So we've all heard it a million times, "Follow your heart, dream big, make it happen!", "Be the girl who decided to go for it!", and so on. Growing up I always thought that in order to become successful you have to choose one thing and stick with it. Like so many others I believed that going after your dreams meant completely devoting yourself to that one special thing, and that straying away from that chosen path was a sign of weakness and lack of determination.
While it's true that you have to start early and spend a lot of time practicing in order to become a professional violinist or ballerina (which was one of my dreams) I've recently shifted my perspective a little. I've started thinking that maybe having only one ultimate dream isn't the only way to chase your truest calling, maybe trying out a few different career paths in life might not be so bad after all.
I've been thinking a lot about the concept of success this past year. Or, to be completely honest, I've been totally obsessed about it. I've listened to podcasts, read books and watched all seasons of Shark Tank, and Dragons Den, the Canadian and the UK version...
I wonder if I've always been so focused on the concept of becoming successful? Or is it this culture that has made me think about it so much?
Anyways, the reason for all this pondering and wondering is because the last year I've gone through a bit of a crisis-ish phase. Last Summer I graduated with an MA in choreography and stepped out into the world feeling quite lost and confused about what my next step in life should be.
Not something I was expecting at the age of almost *cringe* 30.
But, as I've had time to process these thoughts during this last year, the idea that I would only devote my life to pursue one dream seems crazy! Who ever said it's better to stick to one Big Dream when you could have many smaller ones instead?
I made the decision to pursue dancing as a career at the age of 16, an age when I was still listening to Avril Lavigne... Needless to say my taste in music has changed quite a bit, so why wouldn't I allow my dreams to change too?
While the idea of trying to find your one true passion is a concept that I fully support, I think it can also put an awful amount of pressure on a person. If you have to choose just one thing to devote your entire life trying to achieve, it puts a heck of a lot of pressure on that ONE decision.
Plus, while being so focused on the end goal, you might miss opportunities and shiny new things that are right in front of you.
So, instead of focusing on the long term dream, why not focus on a short term dream?
Chances are that your short term goal will lead to the next one, and the next one, and the next one... And there goes confusion out the window, without having to get all panicky about having to determine the rest of your life in one daunting big decision.
For me those short term dreams have led me to set up my knitwear line, without any real experience of doing such a thing, and getting really serious about sharing my photography online. Both are things I've always really enjoyed but never allowed myself to truly explore before. All due to the fear that it would distract me from my one true path.
At the moment I'm working on a project as a choreographer, I'm getting orders in my knitwear shop and creating pictures almost every day. I'm not sure where all these things will lead me to. But, for now I'm focused on the smaller picture and letting the bigger picture unfold as I try to live in the present moment.
The control freak side of me is terrified, but the curious wild child side of me is celebrating this uncertainty.
Abandon the long term plan I say, and enjoy that you are alive today!
What short term dreams are you working on at the moment?