Go in the direction of your dreams

So said author Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), whom I've quoted here in the past. Here's the quote in its entirety:

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."

Maybe your dream is to be an astronaut, salesperson, or environmental researcher. Perhaps you want to be the next Denzel Washington or Michael Jackson.

No matter what your goals are, never let someone dissuade you from pursuing them. Never let them convince you that they're unrealistic or unattainable.

We only have one life to live, folks.

Even if we don't succeed at achieving exactly what we want -- or all we want -- we can at least say we gave it our best.

Notice Thoreau says to go "in the direction of your dreams." Never does he explicitly say that those dreams have to be fulfilled.

Let me give you an example. My dream would be to make big coin as a renowned historian -- I'm fiercely passionate about the subject.

While it's certainly possible to achieve this go, I'm not willing to make the sacrifices required to make this dream a reality (e.g., get a Ph.D., move around the county, etc.). I have a wife to think about, and moving away isn't feasible for us at this point.

So what do I do instead to indulge my passion for history? I write history posts on this blog, read history books, watch documentaries, and collect historic memorabilia.

While I'm not an acclaimed historian, I'm known as the history buff within my social circle, and that suffices for me. Most people say I'm more knowledgeable in the subject than anyone else they know.

Maybe your dream is to be a singer. Even if you don't become the next American Idol or winner of The Voice, you might get noticed after posting on YouTube videos of you singing. (That's how Justin Bieber got his big break.) Even if you don't receive calls from any record companies, you're still indulging your passion.

My point is that there are ways for us to pursue our passions even if we don't become rich and famous doing them. Sometimes, circumstances in life prevent us from achieving our loftiest goals, but that should never stop us from trying. Thanks to technology, it's easier than ever to pursue our passions as hobbies.

We should work to live, not the other way around. Our jobs put food on the table, but outside of work we're free to do as we wish in order to attain fulfillment. Who knows -- someday you may be one of the lucky ones who does his or her passion for a living!

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