Saturday, October 16, 2010

Start taking your dreams very, very seriously

I've decided to buy myself a really freakin' nice camera for Valentine's Day.

Why? Because I've also decided to start taking my dreams very, very seriously.

I've realized that dreams I never act on will always remain dreams. If I let obstacles — real or imagined — stand in the way of my dreams, I'll end up staying right where I am, wondering what would have happened if I'd acted.

Once I decide to act, a dream becomes a goal. A goal, when reached, becomes a reality.

Ben Davis once weighed 360 pounds and was deeply unhappy with his life. Check out his new reality — please watch the whole thing, get really emotional and then vow to take your dreams seriously:

A very good thing to remember: "If you want to do it, all you have to do is do it."

The obstacles I face in acting on my dream to take up photography as a serious hobby are mostly imagined. I wrote that I feel paralyzing self-doubt when I think that I might not be good at it, that other people will always be better and that it's too late for me to master a new skill.

The funny thing is that real obstacles, like not having enough money to buy a nice camera or enough time to practice taking photos, aren't the issue here. I have enough money. I have plenty of free time on the weekends. The fact that the biggest obstacles exist only in my head is an interesting realization.

I find that when I dream of something, whether it's running a marathon or traveling around the world, I almost immediately start thinking, "But... [I'll never have enough endurance] [I'll never have enough time/money/bravery]." I can be too practical and too realistic. The "But..." comes all too quickly for me.

Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." If I accept my self-doubts as reality, they'll become reality. If I choose to overcome them, I will.

It all starts with taking my dreams seriously. Instead of thinking about all the reasons why I can't do something and letting them stop me from accomplishing anything, I can look for ways to conquer them. In the case of learning photography, I can simply believe in myself. Having other people believe in me, like the people who left nice comments on Facebook about my previous post and who emailed words of encouragement, also helps.

I also do really well with having set goals. My goal to buy a nice camera for Valentine's Day has nothing to do with the issue of money, but more with the idea of making it really special for myself. I don't want to just decide to take up photography, immediately spend a bunch of money on a camera and then take it for granted. I want to plan for it, look forward to it and really appreciate it when the time comes.

In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin writes, "Because money permits a constant stream of luxuries and indulgences, it can take away their savor, and by permitting instant gratification, money shortcuts the happiness of anticipation. Scrimping, saving, imagining, planning, hoping — these stages enlarge the happiness we feel."

Also, I've decided to forgo a new laptop for a while. When I got my laptop "fixed" (it was never really broken...), a new laptop went from being a "need" to a "want." I want a nice camera more than I want or need a new laptop. I could have both, I suppose, but that just seems excessive. It's fun to have smarter, better, faster and stronger things, but the satisfaction of getting use out of something that's still useful is fun for me, too (see: periwinkle minivan, 17 years old and going strong).

As for the Valentine's Day timeline, that's just so I can have something to look forward to on Valentine's Day (sounds sad when I type it, but I assure you, it's not). I'm on an open-ended, self-imposed dating hiatus, which will have to be explained in a different post, since the long-story-short version is still a long story. I'm quite happy with the single life, so I won't mind spending V-Day alone, but it'll be even sweeter with a new, badass camera in my hands.

And what better day to start pursuing a "passion" than Valentine's Day? : )

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...