Don’t Let What Could Be, Turn Into What Could Have Been

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know, what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs

Some of us Millennnials are lucky enough to have passions. Passions are the strong feelings and intense desires that come with loving something. How do you know when something is your passion? When you truly love something?

Fear.

When you love something or are passionate about it, you are really scared of losing it or never having it at all. This beautiful thing that keeps us up at night, can be daunting.  Perhaps so daunting that we refuse to even pursue it. To us, it is better to never have it at all because it is so precious. It is safer to keep it as an idea, a small treasure in our mind to escape to when we need it.

A beautiful fleeting dream of what could be.

Pursuing your passion can be the scariest undertaking of your entire life. Take it from someone who is constantly in fear that what could be, never will be. Constantly in fear that this nine to five lifestyle that I lead will forever be my fate.

I want to take my passion for writing and turn it into something – a tool to be used to live happily and impact others in a meaningful way.  I do not want to fail. The intangible abstract concept of failure nags at me, like an itch that refuses to be satisfied. It is the little voice in my head, never allowing me to risk it all.

Will I succeed? Will I fail? Do I have what it takes? What about competition? Where do I even start? Why is it taking so long? Can I really do this? These questions feed all of our fears, allowing them to grow into what seems like an unconquerable level. This fear makes us run to an easier more comfortable route.

For me the easy route equates to the “normal life”. The American Dream. It is the route that people understand and support. It is the route that is comfortable in its familiarity. When you look at everyone else living this way, you think ‘Oh, yes, this is safe. I know what this life holds.’ There is no heart ache in the beaten path. There is no failure or disappointment because you’ve never truly wanted it.

As children, we had so many things we wanted to accomplish and so many things that we wanted to be. The sky was the limit. The question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was full of possibilities and absolutely no doubt. We were certain we would be whatever we wanted to become. People would indulge us because we were young and believed we didn’t know any better. “You can do anything you put your mind to”, they said.

But as we grew up, people changed their stance. They started telling us that the ‘reality’ of your big dream happening did not exist. There was no reality in the universe, where you could live your passion comfortably.

“You can be anything, as long as it fits the set mold and makes you a comfortable living”, they now say. When people you love or respect or admire tell you something like this (anything really), you believe them. The fear of never having what you love is being externally reinforced by those whose opinions matter most. It is casting a gloomy shadow of doubt over our passions, again and again.

This fear is so reinforced, we have been brain washed into believing we need to have a plan. They make you believe if you have a plan, you are guaranteed to succeed, guaranteed to be happy.

What kind of stupid, silly idea is that? The only guarantee, that anyone can guarantee, is that there are no guarantees. As you read this, there is no guarantee that you will wake up tomorrow morning, even though you plan to. Plans are just that, plans. They are ever changing due to circumstance.

But here we are scared. Selling our happiness to buy the idea of impossibility and the easier route. Taunted by our own inner fears of failure and self doubt. Petrified of pursuing the things that we are truly passionate about and love. The very things that could have us waking up every morning with satisfaction and thrill, instead of with dread and torment.

We need to rewash our brains to realize there is no ‘one size fits all’ way to live life. We need to stop buying this cheap, overused, cliche, unoriginal, not guaranteed at all idea that they are forever selling us.

Because if you love something to the point that you are afraid to even pursue it, it means you are fortunate enough to have found something magical that most people will never get to experience. And, it is entirely up to you whether or not you take the chance.

Also, take some time to recognize failure is okay. It is not a monster, who will throw your dreams into oblivion where it will forever be lost. Failures are small bumps in the road that can be overcome instantly, the moment you try again. They are temporary.

Your passion is an enduring desire that will never be forgotten. So take risks now, while you can. Your passion and love is waiting there, it may even be within your grasp in a day, a week, a year. It is still what your future could be, if you take the chance.

Because when you’re old and wrinkled, you will be running to day dreams of what could have been. Thinking about all of the things you should have done. Regret is a bitter taste that will never leave.

Don’t let the dreams that still could be, turn into what could have been.


© 2016, Asian on the Outside, All Rights Reserved

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