevitable failures along the way – one example she recounted, the guy was so broke whilst pursuing his dream of producing graphics accelerators for PCs, he was eating cabbages thrown out from grocery stores. Now that’s dedication!)

Here are a few points she raised in her book that really resonated with me:
1. Opportunities are literally everywhere. You have just got to open your eyes and ears to find out what they are.

2. There is nothing wrong with failing. This is all part of the learning process.

3. You don’t need anyone else’s permission to pursue your dream. You just need to give yourself permission.

These 3 things, may seem really simple and obvious. But when you’re walking along the well-trodden path, it’s really easy to live your life on cruise control. Just scraping through the work week and living for the weekends. I didn’t want to just “live” for only 32 hours out of a week’s 112 waking hours, so I gave myself permission to be happy pursuing jewellery design as a future career. I’m so much happier these days, it’s kind of ridiculous. :)

Have you given yourself permission to be happy?

 

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