Given the choice between pursuing a dream career and continuing a life of grindstone existence, most people opt for the grindstone existence. They tolerate abusive bosses, lousy working conditions, and boring, dead-end jobs simply because finding a better job takes time and energy. Moreover, pursuing a career dream requires change and risk-taking. Most people find it easier to stay with the familiar, even if the familiar offers extreme boredom and drudgery. If you aren't pursuing your career dreams today, you are setting yourself up for much disappointment and many regrets later in life.
Not having followed their career dreams is usually one of the biggest regrets people have later in life.
It may surprise you, or even pain you, to find out that many people, after having attained fame and fortune, regret having devoted all their life energy to getting there.
Take, for example, George Soros, the famous currency speculator. Using his financial savvy, Soros amassed a fortune that has been estimated by Forbes to be over $8.5 billion. Yet he claims he would trade it all for a chance to have achieved his dream career. Being a philosopher - not making money – has always been his real passion.
The fascinating aspect of this is that the experience of George Soros is not uncommon.
Countless people have worked hard, accumulated a substantial amount of money, and concluded that it wasn't worth it.
They realized that with less money, they would only have given up things they didn't want or need anyway.
What's more, they realized that they would have enjoyed themselves more along the way had they worked at something they enjoy.
You probably have dreams that you want to pursue and skills and talents that you would like to utilize somewhere in your work.
You may have suppressed these skills and talents for years and years because you have become too obsessed with being successful in the traditional sense of the word.
This means making as much money as possible, in the shortest period of time.
Perhaps you realize that you can have a more meaningful, more fulfilling, and happier existence only if you make important changes in your life.
All along however, you have put off making a change because you are waiting for the perfect moment, with the right conditions.
Clearly, there is no perfect moment. Waiting for things to get better will ensure that they don't get better.
To wish your life away in anticipation of living some long-awaited dream sometime in the distant future is to do yourself a great disservice.
That future may never come - and in the event that it doesn't, you will never get satisfaction from the things that you intended to accomplish.
Clearly, whether your vocational dreams include fame, creative accomplishment, or adventure, today is the time to start working toward those dreams.
You may have worked yourself up the ladder from nurse to the head administrator of New York's biggest hospital, for example, only to realize that you would rather live in a loft in SoHo and make a living as an artist.
Alternatively, you may be working sixteen hours a day repairing safety helmets for an environmental corporation when deep down you want to be like your writer friends who are part of the Starbucks' laptop-and-cappuccino crowd.
Whatever you think intuitively that you should be doing, you should give it some serious consideration and explore the possibilities.
Your work should be the principal expression for your mind and creative talent.
You can put your purpose, talents, character, and dreams into a career in many ways if you use your imagination.
Many options and opportunities await you, provided you look for them.
Only you can determine what you specifically want, however, and only you can put yourself in the right direction toward getting it.
In the words of American poet Walt Whitman, "Not I – not anyone else - can travel that road for you. You must travel it for yourself."
When choosing a new career, you must make every effort possible to select one that is right for you. "Do not put your spoon into the pot that doesn't boil for you," advises a Romanian proverb.
Your pot will boil for you when your career allows you to pursue some important purpose that can make a difference in this world.
A proper career should also allow you to utilize the special talents that you want to use.
To really work for you, your career should be compatible with your character and the lifestyle you would like to lead.
Career dreams do come true for people, but only for self-confident individuals who constantly focus and work on them. Look around, and you will see many individuals living their vocational dreams.
People have turned their hobbies into part-time businesses that have eventually become multimillion dollar businesses.
Others have given up careers for which they have been highly educated to pursue careers for which they had no education.
Despite this disadvantage, they have been able to turn their dreams into realities and create abundance in their lives.
Long ago, you may have decided that your heart's desire was to be a criminal lawyer, for example, but now you realize that you really need something with a little more meaning.
The idea is to always work at something that makes a difference, to do the things you enjoy, and to use your most cherished talents.
It is never too late for a career change - the best time to pursue your dream career is twenty years ago and today.
Whatever you would like to do, you must set in motion the forces that will get you there.
The longer you put off pursuing your dream of a fulfilling career, the more time becomes your enemy.
Time will steal your vocational dreams if you keep waiting for the right moment.
You can always create more money - but you can never - create more time.
" Years from now, as you reflect upon your life, you don't want to regret not having earned your living by singing, designing software, working with children, building things with your hands, traveling to new cities, or inspiring others to new heights.
It may hurt a little to realize that you have only dreamed about the interesting life filled with spontaneity and creativity.
It will probably hurt a lot, in fact. Clearly, it's not what you become - but what you don't become that will hurt most in the end.