Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Chase Your Dream

I don’t know what it is you dream of doing — quitting your full-time job, serving overseas, starting your own business, working for a particular non-profit, having a family, getting married, or something else entirely.

Dreams vary from person to person, but as I’ve talked to hundreds of people about their live and their dreams, I’ve found one thing doesn’t change.

We all have the same excuses.

It’s true. No matter the age, life stage, circumstances or practical realities of each individual I talk to, the reasons they’re waiting to go after what they really want are all the same—time, money and people. “I’m really busy, and don’t know where I would find the time to do something like that,” “I don’t have $10,000 laying around,” and “My wife/parents/sister/friends/kids would kill me!”

Time, money and people. These are the three basic obstacles getting in the way of our dreams.

The most interesting part about this to me — aside from the fact that I completely identify with these obstacles and wrestle with them everyday — is that, no matter how much time, money or freedom we gain in our lives, going after the life we dream about never seems to get any easier.

By that I mean, a sixteen year old who is accountable to her parents, who’s only responsibility is school, and who’s only source of income is the $10 she receives in allowance each week; and a 40-year-old high-powered executive who gets paid six figures a year and can’t remember the last time he had to ask his parents for permission — both have the same reason for waiting to chase their dream.

Time.
Money.
People.

Isn’t that strange to you?

Their circumstances are dramatically different, but the obstacles are still the same.

To me, this says a few things.

First, there will never be a better time to chase your dream.

If you’re in college, now is the best time in the whole world to chase your dream. You’ll never have more personal autonomy, more freedom, more opportunity at your fingertips.

Don’t wait. Please, don’t wait. You’ll regret it.

If you’re out of college, and married, now is the perfect time to chase your dream. Think about it. Before, you were alone. Now, you have someone to support you and give you feedback and be your biggest cheerleader. You have someone on your team.

Your spouse will be a tremendous asset to you as you chase your dreams.

If you have kids, there is no better time than now to chase your dreams. If they’re young, awesome. They’re still teachable. In fact, you might just bring them along for the ride. Think of what they’ll learn and experience watching mom and dad abandon everything to create a life of meaning.

So what if you can’t buy them fancy Christmas presents? Create experiences for them instead.

Second, this observation makes me realize how insignificant these obstacles actually are.

I’m not trying to trivialize our frustrations, so don’t hear that. But hear this: If a 16-year-old, with $10 a week as an allowance; and a 40 year old, with $200,000/year both complain of having no money; is there a chance it’s not the money that’s the problem?

Is there a chance it’s our perspective of money that is stopping us?

Here are two vastly different circumstances, both with the same perceived problem. Is it possible the “problem” isn’t as much of a problem as we thought it was?

Could it be in our heads?

The point is this: Don’t wait. Don’t wait to chase your dreams.

Don’t wait for obstacles to go away which don’t actually exist.

Don’t wait for it to get easier, or to make more sense. It won’t get easier. It will never make sense.

And don’t keep waiting for more money, more time, or more approval for others. Ask yourself where your money and time are going— if they’re spent on things that are valuable—and consider why you care so much about what others think in the first place.

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Allison Fallon

I write books. I help people write books. I believe a regular practice of writing can change your life.

23 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Chase Your Dream”

  1. When we tell people what we do … we live fulltime in our camper and we’re on a never-ending roadtrip…they sigh and say, “Oh, I’d love to do that too.” And I reply, “then DO IT and do it NOW!” And, just as you said – the excuses come flying out of their mouth.

    We didn’t wait until everything was lined up perfectly and we had all our ducks in a row. From personal experience, we know that life is too short and this is not a dress rehearsal.

    Guess what has happened! Doors of opportunity have flung open – all because we stepped out in faith, with a burning desire to do this and a belief that everything will be provided. And it has!

    Don’t wait. Don’t wait.

    Trisha

  2. Such great insights and encouragement here, Ally! So many wait until the perfect set of conditions arrive to start, but that perfect time will always remain elusive thus perpetuating the excuses for not starting..

  3. I read all your posts, but this one really spoke volumes to me. I am 14, but I am homeschooled and have big dreams. I am not going to let $100ish per month in babysitting money get in my way.

  4. Wow. Thank you for this. So simply and articulately put. I especially loved that you addressed spouses and families- so many times they seem like an obstacle but they can really be the hugest support system!

  5. You keep talking to right to me and I’m listening. I’m getting ready. I’m reading Packing Light now and I’m getting to the point where I can’t say no to the dream any longer.

  6. Wow, great post! You are so right, those three excuses are used across the board. If we wait for the perfect time, circumstances, etc. we’re never going to achieve any goal because the perfect life doesn’t exists. But a purposeful, intentional life can! Thanks for this great lesson!

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