Photo: Nicola Nolting. Image©www.thingstodot.com

Photo: Nicola Nolting. Image©www.thingstodot.com

Following your passion and realizing your dreams requires a lot of courage. The moment you decide to follow your heart's desires and try to do something different than what the world expects of you, you stand out. You are met with constant resistance that comes mostly from close family members who out of their love for you, try to tell you all the reasons why you should not be following your heart's dreams. If you don't have enough faith in yourself or courage to stand your ground, you may give up on your dreams. You may let other's insecurities reduce your life to an ordinary state of existence which for most people is defined as having a good job, rearing a family, having fun on the weekends and then going back to the office on Mondays, depressed and moody because you hate your job and your life! 

My friend Sara grew up in a small town. She went to the best school there and was an honors student, always getting the highest grades in her class. Her parents were very proud of her achievements and at the same time had very high hopes on her. When she was five years old, her father had decided that she would become a very high-ranking officer in the government like himself and marry another very high-ranking officer, whereas her mother had already started visualizing her as a CEO of a multi-national company, globe-trotting and being interviewed by magazines such as Forbes as the 100 most successful women of all times! For a while Sara tried to live up to her parents expectations of her, doing all the things they wanted her to do like getting married and settling down, and getting a nice job. However, she soon realized how deeply unhappy she had made herself by living a life that was not her own. It took her years of struggle to come out of her unhappy situation and start pursuing her dreams and living the life she always wanted to live. She may not be married any longer or have the high-salaried job her parents always dreamed her to have, but she is truly fulfilled and happy. However, she did confess to me the other day that the haunting feeling of having disappointed her parents will always stay with her, and there is nothing she can do about it.

I think that in life we cannot make everybody happy. The fact that each human being is so different from the other, makes it impossible. Once we have that basic understanding, we need to develop so much faith and confidence within ourselves, so that even if loved ones cannot accept our chosen path in life, we are able to respond to them with love. Instead of entering into arguments with them and trying to convince them that what we are doing in life is right, it is better to remain silent and give them love and kindness, because nobody will really understand. God has made it that way. And once we understand this, we can be truly happy. 

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