You have to follow your own dreams in life, not the dreams that others have for you. Denying yourself to appease others is simply a waste of a life, if you ask me.
Now, I’m not going to lie, those statements are bold, and truth be told, I’m writing this more as a reminder to myself than anyone else.
Of course, this does not mean that you should live your life with blatant disregard for others, nor does it mean that you shouldn’t go out of your way to help others – hell, I’m a big believer in helping others to make your life even more fulfilling (ahem, Jump for Diabetes)- but, to ignore your own desire and dreams to please others is a waste.
No matter what you believe, if there is or isn’t something bigger and better waiting for us on the other side, it’s important to live in the here and now, as if this is all we’ve got. And, making the most of life is about following your dreams, living your passions, knowing when to say no, following that gut feeling that, if you’re truly honest with yourself, is usually right. Sometimes, this means letting go of one thing to let in another.
Only you can make your dreams come true. Only you can look out for your best interests all the time. Only you hold the key to living the life you believe in, that life you envision for yourself.
I’ve come to find, in my life anyway, that sometimes fear gets in the way of your dreams – sometimes that fear is simply letting someone down, sometimes it’s bigger, like losing an important aspect of your life. But the truth is, you have to trust in your gut. This is something that, as skydivers, we know all too well.
Jumping out of an airplane goes against everything your body is telling you is right. Falling is not comfortable for the human brain. Think about it, how many times have you woke from a dream with a start because of a vision of falling? Can you even count? I can’t.
It’s not natural. But, those of us who choose this path know in our gut that it’s the right thing for us, even when our bodies shoot out all kinds of signals that tell us to stop, this isn’t safe, it’s not natural.
A leap of faith, some would say, knowing that our training, our skills and those around us who we choose to jump with will keep us safe.
So why then, are there moments where simply disappointing someone in our lives can be such a scary thought that we’re willing to put our own dreams, our own wants, on the back burner in order to appease those close to us? Why is it that some decisions seem so difficult even though, deep down, we know exactly what path we want to take?
Tell me I’m not alone in this – I can’t be the only person out there who struggles with the balance between following my own dreams, living out the dreams others have for me and helping to make the dreams of those in my life come true.
It’s baby steps, I guess, to making the right decisions. It may not always be exactly what I want, or exactly what those in my life want, but it’s got to be for the greater good. Following gut feelings may disappoint others from time to time, but isn’t not following them an even greater disappointment to yourself?
Love and blue skies!
p.s. I think this song really captures some of these sentiments: