“The cost of not following your heart is spending the rest of your life ... wishing you had” – J Paulsen
I’ve been getting few messages on Facebook and emails from people who are facing THIS problem. It is the problem when you have to choose between to follow your heart, hear your calling, and live your dreams OR simply to neglect them in order to make others (usually your loved ones) happy. I kid you not, I faced it too.
I’ve had a dream to build my own company since I was in high school. The start wasn’t easy. I had an agreement with my dad that I could only do that after I graduated from college. Long story short, I managed to start my first two ventures in 2008; one went completely bankrupt within a year, the other one has been growing bigger than I expected. The fact that I didn’t have any business formal education might have made some people thought that my dream was somewhat reckless. Guess what, never did I care. But when it comes to people that I love (a.k.a. parents and family), that’s a completely different story.
I graduated from the university which is one of the best in my country (nowhere near Harvard though, errrr... xp). It was pretty understandable when my parents expected me to work in a multinational company, receive monthly salary, and get financial certainty. I never wanted to let them down, but that “certain” path wasn't the path that I had been longing for so long.
Every parent loves their kids. To see us living a good life, being able to pay all the bills, and having financial certainty is one of ways they are showing that love. It is absolutely normal for any parents to make sure their kids to be safe and sound. But what many parents don’t know is in the long run, their interference might take role in killing our dreams. And even worse, what many of us mistakenly understand is that it is essential to make our parents (or everyone else) happy so that it’s fine to give up on our own dreams. Man, i guess some people have no idea how much the price they will have to pay for that.
Back to my story, it took me months to finally convince my parents that I’m in charge of my own life. It means I have the power to choose my own path, I am fully responsible with all the outcomes, and last but not least, I will not grumble about my decision (at least not in front of them). It’s never been easy, but I know that I will never give up and put my dreams on the back burner. I’m not one of those people. It’s not because I’m a pigheaded (sometimes I am though) or because I want to challenge my parents and against them, but it’s simply because I want to live in my own purpose. I love my parents so very much, but it is not their approval that I seek.
Now if you ask me for advices, I have two.
First, we should know that we all live in the world where everything is possible. There’s one quote from Paulo Coelho that I really like which goes like this,
“When you want something, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”
I do believe so. I have witnessed how my team and I somehow have received many miraculous ways to grow the company. But no, it doesn’t mean that we just have to wait for the universe does its magic. It definitely requires hard work. It takes time. And sometimes, if not most of the times, it teaches you about patience. But at the end of the day, it is a lot better to die trying rather than to live the life wishing you have just enough courage to start.
Second, my best friends know how picky I am when it comes to people whom I spend my time with. I remember one asked me, “how if your loved ones doubt your dreams? How if they don’t even believe in their own dreams?”
Like Jim Rohn said, "you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with", it is crystal clear that our surrounding shapes us. And I’ve learned that doubt, especially from someone I really care, weakens me. It is so contagious, it has the ability to make me doubt myself. Never will I let myself be surrounded by those who don’t believe in me, my dreams, and as important, their own dreams.
So what would I do about it? Well, it is as simple as to know the fact that some people are meant to be loved from afar. If you want to live your dreams, I believe it is necessary to surround yourself with like minded people.
Anyways, I don’t know how you will take that, but I’m pretty sure you know what I mean.