You know, I’ve always said in this blog that if you are a single young person, you just have to go for it and take the leap, after all, you don’t have any large bills yet nor a family to support.
Wait, so does that mean that if you’re slightly older and have a family to support you have to push the “eject” button on your dreams?
I don’t think following our dreams has any time nor age limit.
This year, I could easily single out 10 people whom I’ve talked to who more or less have told me:
“If I was only younger, I’d go for it.”
“If I didn’t have kids yet, this would be an easy choice.”
I’ve posted this video before, but in this context, you just have to view it again, this TED talk by economist Larry Smith.
(Go ahead, view it first. It’s a great talk. I’ll be waiting here.)
I found the whole talk SO compelling (the type of video which makes your heart beat faster if you’re thinking about the leap), but what I remember time and time again occurs when Smith depicts an imaginary conversation where a father talks to his son about the practicality of pursuing a dream. The kid asks the father for advice about pursuing a dream. Smith then muses the different responses the father would have. Including…
I had a dream once, kid…but you were born.
Smith goes on to expound…
Do you really want to use your family, do really want to look at your spouse and kid, and see your jailers?
You could have said, you could have looked at the kid and said, “Go for it kid, like I did.”
Will you be giving your children an excuse or an example?
I think all of us parents want the latter, right? We want our children to pursue their passions. So why don’t we give them the best example right at home?
I know, I know, it’s difficult. It’s not practical. It’s a steep, difficult climb.
But this is JUST like any other dream, right? No worthy dream is easy. Instead of the ball-and-chain we temptingly can ascribe our family to, they can just as easily be our biggest supporters and enablers. When I took the full-time startup leap, my wife just gave birth to my firstborn in the middle of the recession. You can bet I had sleepless nights thinking of practicality and risk. Knowing my wife was totally in my corner though, made it easier. Having a newborn kid made me work harder. Along with God, they were my inspiration.
I have three small children now, and I am psyched at the thought of having future “career talks” with them. One day, when I do talk to them, I want to be able to tell them that there is no need to follow the status quo. One day, when I do tell them, I want to be able to look straight into their eyes, I want them to be able to see I mean it, that I’ve lived it.
You want to be an astronaut, kid? Go for it.
(Know anyone whom you think would resonate with this post? Don’t hesitate, make a difference and share!)