Why We Don't Pursue Our Dreams

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I took a taxi the other day. "You know, I've always wanted to be a writer," said the cab driver to me. "I had this amazing idea for a book, it could have been a bestseller!" he added emphatically.

"Did you ever write it?" I asked.

"Oh, no," he responded, off handedly.

"Did you ever take the time to write anything?" I asked gently.

"Well, no," he said finally, this time, a little more quietly.

why_we_do_not_pursue_our_dreamsBooks never written. Songs never sang. Dreams never realized.  What's most unfortunate is that just like that cab driver, most of us  don't even try.

My Story

Until just a few years ago, I was no exception. I had all these dreams and hopes, and I was doing absolutely nothing about them.

It was too unrealistic. I was far too busy. "Maybe, later, when the time is right," I kept telling myself.

Just like the taxi driver, I would imagine that had I pursued my dreams, the results would be magnificent! I would be a famous singer. A best-selling author. A Hollywood star – if only I had the time…

Three years ago, I finally decided to give myself permission to do what I've always wanted to: I signed up for singing lessons and started to write.

As I delved into singing and writing, I watched my entire life transform. I became more alive. I found myself jumping out of bed every morning, eager to start the day. I had more energy and became noticeably happier.

The difference that pursuing my dreams made to my life was nothing short of astonishing.

Why we don't pursue our dreams

This got me thinking, why did it take me so long to get started? And what is stopping everyone else from following their own dreams?

After talking to many other people, I realized that  underlying our inaction is the very greatness of our dreams.

How do you even start to write a best-selling book? How do you go from someone who has never been on stage, to a famous Hollywood star? How do you start a multi-million corporation if you never as much as run a lemonade stand?

It's so overwhelming that we have no idea where to start.  And when we don't start, nothing happens.  

How To Get Started  

Our dreams are huge. They are larger than life. In our dreams, we are rich and famous. We live in huge homes and ride fancy cars.

In our dreams, our biggest problem is how to hide from all the paparazzi.

But let's take a moment and see what really matters here.  As alluring as they may be, wealth and fame are not the point. Even if you had all the money in the world, you would still have to do something with  yourself.

And when it comes to our happiness, the number of thing that matter is  how we spend our time.  The good news is that we don't need wealth or fame to start using our time better.

If you want to be an actor, then  acting  is the heart of the matter. Whether you are playing a role for the next big blockbuster or at your local theater, you are still acting.

If you want to be a writer, then writing is what really important. Open up your favorite editor and start writing.  Want to be a singer? Consider taking singing classes or join a local choir.

Figure out the smallest, least intimidating step you can take that will bring you closer to actually  doing  what it is that you want to do.

Another advantage of starting small is that it doesn't drain all of our time and money. When we start small, we make our dreams realistic!

Break down your passion into small, manageable steps, so that you can get started.


But what about the rewards? The fame and the wealth? In time, as you learn and practice, you will become an expert. And then, you will be able to make a living from your passion, and can spend even more time doing what you love.

Let your journey begin!

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About the author

Maya Ackerman

Maya Ackerman, PhD. is a writer, researcher, and singer. Check out her latest book, Work for Love, where she will show you how to discover your passion and pursue your dream job. Don't forget to visit her blog at and get a copy of her free e-book Hacking Happiness.