19 Reasons To Ignore Everybody And Follow Your Dreams
As I spread the word about my current plans to do a round the world trip, I’ve started to get some feedback regarding this “unconventional” travel style and its destinations.
(Update: I’ve already spent over 3,000 days traveling around the world! Best thing I’ve done… following this dream.)
In general, most people have been very positive and supportive of it, but there have been a few naysayers that have made me think for a second; “what am I doing?”
But, only for a second.
It’s not all bad to get the “gatekeeper’s” perspective when you tell them you’re about to follow your dreams. An outside opinion can help put some perspective, but we must be smart and know how to separate constructive criticism from negativity.
I’m all in for constructive criticism, but I’m not going to let other people’s negativity stop me from following my dream.
Too many times I’ve experienced this situation.
Before setting on my first solo backpacking trip to Thailand, I got so much negative feedback about the fact that I was traveling alone to a “dangerous” country and that I was “wasting” the little money I had by going there.
I was, and still am too stubborn to let that stop me. When I set my mind to doing something… I do it!
Following my dream…
In the end, I went to Thailand and experienced one of the most important turning points in my life that made me realize world travel is something I’m truly passionate about.
Traveling the world long term is a dream I want to follow.
Doing a round the world trip has been on the back of my mind for over 10 years and I feel now is the time I can properly do it and enjoy it. So, I’m not letting anyone make me from doing it.
Update: I followed my dream and have now traveled to over 138 countries in the last 9 years. Below I share why and how to follow your dreams.
Now, in response to what naysayers, gatekeepers, or anyone might say to keep you from dreaming, I want to share 19 reasons why you should ignore everyone and follow your dreams:
1. The only “yes” you need to follow your dreams is yours.
2. You’ll regret it later in life, and if you’re delaying it, you’ll question yourself why didn’t you do it sooner.
3. Not following your dreams makes you feel unaccomplished. Eventually, this will stop you from dreaming altogether.
4. It will attract some attention, even from the naysayers and haters. You will feel strong as you prove the naysayers wrong. As Walter Bagehot said; “The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”
5. People who follow their dreams are doers. Doers have more power to create, influence, and change their environment… and eventually the world.
6. Life feels more memorable; hence you feel and become more memorable.
7. Following your dreams might take unexpected turns, but those are the exciting and memorable challenges of living the dream.
8. Those challenges will help you grow as they make you step out of your comfort zone.
9. Dreams make you take chances, but chances can bring more opportunities.
10. Afraid of it? Good. Being afraid makes you feel more alive, so smash through that brick wall of fear. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Elbert Hubbard once said, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
11. Your dreams and your actions define you. Don’t let others define you with what they tell you to do and not to.
12. You will inspire others to follow their dreams, even if they know nothing about you.
13. Following your dreams makes you interesting.
14. Who doesn’t love to challenge the status quo?
15. There are no rules in life so why limit yourself to what everybody else is doing?
16. Accomplishing your dreams will spark even bigger dreams. (Following this dream made me realize an even greater one: I became location independent! Learn more about it here.)
17. You feel you have something more to live for.
18. Even if your dreams fail, you’ll feel proud you gave it your all to accomplish them. Dreamers fail now and then, but they also learn more in life. You learn from failure. So, dust yourself off and try it again.
19. It’s your life, live it under your terms!
It is up to you to live your dreams. For now, I’m going to continue
to plan living my round the world trip and following my dreams.
What dreams are you following or want to follow?
Update: It’s now been more than nine years since I left NYC to travel the world, and I’m still traveling long term thanks to my passion and desire to make this dream happen.
I wrote about the reasons why I quit my job, about my fears of quitting my job and how I overcame them, and the steps I took to pursue this dream of traveling the world.
These may not be the exact feelings, fears, and steps you may need to take, but it could help reading how other people went through this process.
You can take what you think resonates and works for you, and turn it into your own process to build a plan to reach that dream of yours.
Lastly, I want to add a resource I read before starting my trip that genuinely inspired me to push forward, and still does to this day. It’s a book by Chris Guillebeau called The Art of Non-Conformity. It elaborates on the same 19 reasons listed above and much more! Worth a read!
Never stop… keep following your dreams!