We all have childhood dreams and ambitions about the person we would love to become and often vow as young people not to be like our parents and do a job that we don’t care for. Yet few people get to live out those dreams. Of the people who do pluck up the courage, take the plunge and go after their heart’s desire, many do not succeed at making a living from their new vocation. Not all writers will be best sellers, not all artists will have exhibitions at the Tate Gallery and not all musicians will have a hit record.
This begs the question: is it better to shoot for your dreams and fail than not try at all? After all, it is possible to spend a lot of time and money pursuing your passion only to end up very stressed, very tired and very broke.
If you have managed to pursue your dreams, even if it doesn’t work out, at least you have the knowledge that you gave it your best shot and if you died tomorrow you would have no regrets. On the other hand by doing nothing you will always wonder what might have been. A feeling of regret can build up over the years and can become debilitating leaving you fixated on what you should have done in the past. In its worst form this can manifest as illness, deep seated anger or addiction. One of the major things that stops most people from ever moving forward on their goals and closer to their dreams is fear. One of the biggest fears is the fear of failure, of not knowing if you can actually accomplish the dreams you set out to achieve. We are afraid of what people will say or think if we don't achieve what we set out to do. Theodore Roosevelt put it amazingly well:
"It's not the critic who counts; Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit goes to the one who is actually in the arena; Who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; Who knows the great devotions, the great enthusiasms, and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who,...
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