Following your dreams does not have to make the most amount of sense right away….it should eventually, but not right away.
What do I mean by that exactly?
Well, don’t be too quick to throw away all you inhibitions. This is not a call to abandon your impulse control but rather to encourage you to take calculated risks and believe in your own ability to be successful. I will use my experience as the prime example.
I traveled to South Korea for 2 months in June 2017. This was not a random adventure. I have been studying Korean independently for about two and a half years. Going to South Korea was designed to be the capstone of my study of the language. I planned on going to South Korea for some time and have thought about it seriously for at least a year before I ever booked a ticket. This is the rational, calculated side of following through on your dreams that I encourage everyone to exercise.
What did not make the most amount of sense to most people (except me) was the decision to study Korean. I had no direct relationship with the Korean peninsula. I enjoyed Korean movies and music and the culture was fascinating, but not enough to decide to learn the language. (That’s kind of like learning Chinese because you like Chinese food. The reasoning is there but it does not make much sense.)
Without going into too much detail, I decided long before I started learning Korean that I would become a polyglot (a person who speaks many languages) so learning my third language was inevitable. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to befriend a Korean family about 5 years ago. The personal motivation and reason was there and it was enough to keep me going. Learning Korean became somewhat obsessive.
Wherever your dreams take you, the most important thing to remember is the reason why you are passionate about it in the first place. The reason does not have to make sense to everyone, but it needs to make sense to you. It also has to be compelling enough to keep you going when following this dream becomes difficult. In addition, it needs to be attractive enough to keep you coming back when you need to take a break or get sidetracked.
After spending about 2 months in South Korea and about two and a half years studying Korean my interest in the Korean language and culture has blossomed into a viable business opportunity and network in South Korea. My journey of learning the language and traveling to the peninsula has introduced me to people and resources that I would otherwise have never known. There are opportunities for me to flourish professionally and personally that simply did not exists when I first started learning Korean as a hobby. What started out as just another hobby has turned into so much more and the same thing can happen for you!
Following your dreams will lead you to your own journey. I know it can be discouraging or confusing when your interests seem to contradict everything else that is going on in your life. Sometimes you might hear people tell you to stay focused and forget about all these “distractions”. Oftentimes, these people mean well but they do not see or understand your priorities. What looks like a “distraction” to them may be something of high importance to you.
It may not make sense to them yet and that’s okay. It may not make complete sense to you either and that’s also okay. What matter is that you have a clear idea of what you are passionate about and why. What’s more important is that you take steps toward those goals and with time things will start coming together.