“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Dreams. We all have them.
I’m not talking about the ones we get when we sleep. I’m talking about the ones we have when we’re wide awake. When we look at a picture of a Bora Bora island and think, “I wish I could go there,” or when we drive by a large house, we think, “I wish I could buy a home like that,” when we drag ourselves to work and think, “I wish I didn’t have to do this.”
As I spread the word about my plans to travel alone a few years ago, I began to get some feedback regarding this “unconventional” travel style and its destinations.
Most of my friends who have traveled before have been really positive and supportive of it, but there have been a few naysayers that have made me think for a second, “What am I doing?” I got so much negative feedback about the fact that traveling alone is “dangerous” and that I’m just wasting my money and not thinking about my future (when actually traveling is my future).
Instead of responding to this, I always remind myself of this quote:
“Those of us who are doing what we want with our lives will always run into naysayers, doubters, and people who think they know better”
It’s the crabs in a bucket phenomenon.
Even the ones who deeply care for you will give you awful advice. It’s not because they have evil intentions. It’s because they don’t understand the big picture—what your dreams, passions, and life goals mean to you. They don’t understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk. So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, in effect, also shields you from the possibility of making your dreams a reality.
In my case,
Everyone around me, including my parents, knows that I’m too stubborn to let anything stop me. When I set my mind to something, I follow through on it. I went to Thailand 6 years ago for my first solo journey, and I experienced one of the turning points in my life that made me realize that traveling is something I’m truly passionate about and that I could achieve anything in life when I truly focused on it.
I read an article yesterday about people who are successful in life but refuse to give up on their dreams, and they were discussing how many “nos” they received for their dreams. What I have learned from that article:
When you’re going after something big, lots of people will tell you “No.”
Sometimes you’re the only one telling yourself “Yes” and that’s OK.
Now, in response to what naysayers or anyone else might say to keep you from dreaming, I want to share 12 reasons why you should ignore everyone and follow your dreams:
1. Doing what you want attracts haters. This gives you a chance to ignore them. They hate that more than anything. Keep doing what you do. (In case it wasn’t clear, never engage with haters. It’s not worth your time. (Let them be losers.)
2. The only “yes” you need to follow your dreams is yours. You’ll regret it later in life, and if you’re delaying it, you’ll question yourself why didn’t you do it sooner.
3. Naysayers: “It’s safer to stay in your country.” Sure, I suppose, but you know what’s even safer than that? Locking yourself in your bedroom and never, ever coming out—just like that, you will have flushed your entire life and your dreams down the toilet. Remember, safer doesn’t always mean better.
4. It will attract some attention. You will feel strong as you prove the naysayers wrong.
“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” Walter Bagehot
5. There comes a time in life when we must make a choice, and that choice can define the rest of our lives. We can either live our lives the way they are and let dreams be dreams, or we can take a bold step and try to make our dreams come true.
6. Your dreams and your actions define you. Don’t let others define you by what they tell you to do and not to do.
7. People who follow their dreams are doers. Doers have more power to create, influence, and change their environment—and eventually the world.
8. You will inspire others. When people who look up to you see you following your dreams, it will inspire some of them to follow their own dreams, even if they know nothing about you.
9. Dreams make you take chances, but chances can bring more opportunities.
10. There are no rules in life, so why limit yourself to what everybody else is doing? It’s your life; live it on your terms!
11. You might live forever, but you might also die tomorrow. Take a chance.
12. Even if your dreams fail, you’ll feel proud that you gave it your all to accomplish them. Dreamers fail every now and then, but they also learn more in life. You learn from failure. So, dust yourself off and try it again.
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do your fears” – Richard Wilkins