How to Recognize and Follow Your Dreams
How clique, but everyone does want it. To be able to live their ideal life at the end did the day. Follow their true passion. Well, so do I of course, and I want that for you too.
I didn't really do art until junior year of high school. That may seem a little out of the ordinary since your probably thinking I started doodling when I was three since that's how artists are portrayed. They always know from the get-go. Actually, I don't doodle at all. I can't even tell you why I fudged the requirements to get into AP art in high school, but I did. Then as a senior, working on a body of work, I find myself working until late at night. And I loved it. It was always a puzzle, a conversation, a dance. There was always a realization then a counter move. You had to be clever, trick the eye and create some sort of depth and meaning at the same time.
But I originally went to school for psychology. It took another two years to actually become an art BFA. I think I had just taken stats, and the next two classes were testing methods in research and research methods in testing, or something like that, and I just decided simply I wanted to take advanced painting instead.
I only know a handful of people who have always done what they eventually ended up doing as an adult, and even more who didn't figure it out until retirement, or after having kids. No matter where you are in life, here are some ways to recognize and follow your dreams.
Especially if you have the opportunity, like in college, to take a wide assortment of classes and learn a wide range of things. Don't take that time for granted. Otherwise, keep your eyes open for new opportunities to learn things. You never know what you will really gravitate towards until you experience a little bit of it.
2. Trust your gut.
When an opportunity comes along and it stands out to you, go for it. Your gut will be the thing that ultimately leads you to where you’re going be your happiest. Even if you don't end up liking it, you did find out a little more about yourself along the way. You're that much closer.
Take some time to visualize what you want your life to be like, even if you only know you want a dog and a big backyard. That image will be clearer with every new experience. That image will also change at least once a month. Roll with it and you'll get there.
4. Make it work.
Worried about not being able to make money with what you want to do? Well, that sounds familiar. There are always new types of jobs that you can't even imagine, especially in this day and age. For example, if you like gardening and dogs, maybe you can be a special dog trainer that keeps pets from digging up the yard. There is always a way to make your dreams a reality if you get a little creative.
5. Be smart about the experience.
Realize the gaps in your knowledge. Say you want to be that dog trainer, but don't have any actual experience training dogs. Start by volunteering at a shelter, gain that knowledge and keep on growing. Also, recognize when you don't have the knowledge, and it would be a waste of time to even try and learn it. Say you're also not good at marketing, then you might want to hire some professionals.
6. Make contacts.
Always look for those contacts, in any industry, not just your own. For example, if you want to be that dog trainer again, landscapers, hardware stores, gardeners, shelters, vets, pet stores, groomers, sprinkler installers, gutter cleaners, etc, are all great contacts to form partnerships and get you more clients.
7. Find a mentor.
And they don't have to be in your field. A mentor only has to be a person who you look up to, learn from, and who can guide you. If you want to have your own business and have a mentor that has their own business, that's perfect. You can save a lot of time and even money by being able to bounce ideas off of someone who has already been in your position.
8. Trust the process.
Sometimes when it seems like an opportunity is ending, and you don't want it to, or the future is uncertain, trust that you will end up where you need to be. You're not going to get the job that wouldn't work for you, mostly because either the employer or you know that, and will subconsciously. For example, I realized I didn't send thank you emails for an interview until days later, only then did I realize I truly wouldn't be happy in that position anyway.
9. Always keep learning.
Just realizing what you want to do, doesn't mean you're there. The only want to really make it last, is by always adjusting and learning. The market moves so fast now, that your business will be hurt if you don't have your eyes open. Keep striving to be the best and grow as a person.
10. If you're lucky enough to really know, don't let anything stop you.
Once you do find it, some people won't understand what you're doing or why. Stand up for who you are and your plan. Be ready to take advice, but also realize you don't have to defend your reasoning to anyone. Sometimes just figuring it out along the way is enough.
Eventually I got there too. I realized I wanted to do more art, then started looking into what else I was good at that would help me make money doing that. Galleries and museums were my first stop. There was one presentation I attended by the executive director of a museum who said her whole job was putting out fires. I immediately knew that that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to be tested to fine creative solutions to problems every day. Then meeting an entrepreneurial mentor opened my mind to so many more possibilities.
Whatever your path, with some determination, creativity, and an open mind, you can get there. Happy dream hunting.
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Owner and Founder, kfons