You Need to Chase Your Dreams

Here’s an open secret: nobody is going to wave a magic wand and make your dreams come true. Your ideal job or partner is not going to be served to you on a silver platter. If you want to achieve your dreams, it’s up to you. You have to make them come true.

It’s not enough to follow your dreams. You can float through life waiting for opportunities to cross your path, but you will have a higher success rate if you chase down the opportunities.

Think about it: chasing opportunities means you will find more opportunities, therefore even if only a tiny percentage of them yield something, you will gain more than you would by waiting around. Furthermore, when you actively pursue opportunities, more people will know about your goals. These people will send more opportunities your way if and when they come across them, multiplying your chances of success.

Nobody is going to put any effort into helping you achieve your dreams unless you do. Why would they help you if you never help yourself? Why would they tell you about the awesome job opening in their firm, when they know you haven’t applied for any of the similar jobs advertised in the newspaper? Why would they set you up with their gorgeous single friend if you haven’t shown any interest in dating? A lot of people are all talk and no action. They say they want to do this and that but never take the first steps, so nobody can take them seriously. When you make an effort to achieve your goals, you prove that you are serious about your dreams.

Who is best placed to make your dreams happen? You.

There are a few success stories about people who achieved their dreams thanks to somebody else working tirelessly on their behalf, but they are outnumbered by stories about people who achieved success because of their own efforts. It makes sense: you know your strengths better than anyone else. You know the sacrifices you are willing to make. You know how much hard work you are prepared to put in. You are the best advocate for yourself – you just need to find the courage to put yourself forward.

Because you can’t count on anyone else to put you forward. You have to find opportunities. You have to develop the skills and gain the knowledge you need. You have to take action. You have to chase your dreams.


4 thoughts on “You Need to Chase Your Dreams

  1. But what if you don’t have dreams? What if you’ve never had a dream other than “not feeling like this” or “a vaguely normal, happy life”? I just want: somewhere to live where i feel comfortable; a job i don’t hate, some decent friends, a bit of a social life and a romantic life. I have none of those things. Going to Machu Pichu might be fun, but it’s not going to bring me any contentment. I don’t know, outside of my very small circle of immediate family, anyone that could sponsor me anyway lol

    1. Hi James, thank you for your comment — it’s always nice to find a genuine message among the spambot gibberish!

      You do have dreams: everything you mention is a dream. Sure, it might sound mundane to many people who take these things for granted, but so do most of my dreams. I would love to have my own home and a job I can do which actually pays above minimum wage (being self-employed is no fun when you’re reliant on tax credits to pay for essentials). I’m working towards those things indirectly by improving my mental health and bolstering my confidence. The main dreams I’m directly working towards include becoming debt-free, which is incredibly boring but means a lot to me.

      One of my closest friends once confided that she has realised she wants nothing more in life than to have babies with her husband and be content. I’m going to tell you something similar to what I told her: it’s fine to want nothing more than what you want, as long as you are not shortchanging yourself by denying things you want but are afraid to acknowledge, dreams which you don’t consider because they seem impossible.

      There is no reason why you cannot chase your own dreams, whatever they may be. Sure, there may be times when simply surviving the day is your priority and other goals need to take a backstep, but part of achieving goals is putting yourself — mentally, emotionally and physically — in the best situation you can in order to achieve them.

      This process might take years; it did for me. It has taken a lot of medication, therapy, self-help, introspection and self-care to get where I am today. And you know what? Where I am often seems pathetic when I compare my life to other people’s. Sure, I have achieved a few of my dreams, but there are many more which seem all but impossible to me, but which other people seem to expect as their due. For example, I have never been in a romantic relationship or lived independently. However, when I compare my current situation to my worst period (which lasted between the ages of 18 and 23), it doesn’t seem so awful.

      I choose to chase my dreams because to abandon them would mean living a half life, feeling how I feel during the worst episodes of depression and anxiety with no hope for the future. I can’t face living like that, which is why I have attempted suicide several times — it seemed like the only way out. The alternative is to create meaning in my life and to contribute whatever I can. In short, to live a life of value.

      Trekking to Machu Picchu was, more than anything, symbolic for me. It was a tangible journey which represented my battle with my mental health, my physical condition and all the other difficulties I face in my everyday life. By achieving that goal, I realised that I am capable of far more than I give myself credit for and it opened up new possibilities for me. The goals you dismiss as non-dreams, like earning a living and being in a relationship, now seem possible.

      I have never claimed that trekking to Machu Picchu is something everyone should do. It was important to me, so I had to give it a shot. I believe that shot paid off — and hope it continues to inspire and motivate me throughout my life. My point is that everyone should pursue that which is important to them, however illogical or ridiculous it may seem to others or themselves.

      Finally, I think you would be surprised by the people who are willing to sponsor you, should you choose to do something involving fundraising — I certainly was. My sponsors included acquaintances, people I know only through an online forum, my mum’s old school friend and anonymous people who could be anyone. Their support and generosity has astounded me and I bet you would find the same thing. The only sponsors I expected to donate were my parents and a few close friends! And I didn’t do any fundraising events, unlike most people, since my mental health prevented me from organising anything.

      So chase your dreams, James, even if you don’t consider them dreams. Every person can lead a life of value, even if they don’t believe it themselves and even if their lives haven’t gone according to plan. Especially if their lives haven’t gone according to plan.

      Love, Hayley

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