Do What You Must or What You Like?

I won’t let go of my dream

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One of the greatest speakers, Les Brown, said something to the effect: keep working at what you love.

How many of us do that?

Life gets in the way of dreams. The unexpected expense, the medical emergency, falling in love. Falling out of love. All are excuses to give up pursuing our dreams —you know, for the moment. But these life events keep getting in the way, year after year, because we allow them to get in the way.

We need a job, and that particular job doesn’t always align with what we love to do. We take the job and enter a mind-numbing daily routine. Live for the weekend. For vacations. For retirement.

We spend our time wishing our life away, so we can retire.

What about the dream?

Les Brown also said that our dream in its unique form was given to us, not to anyone else. Sure, many people love to paint, dance, write. But no one else in this world has the exact unique mind-set that makes our dreams and goals ours alone to bring to life.

If you give up on your dreams, what’s left? — Jim Carey

Good question?

Let’s reassess: why are goals and dreams important?

The most important answer to that question is: they give life meaning. But they do a lot more. Here are the top five reasons — from Code of Living — a dream-orientated life is important, particularly after a year and a half of pandemic stagnation:

  • Goals Give You Focus. Imagine having to shoot an arrow without being given a target. Where would you aim?
  • Goals Allow You To Measure Progress. By setting goals for yourself you are able to measure your progress because you always have a fixed endpoint or benchmark to compare with.
  • Goals Keep You Locked In And Undistracted. By setting goals you give yourself mental boundaries. When you have a certain endpoint in mind you automatically stay away from certain distractions and stay focused towards the goal.
  • Goals Help You Overcome Procrastination. When you set a goal for yourself you make yourself. — Source

Sounds good, but how do we stay on top of our dreams in this busy, demanding world?

We work at what we must eighty percent of the time and at what we love twenty percent of the time. Until we can adjust to 75/25, 70/30, 65/35.

The possibility to adjust might arrive sooner than expected, or later in life when we become more financially secure, or have more time. But with some luck, the day will come. And if we stay on top of our dream, we’ll be ready.

So, what do you love to do?

I love to write.

My dream would be to write often, or as often as possible. But dream and reality don’t always coexist.

Still, I’m stubborned. I insist on carving out time for writing every day. If not actual writing, at least something related, such as editing, or reading, or learning new bits and pieces about writing in all its spectacular forms.

We need to set side time for our dream, or what’s the point?

Taking care of family is important, sure. We do that everyday. We meet out obligations.

But if we don’t carve out time for our dream, something inside us dies every day.

One day, we’ll wake up and wonder what happened. Here we are opening our eyes to a new day, able to take in oxygen, move about, talk. Yet, we feel dead inside. Because we let a part of us go.

Don’t let go of your dream, dear friend.

Whatever it is.

Say it with me, a constant reminder.

We have to program ourselves, or life will program us.

I won’t let go of my dream.

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Silvia Villalobos

Silvia Villalobos is a native of Romania who lives immersed in the laid-back vibe of Southern California. She writes mystery novels and short stories.