How to Pursue Your Dream ... even when you don't know what it is

9:33:00 AM Laura at Fantastically Four 0 Comments

I wrote this little post five years ago! Rediscovering it today was actually so encouraging. (Isn't it nice when you can give yourself good advice?) If you're ready to embark on a new direction in life, but you could use a little direction or encouragement, here are a few thoughts just for you.

For the Dreamer with a Free Spirit

I've always admired those people who have a singular passion and pursued it tirelessly until they achieved their dreams. Having that kind of vision seems like a luxury. But recently, I've realized that not knowing what you want out of life doesn't have to be a disadvantage.

For those of us whose dreams change with each new season, we can feel a little lost at times. What do I really want? What would make me happy? What can I do to share with, serve, and help others? What do I actually have talent for? These are questions I ask all the time. I imagine the life I could have lived in any number of glamorous vocations or ministries. It sometimes feels like there may be a perfect activity or hobby for me that would translate into a dream job, but I just haven't discovered it yet. And that's a frustrating feeling.

So what's a dreamer to do? First of all, pray. Seeking God and putting him first goes a long way in finding a path that feels right. Then, take a little action. God will speak to you through your pursuit and give you guidance, even on a very winding road.

It's ok to take advantage of your imaginative, free spirit. Having different interests and even going through phases will make you a well-rounded person who never stops growing and learning.

And when I catch myself daydreaming of becoming a florist, for example, I give myself a reality check. What would it be like to gain the education and design skills? How would it change my lifestyle? And if it does seem like a good fit, is there a way I can dip my toe in the pool without diving right in?

Of course, there are lots of free ways to explore a new interest without spending any money or even much time. You can...

  • Check out library books on the topic 
  • Read blog posts 
  • Search for You Tube videos
  • Take an online free course in the area of your interest
  • Try it out for yourself (unless it's too expensive...and if so, try borrowing supplies from a friend)
  • Most importantly: Ask questions of people who are already pros. If there is any way you can network with people in the field you're dreaming about, do it! See if you can arrange a job shadow or a lesson or two.
Finally, don't get caught up in dissatisfaction. Remember that your life as a whole will reflect your faith, values, and abilities, whether through family life, volunteering, serving at church, developing hobbies, or using your unique gifts (even at your currently imperfect job). You don't have to wait for your dream career to be a reality in order to make a difference in the world.


For the Trigger-Shy with a Passion

Maybe you are past dabbling, and are certain that you'd like to turn a hobby into a career. Let me encourage you to start pursuing it. There will always be obstacles to changing the direction of your life, but don't be discouraged. Take it one step at a time.

First, come up with a career plan and a series of goals to meet along your journey. The goals should be pretty small at first.

You may be able to achieve your dream without additional education or a loan, but if not, it will be worth the investment as long as you are committed. Take the leap. Make friends with people who already do what you'd like to do, and make friends with novices who have the same dream. Even if you're learning from the best, interpret their instructions according to your own goals. Everyone brings something special to their work or ministry, and you will too.

Don't be afraid to pursue your passion, even if you know there are a series of mistakes in front of you. Learn from them and keep going! Everyone brings something special to their work or ministry, and you will too.

For the Discouraged

Maybe you've had a dream or two that didn't work out. Ok, you definitely have—we were all kids once with lofty dreams that may not have fit our skills. But you know yourself better now, and that's a serious advantage—in fact, knowing yourself and sharing your passion is what a career should be about. So surround yourself with encouraging people who will support your dream, and wait for the others to catch up. Someday everyone will be inspired by you.

And don't think that it's too late to try. No matter your age, you have plenty of years to make your dreams come true. Julia Child, one of my personal inspirations (even though I'm not a foodie), didn't take her first cooking class until she was 36. Martha Stewart, originally a stock broker, didn't start catering until she was 35. Stan Lee didn't start creating comic superheroes until he was 43. And Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't write her Little House books until she was in her 80s.

So have fun, make a difference, take a leap, and pursue what you love. It will be worth the investment and sacrifice to do something you were made for.


Good Reads

My Life in France by Julia Child
The Pursuit of Happyness by Christopher Gardner
Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher

Recommended Oils

Common Sense essential oil blend by Young Living
Inspiration essential oil blend by Young Living
Valor essential oil blend by Young Living
Valor II essential oil blend by Young Living

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All information on a drop of lavender is informative in nature and not to be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor or medical professional, but I am passionate about aromatherapy and the safe use of essential oils.