Follow your dreams...
Spend 2 minutes on the internet looking for motivational stories, videos, or quotes about "life" or "following your dreams", and you will quickly find endless sources. I've personally watched countless videos, read books, listened to podcasts, attended seminars and been a part of think tank groups to discuss the topic of helping people "follow their dreams". It usually goes with some type of catchy quote about "letting go of the bow lines", or having the courage to "sail off into the unknown" to help encourage us to forget our fears and to "go for it!".
Here's what I learned about myself and believe might be part of the reason people don't pursue their dreams in life. They aren't sure what their dream is! I can't think of the last time I met someone who absolutely knew what they wanted to do in life, and yet they were sitting on the sidelines doing something else. It wasn't because they were afraid of failure, or accepting a less fulfilling life. They (like me) didn't have a clear picture of their passions. They didn't lack motivation or work ethic to accomplish their goals, they simply didn't have a clear single passion to follow.
And here's the message for everyone out there that is still searching for their dream life while doing some other job in the interim. It's OK!!! Don't panic. You're not doing a bad job. Think about your alternatives; you either sit around and do nothing, or you go all in with all your talent, time, and resources towards a life goal that you never really believed was your own true passion. Searching for your life's passion is a HUGE task. I'm over 40 years old and still not 100% sure what I want to do when I grow up. I commend you for being an active contributor to society. I applaud your positive attitude, your work ethic and pride in the job that you have currently. Do it to the best of your ability. It doesn't have to be what you are going to do forever, but you are doing it now. And HOW you do your current job says a lot about you. If you're in an entry level, "boring", mundane position so that you can pay your own bills and not rely on others, do it with excellence. Think of it as the building block to the next step in your life. If you wait around for your "dream job" or "true passion" in life, you may be waiting forever. Just get out and DO SOMETHING. It won't take away from your ability to pursue your passions. The only failure as I see it, is being uncertain about what you want to do, so you do nothing. Attack life with enthusiasm. Wake up each morning grateful for the opportunity to work, to pursue your passions, and to change directions if you want. A happy life isn't finally landing a 'dream job' that is aligned with your passions, it's about finding your passions in every job you have.
It's ok to be lost or unsure about what you want to do in life. Deep down I believe most people are. The secret is to contribute to society in any capacity, change when you want to pursue a new passion or when your current path becomes unhealthy. So stop just telling people to "forget their fears", or "follow their dreams" as if people know what they want and are too afraid to pursue it. For me, life hasn't been incredible so far becasue I found my passion or know exactly what I'm meant to do with myself. My life has been blessed because I was naive enough to be extremely happy with whatever I was doing at the time, changing when life offered a different direction, and looking for the best in myself and in others wherever I was. That has been the difference.