So when did you sell out on your childhood dreams? Noticed I asked ‘when’ and not ‘if’. Well that is because I’ve run into so very few people that are living their dreams. What happen to us that this is so common now?
I’ll offer myself up as an example I could have chosen another path that was better in line with my creative side, but no I was practical instead and took an engineering degree. I chose it because I knew it was a more sellable degree that offered a higher and consistent income. Ironically I have done very little true engineering work during my career, perhaps a third of my career so far, but that doesn’t matter it still got me a steady pay cheque.
Yet why did I do it? I think perhaps because in our society we value financial security over happiness. Happiness is a nice ideal, but people are typically more driven to pick the choice that offers financial security. Yet is that security an illusion. If you don’t believe me ask any one of the thousands of auto workers that have been laid off recently. I’m fairly sure a year ago they thought their jobs were secure.
So why do we sell out if the security isn’t there? I think we do it because we want to take the easy way out. We want the arrangement of show up and do your work and we send you a cheque every two weeks or twice a month. To do what truly makes us happy would entail a lot of self examination and likely hard work to make that dream come true. Then after all that you wouldn’t even be sure how much you would be making. It would be a questionable investment of time for an unknown rate of return. We would be living on what we produced and none of us is sure enough of our talent to make that bet. Our self doubts haunt us so we take the easy way instead.
Yet how many of us are really suited for this whole slave away at a job we don’t like for pay cheque? What would happen if more of us took a risk on happiness? Would the world change or would every look the same except for a lot of happier people? I don’t know.
So what’s your story? What did you sell out for or are you one of the rare ones who are living your dreams? If you feel like sharing, leave a comment.