Many times we wait for permission from some authority figure to tell us that we’re good to go to start a project, or work towards our dreams. In reality, we’re really looking for validation. While I will be the first to admit that validation makes me feel all awesome inside and reminds me that my work matters, and that external approval is really what we’re all after most of the time, it doesn’t mean that it is necessary.
It is not necessary because no matter what your dreams are- whether they are to rule the universe or to just live a quiet, simply life – your dreams matter. They matter because they are your dreams. Whether you want to be a baker or a banker, a civil engineer or construction worker, an artist or an astronaut, your dreams are important. While you might be thinking that there are no objective reason why you should follow your dream, I say that there is. That reason is that you’ll be happier.
By being happier, you’ll make the world a better place. Seriously. I will thank you for it.
If you are grumpy and hating your work, you’ll be a big downer for other around you. No one likes the constant pessimist/whiner/griper. While I acknowledge the benefits of venting and being allowed to complain (which we all should at times), dwelling on what is not working is like dragging a raincloud around with you that gets water on the floor and makes people’s socks mushy – not fun at all, and people will ask you to leave. By following your dreams, you’ll be much happier and that will pass on to the rest of the world.
If you are happy and totally crazy in love with what you do, it will show, and it will affect how you do your work. If you love to paint zombies, your zombie paintings are going to be much more awesome than if you painted flowers or puppies. Your work will appeal to other zombie fans and they will be happier because of it. If they are happier, they’ll spread the happiness through their work, and so on and so on. Happiness is contagious, so unleash the happiness plague by doing the work you love.
Don’t wait for others to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. If you have something to contribute to the world, then do it. If your heart says make a zine, then make one. If your heart says go into corporate law, then start studying for the LSAT. If your heart says you should travel to Australia to nurse sick wombats back to health, start shopping for plane tickets (and please send me your photos – I love wombats). Know that your dreams matter, put aside all that bragging and looking for validation, and go out and make the world a happier place.