With the new year just rolling in, now is a great time to reflect, refresh, and recreate your goals and visions for the future. These goals may range from work goals (earn a promotion, increase salary, or move on from a negative work environment), to relationship goals (spend more quality time together, communicate more clearly, or save money for that vacation you keep talking about).
These goals may also include your more lofty dreams and aspirations. Sometimes we are so worried about what others (even/especially those closest to us) might think of these dreams, we tend to not even share them. Why is this? I think most of it has to do with the fear of failure. We don’t want to put our goals and dreams out there for all to see, only to have them not pan out the way we’d like. We also don’t want to lay them out there, because we know that others may put them in a negative light. So instead, we tell ourselves we will pursue these dreams on our own and not show the world until we’ve conquered.
It is really unfortunate that the majority of us feel we have to do this! We should be putting our biggest goals and dreams out there in hopes that others will support and push us towards them along the way. We know not everyone in our lives will do that, but we should still encourage the criticism and critiques as well. We should want to know why others think we won’t fulfill our specific dreams, as they can sometimes point out things we are blinded to ourselves.
On top of the fear, we many times often feel a sense of guilt with some of our aspirations. We worry about putting ourselves first in our lives. We worry about the repercussions of chasing our own dreams. What will this mean for our loved ones? Will running after what I really want in life hurt my family in the meantime? Or what if chasing my dreams means quitting my steady job? I don’t want to let my coworkers down. While these are all very valid concerns that you’ll need to consider, you also must remind yourself of what is at stake. If you never pursue your dreams, will you always live with regret? Will that regret turn into resentment for the people or situations that held you back in one way or another?
Above all else, we should remember that life is short. It’s way too short to not be doing what you wish you could be. It’s way too short to not do what makes you happiest. And it’s way too short for fear and guilt of the unknown. If you ask a group of 85 year olds what their biggest regrets are most of them are going to tell you they regret not taking more chances in their lives. It may sound cliche, but it is also so true, life is too short to not be happy. Do what makes you happy (but also try to maintain some responsibility). After all, you don’t want to be 85 years old and have a lot of ‘what ifs’ still running through your mind. Embrace the precious present and see where this crazy life may take you.