Do you ever think about who you want to be? What you want to do? And why? I ask you these questions because I ask myself the same questions on a daily basis. I am currently an 18 year old college student, and my life up until this point has basically revolved around getting into college so that I can graduate with a degree and hopefully land a job with a great salary and benefits. I mean, come on, who doesn’t strive for that, right?
Consider the possibilities.
But as I sit in class and listen to lectures, I realize that I could be doing more with my life. (I just want to make it clear that I enjoy college, and when I say “I could be doing more with my life,” I do not mean dropping out of college. Rather, taking more chances.) I’m not going to write some cliché statement like, “find who you are, and do what you want to do, regardless of what others may say,” because to be quite honest, everyone already knows that. What I want to ask, not just to the readers of this article, but to myself, is WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS?
Determine what your dreams are.
A dream doesn’t have to be specific to your future career. A dream can span to different meanings: who you want to become, what you want to do, how you want to be known, etc. Personally, I have many dreams: I want to make a positive impact on the world; I want to go backpacking through Europe with close friends; I want to go on exhilarating excursions; I want to experience an intimate relationship; and I want to enjoy every moment of life, because life is short.
Figure out what’s stopping you.
Of course the obvious answer is money. Duh. But put it in a different perspective. Say that I have enough money to go backpacking, and travel around the world. Would that truly be enough to achieve my dreams? How about the dreams that don’t necessarily require that much money, like making an impact on the world, and enjoying every moment of life? How would one achieve these dreams?
Understand that fear is normal.
You’re probably saying I don’t know…. And to be honest, same here. Well, I do have an explanation, but it’s not the grand solution, so don’t get your hopes up. What I propose is that fear intersects our ambitions, causing most people to take a pause on their dreams. By fear, I mean the fear of the unknown. What if, by achieving one’s dream, everything goes to disarray? The path to a stable job they once had is now gone, due to their action of pursuing their dreams, their goals. What if, at the end of their journey, they find out that it wasn’t worth the time and money and loss?
But realize you can’t let fear stop you.
I know, this is starting to sound very negative, so let me change that. SO WHAT?! So what if your path is to be determined; so what if you lose your “precious” time; so what if it’s not worth it in the end. Has it happened? How do you know that it’s going to end in that manner? YOU DON’T. It’s all in your head. Your mind is playing tricks on you. FEAR is taking over, causing you to worry about unnecessary details that haven’t even happened. Don’t let fear penetrate into your subconscious, preventing progression.
Know that anything is possible.
Your dreams are obtainable, and maybe it won’t be up to your expectations. But what if? What if it turns out to be much better? What if the journey surpasses your expectations by how beautiful and wonderful the experience is? So, why not take the risk? Why not take a chance? We don’t always have to know everything. Life would not be fun that way. In the end, take a chance. Take the risk of pursuing your dreams, because I promise you that it will be worth it.
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Josh is a freshman at The George Washington University. He plans to major in Political science, and lives life to fullest. His favorite quote is "You only have one life... so live life to its fullest.