It’s funny how life sometimes is so full of coincidences. It could make you believe in a galactic plan sometimes. Well just for a brief moment that is…
I just had to realise, that my dream job here at the Costa Del Sol [mfn] still waiting for the Sol to come out and play too by the way[/mfn] wasn’t entirely what I was envisioning.
In addition to that; I just subscribed to a writers newsletter the other day and as I came to the conclusion I might have to let go of the said dream, he published ¨Why Some Dreams Should Not Be Pursued”. I decided to not read it until I made my decision though.
Now that I have quit my job and given myself some additional time to reflect, I wanted to explore the nature of Life-Dreams a bit more.
The thing that hit me the most about my decision is actually, I felt like a failure. Here it is. I finally moved to a warm country and have managed to get the job that leads me to the job I really want and I go ahead and quit. My only shot of making my dream come true.
But who am I kidding? It is definitely not my only shot. After sitting down and looking at my options, Hass and I found at least 3 very good options on how to get to roughly the same point in life over different pathways. But we are so conditioned to make our dreams come true, that when you are in the situation where you could grab that golden apple, you are forced to as well. No matter what that apple is immersed in. To make the decision, you don’t grab it now, because it is covered with poisonous snakes and you hate snakes and poison, even more, is not a valid excuse.
It is then like you gave up, maybe didn’t work hard enough, in the apple situation probably were not dedicated enough… The thought that it isn’t the right moment and there are more ways of getting what you dream of is considered as weak and it should make you feel like a failure. After all, commercials, billboards, tv-series, self-help tribes and your friends all tell you, that there is no higher goal in life than to archive your dreams by all means necessary.
Of course, during the last weeks, I looked for a reality check with friends. I am not making a decision like this lightly and even as I made the decision I had waved and quit the day after instead.
Asking friends for their opinion out of the perspective of someone that has a) the emotional distance to the situation and b) has a different mindset and experience base is healthy at times. They come up with things you don’t realise about yourself or you have interpreted differently based on your experience.
What I didn’t count on was, that after all these years, some sentences can feed your insecurity rather than help you get things in perspective.
From all the good advice I got, one question actually stuck with me the longest though; “Aren’t you simply running away from something that seems just a bit difficult?”
At that point, I actually had made my decision already. I had the feeling that I was standing up for myself and the things I wanted in life and then… then that sentence entered my head, played up with my insecurity and mutated in my head: “Aren’t you simply running away from something that seems just a bit difficult? You just have that one shot. You will never get your dreams when you are not dedicated enough. You are a failure when you quit now. Just keep your head down. Its just one year. Two at most. What is this little amount of time compared to the big picture?……”
Soul-searching can be very confusing and painful at times, but I came – as so often before in my life – to the same conclusion: The day-to-day is more important and is what makes your dream work.
Funny enough, Mark Manson makes exactly the same point in his article. He talks about fantasising most of his life of being a rock star, but not being in love with what it means to be a rock star under the bottom line:
I’m in love with the result — the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, putting everything I have into what I’m playing — but I’m not in love with the process. – Mark Manson
I always believed that travelling is the best part of travelling. Not the destination. That’s the cherry on the cupcake. But the actual getting from A to B and seeing the things you wouldn’t have seen, if teleportation would have been invented. The quirky and lovely things and people and sights that happen to you whilst you are busy getting somewhere; have been always the things that made travelling desirable for me. Maybe also the ability to spontaneous take a different route and still getting where I wanted to go, just a bit richer on experience than I would have been otherwise.
And people should apply this philosophy to a few aspects of life and especially to their dreams.
Is it really amazing being that big rock star, when you hate travelling, being touched and talked to by strangers and bloody fingers from relentlessly practising that one riff to make it perfect?
Would I really become a better instructor if I just keep my head down and work in an environment I don’t feel comfortable with? What would my dream be worth after doing this for a year, maybe two?! I am living now, so I have to be happy with what I am doing now.
I lost sight of what I usually tell my friends when they come to me for advice. It’s good to have a dream, so you have a direction, but the path is the actual goal and very likely the thing that should make you happy. ((I should listen to my own advice sometimes))
Fall in love with the process, not the result – If your job is drudgery now, then there’s no reason to suspect it won’t still be drudgery when you make partner or when you’re managing your own division. We live in a results-based society, and unfortunately this gets most of us (70% by some surveys) into the wrong pursuits and career paths. – Mark Manson
I have had a diving internship before and I worked briefly at a dive centre in Holland. I did not have illusions on how hard they work is and how much responsibility I would have as I started the IDC Internship. I know it’s a tourist environment, it comes with unstable hours, hard physical labour, constant smiles ((whether you feel like it or not)), ad-hock decisions based on so many different factors and the weather and many other uncomfortable attributes. I am alright with that path. So the dream is not dead anyhow.
What I had forgotten about as I started out, with star-filled eyed and full of enthusiasm was; it is an industry run like the wild west. I still needed to guard myself, the same way I would have to in any other job. Just because it is my dream, it doesn’t make it any less a cut-throat business if you don’t watch your back. It is still a job. And norms and values that are normal for the industry do not necessarily have to be norms and values that I want to obey and make normal for me.
This was then not a match, but I am definitely not a failure. I just have figured out one more way, that doesn’t suit me. ((as Hass would say in the spirit of Thomas A. Edison: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that don’t work.”))