I had a "life-defining" moment when I was 21.
I was living in Russia at the time, and my then boyfriend and a friend had come to visit.
We started talking about goals and life ambitions.
Up til then, I never thought I had a life’s ambition.
I thought it had passed me by... that it was something only other people had.
But as the three of us chatted, I suddenly had a ‘hallelujah’ moment:
“I’ve got it!” I cried.
“My life’s ambition is to go to every country in the world!”
[Like many people, I’ve always loved travelling - I was the kid who went on every camp and school trip... I stayed over at friends’ houses whenever I could... and I thrive on being on the road. I love coach travel, train trips, car journeys... you name it.]
I thought my "Eureka!" moment would be met with whoops and high fives.
Instead, my boyfriend and his friend burst out laughing.
They slapped the table, and wiped away tears of mirth.
“Go to every country in the world?!" they guffawed. "That's impossible! You’ll never do that!”
I realized two very important points at that moment:
1. Me and that particular boyfriend weren’t going to last long ;)
I never want to date someone who mocks or belittles my dreams.
2. No one has a right to tell you what you can and can’t do, when it comes to dreams and goals.
What gives them the right to judge your dream?
And even worse, to crush it?
See, I don’t care if my dream is realistic or not.
It’s mine, and thinking about it makes my heart sing.
So that night, I discovered an unshakable belief that I carry with me to this day:
We can all do anything we want to.
It's doesn't matter if it's difficult, or extreme.
It doesn't matter if you have to change course at times to fit in with life's twists and turns.
It is no one's place to tell you that your dream is “wrong”, or you can't do it.
Whether you want to run a marathon at 50... set up a dance studio in Buenos Aires... run for local office... or become an artist in your sixties...
It is no one's place to scoff at your dream.
What would they know about your life?
My plea to you...
Ignore the judgers, and the naysayers.
It’s easy to criticize from the sidelines.
It’s harder (but more rewarding) to get up in the ring.
Have big, bold, powerful, wonderful dreams.
Dream big, and crazy (if you want!).
Embrace the dreams that make you feel alive.
There are enough people out there who will tell you "it can't be done".
Be one of the few who believe that dreams CAN happen.
Write that first chaper. Sign up for that art class. Join a marathon-training group. Take a class in Spanish, or Korean, or Italian... ready for that trip you want to take.
We have our whole lives ahead of us.
Why not spend it going after your dream?
To sum up...
I might not make it to every country in the world... and that's okay.
But I'm going to give it a damn good try.
Because being in pursuit of something that brings me joy and a sense of accomplishment is what life's all about.
And if I do make it?
Well, I'll be sure to send a picture to my ex-boyfriend and our friend in my last country... with my middle finger up, and a big smile on my face :)
So I want to end by saying: screw the dream-crushers ;)
And let me know if you need any help or encouragement with your dream or goal!
PS - now over to you... what is YOUR dream or lifelong ambition? (if you have one - it’s not compulsory!)
Has anyone tried to crush your dream, or tell you its stupid? What did you say to them?!