If You Read One Article About Following Your Dream, Read This One!
I have thought a lot over the weekend about what it means to follow your heart and go for your dream. Whatever that dream may be, it is never too late to move forward.
Several years ago, I read a profile of a woman in the now-defunct More Magazine. She reached her 50th birthday and was bemoaning the fact she never followed her heart and became a doctor. Her friend asked her why she didn’t just go back to school, then medical school and become a doctor now?
Her response? “I’ll be 58 years old by the time I’m finished!” Her friend just looked at her and said, “You’ll be 58 anyway. Do you want to be a 58 year old doctor, or a 58 year old woman still wishing she was a doctor?”
She applied to medical school, got in and is now a practicing physician.
It is never, ever too late. If there is something that has been burning inside you for years, maybe even decades, it is up to you to push forward and try.
Back in 2012, I started on the Couch to 5k program and eventually worked up to running 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I loved it! Then, our family had some extremely stressful things happen in 2014 and I stopped running. It was probably the WORST time to stop running, because my running could have and would have helped with the stress. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I should have pushed myself.
So, here I am two years later, starting the Couch to 5k program all over again with my son, Jackson. This is Week 3. I’m not strictly following the Couch to 5k program, so this morning, we ran for 2 minutes straight and walked 90 seconds. We alternated that for 22 minutes. Eventually, we’ll work up to 20 minutes, then 25 and finally 30.
My point about the running is that I asked my son how he was doing this morning after we finished and he said, “Fine. How about you?” I said, “I’m good. It was hard for me, but good. I pushed myself a little further than my comfort zone today and that’s good.” He said, “Me too. It wasn’t bad, but it was past what I thought I could do.”
And that’s what I remember about running to begin with and how running reminds me about life. When I first started running in 2012, I remember thinking, “I can’t even run 60 seconds without feeling like I’m going to die. How am I ever going to run 30 minutes?” But I did! Not only did I eventually run 30 minutes, but most Saturdays, I would get up and run for an hour. I pushed myself past what I had originally thought I could do. Each week, I go a little bit further toward getting where I want to be.
And that’s a great thing to remember about going for your dreams. It’s not that all of a sudden you’re going to reach your goals. It’s that every day, you will need to push yourself a little bit further outside your comfort zone toward your goal. Then one day, when you look back at where you started, you will be amazed how far you’ve come toward reaching that goal.
Like the doctor in the story above, don’t tell yourself you’re too old. Don’t tell yourself you can’t. Just set the goal, make a plan and get to work. Even if you’re just pushing yourself a little extra every day toward making it happen, you’re doing something.
The time is going to pass anyway.
Do you want to use that time to make your dreams come true or not?