If you can dream it, you can do it. – Walt Disney
A person is only as big as the dream they dare to live.
If you haven’t felt like quitting, your dreams aren’t big enough.
If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.
Turn your dream into reality.
We have heard many of these kinds of motivational statements. Maybe you tell yourself something like this on a regular basis. Do you have a dream? What is the one thing you would do for the rest of your life if you had the opportunity? Do you know what your passion is? Perhaps it is art, or community service, or travel, or a particular career path. Not everyone wants to make their passion into their career, but it can be a very satisfying option.
Today, I want to give you a simple bit of encouragement on how to live out your dreams. Other writers like Leo Babauta or Jonathan Mead can help you with the specifics of getting paid to do the work you love, but I want to help you begin the process to actually living out your passion.
Back in 2011, I wrote a quick post called Don’t Let Your Dreams Be Dreams. The key idea of this short little post is here:
I think it takes a dream to create a vision, and it takes a vision to clarify our purpose, and that purpose spurs us on to action. In other words, a big idea should generate small actions that turn our dreams into reality.
If all we do is focus on that big dream, it will remain a fantasy. And fantasies never got anything done. You need to get that dream clear in your mind, of course. You can’t figure out what you need to do to fulfill your dream if you don’t have a crystal clear idea of what that dream is.
Once you have the dream clear in your mind, you will understand why you want to live that dream. Knowing why helps us to understand how. And once you know how, you can DO.
Let’s say you want to have your nature photography featured in an art gallery. You have decided that you want this because you want to share the beautiful places you’ve seen. Maybe your passion for travel has kindled a desire to help others want to do the same. I’ll just focus on the actual process of making the art for this post. Because without the art, you won’t have anything to share, correct?
If you want to have photography to share, you have to make photos. It’s simple. And I won’t suggest that you surf the net looking for photos to be inspired. You need to go out and make your own. Simple steps to making photos:
1. Get a camera – too easy, right? But how often do we say, “Someday, I will…”? Go out and get the camera. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You may even have one. If you have a smartphone, you probably have a camera! Do you use it?
2. Shoot photos – again, obvious. But if you don’t practice, you won’t get better, or discover what you really like to shoot. You have to perfect your passion. Practice…a LOT.
3. Share your passion – this is critical if you want to be paid for your passion. If it’s just a hobby, it is still really helpful for honing your skills. You will learn what others enjoy about your work, and you will see what people respond to. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but you will learn so much from others with similar passions and dreams. Sharing what you do is a great way to determine if you are on the right path. Your joy and love for what you do should show in your work, and people will respond to that.
So, put very simply: acquire the means to live your dream, practice the dream, and share the dream.