Anyone have the courage to follow your dreams?

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Hey! I was just wondering how many of you have had the courage to follow your dreams?

I have this grandiose fantasy of moving to England (I'm in Australia) and surviving on nothing but my wits and my musical nature. Gigs, selling music online, work-for-hire, whatever. Was just curious if any of you have followed such a slim hope of a dream before?

There's no reason that moving to England will work for me. It's a slim shot. But surely such slim shots have worked out before?

So... What's the slimmest hope that has worked out for you? It doesn't have to be musical... Just a slim shot. I need to hear this! And I suspect others might need to hear it too.

Thanks in advance, and keep on dreaming. Smile

I am saving up to move to Nashville and I will at least try to make a little something as a songwriter. I should have done it in my younger days, but I raised a family. Now, it's my turn to at least try. (I will not quit my day job, but they will find a spot for me down that way when I am ready to move).

Cool topic! Yes, I've done it a couple of times. Back in 2007, I tried really hard at being a kid and family-friendly performing songwriter. My wife was my manager, and she booked me lots of gigs and came up with some great branding and marketing. I recorded professionally two albums (they are still out there on Spotify and Apple and YouTube). At the same time, my wife was designing beauttiful, artistic jewelry and selling it online and at art festivals.
But, the main problem was (and this goes to what [@dsweidel] wrote) we didn't quit our day jobs, and we were raising a daughter who was just starting school. The music and jewelry were no longer joyous creative outlets - the business end of them became a burden in addition to our demanding jobs as teachers and parents.
In 2013, though, we DID quit our jobs that we'd had for years! My wife opened a yoga studio, and I homeschooled our daughter for two years. And then I became a yoga teacher and started working full-time at the studio when our daughter went back to a school building for 9th grade.
Now, I'll admit that too often the effort of running a yoga business can take away the joy of being a yogi - if we're not careful. But we (mainly my wife) have helped establish a pretty awesome yoga community. And I get to play music at our studio and at the outdoor market where I also teach yoga!

Early on in life I determined that I needed to do two things...1) follow my dreams and 2) be happy regardless of where those dreams took me (or didn't take me).

I have also maintained a healthy dose of realism throughout my life. When I considered abandoning everything to become a traveling bard I thought about all the results of such a decision. The fun parts..entertaining a crowd...the love and and meeting new people, and I carefully considered the bad parts...working harder at that than I ever would in a "real" job...having little insurance, retirement income or nice vacations.

I know there is a grain of truth in the old adage that you must dive in to get that dream to come true but you also have to realistically weigh the odds for and against success! Here in Illinois they have lottery and their slogan is "you can't win if you don't play" and while technically true, the bigger truth is you are also not going to win if you DO play! I could take my mortgage payment down to the 7-11 and spend it on lottery tickets but almost certainly I'd lose it all (and my house!)

So my bottom line is follow your dreams but do so carefully to avoid realizing only nightmares! Biggrin

I get what you are saying/asking "cblack"... my whole life I've done whatever I thought was correct and if only, just to find out. For me the thing that made a difference, a small simple thing, is/was, -- not to tell anyone about it, -- just do it.

I had allot more written but was insanely long Crazy , well per how folks may define "long" here, -- so spare you Lol

However, again, -- If I had told more to people about "plans", or worse yet, listened to the "opinion" on it I would not have done so many things in my life. I listen to the good council of many, well vetted, (and many who could have "advice-d" did not!?), but, in doing that in any regard, -- one does not have to reveal their specific "plans".

-- Best of outcomes to you Music 2 , however, if you plan on having FUN regardless of anything else, -- you win daily, anyway and always. Be safe! And remember that there is no dress rehearsal for life and no one on their death bed says, -- I wish I had spent more time at work. There are no guarantees of safety in anything. What if you "accidentally" do well; or worse, plan to do well "mainstream" advice-d, but --don't and miss *"this"? No matter what "we" are not in "control", --win the "lottery" and get hit by a bus on the way home... live well.

This is an interesting one. Some of it is the interpretation of dreams! Often to me they are a bit out there and have caveats. Dreams often to me are things id like but realistically im not willing to do what it takes, its like i love it but i need guarantees of success. I have blended big risks and little risks over the years. I did follow my dreams bigtime many years ago! I upped and left my home and moved across the world for.... yes you guessed it a woman! We have a saying in lottery like John Staples says. You gotta be in it to win it! Good advice i was given. - Its not about getting what you want. Its about wanting what you get!. Specifically on music i knew i would never make as much money at it as i could doing something else and i was always concerned about what Chip touches on and that is if you make your hobby your job do you lose your fun! There are no right answers but enjoy whatever you do and have fun!

I basically agree with @coolparadiso. I've never seriously pursued (or even thought about) any kind of artistic "career." At various times, I've done videomaking and writing and music as "serious and time-intensive fun hobbies," but never with an end goal of making it my professional life. Mainly because being a professional artist is both hard work and high-risk and luck-driven, and I know that most people, with vastly more talent and/or drive than I, simply will never make it.

So to be honest, my "dream" has always been simply to be financially comfortable enough that it's not a constant source of stress, to work in a place where I like the people and they respect me (and give me the time to pursue outside interests), and to have a happy home life. That may not be the kind of "dream" you're talking about, and I'm sure some people would say that's not really a "dream" at all. But it's the goal and dream I've pursued and achieved, and I'm more than satisfied with how things have turned out!

@OdilonGreen, I agree and think your dream is an awesome one! I too have sought peace and security and happiness. Add to that mix what @coolparadiso said about wanting what you get and that is a recipe for a dream come true (to me!)

This is a good thread. I think I've done the following dreams thing a few times. At 20 I turned down a post graduate degree offer to go travelling. It was certainly the right choice. When I was 26 I gave up a good job in Scotland and moved, with my wife, to Paris with no job at all. It was really hard for a year but eventually it turned out very well indeed, both in France and later back home in the UK. Much later we retired and travelled in Europe in a small motorhome. Once again, it was hard at first but then became really enriching. Right now we are building a new life based in Europe and Australia and, just like before, it's hard but is starting to work out. Musically, each move has been very rewarding and has made me develop my skills. Each move that I've made has introduced me to many inspiring people. It's impossible to predict the outcome of following your dreams but for me, so far, it has been very, very good. I do like the quotation that says 'no-one said living the dream would be easy.' After all it's a balance between the genuine hardship of making a radical move compared to the regrets you might feel if you didn't make that move. I know enough to be sure that I couldn't advise anyone regarding what to do - it really is a deep question about what is best for yourself and the others that you care for in your life. Good luck with your choices. I wish you all the very best.


It is interesting to read the perspectives here. "cblack", safety and security is an illusion ... -- last hurricane in my area, "acts of God" wiped out all for which there was no recovery for many, all gone and NOT on the beach, no even close... -- unless you are an "idiot", at any age, anyone can take a year off and "go for it"... Don't be a well preserved 90 yo in a wheel chair looking at the same four walls you've looked at since age 30 something, --safe, well preserved and on your way out. I could drop 120K words here easy on all the krappe I've done in my life and NOT played it safe. I STILL own all the things in my life outright, house, cars ... "stuff", "crap" ... it's all crap and it all stays here when they bag you and tag you.

Live well, never hurt anyone, give your last dollar and miss a meal, -- see what happens. "That" won't kill you, the Bus you don't see on the way home from the Lottery machine will. "We" are not in control, -- live, well.

I think I'm mostly similar to @ustaknow - that I'm willing to take the chance, regardless of what may come of it. But still... it's a scary proposition. Give up security for the great unknown? Madness!

I recently watched “Expedition Happiness” on Netflix about a young filmmaker and his musician girlfriend who left Frankfurt went to America and bought a school bus, which they converted into a home. They traveled all the way up through Alaska and down to Mexico. It looks like an amazing trip but the thing that struck me in the end was how glad they were to get home!

I love making music and I am “miracle ready” for something to go big BUT for me, I like having the financial independence to do the things I like to do, which includes sailing and skiing. Music ain’t gonna give me that. Traveling endlessly ain’t gonna give me that. So for me it remains a dream that I dont follow.

...mispost, sorry.

Choose yer dreams wisely...

"Timothy Treadwell Devoted His Life To Grizzly Bears — Until They Ate Him"

I believe that following your dreams is very much a balancing act, and it's partially a matter of perspective. I have achieved some of my dreams, and others... well depends on your perspective! When I was in middle school one of my dreams was to be a music teacher... and I am. Another was to play in Disneyland. Did it once. Another was to go to Julliard, but they don't have an education program, so I had to choose between that and being a teacher. I chose the one that would be less expensive to achieve and provide a more secure future. So I've reached a lot of those goals.

Sometimes achieving your dreams can have negative consequences. One of my dreams was to run away and join the circus... legitimately. I wanted to be a musician for Cirque du Soleil or become a musician on the renaissance faire circuit. I worked as a performer at the renaissance faire for 10 years, but I was doing 3 separate performance jobs and getting paid for the least of them. Also, though two of those jobs were musical (trumpeter and house musician), I was never allowed my own set. Eventually it started to really break down my confidence and I had to quit. It took me years to recover. Now I perform at a few smaller one weekend festivals a year, and I feel good about that. I have friends who are on the circuit and I see how they have to struggle and fight for every last scrap... and I don't mean work hard... I mean literally fight.

My advice is ask yourself what's the worst that can happen, and if you can recover from that, then go for it. Not everyone gets a chance to try, so take it when you can.

I have a friend who, about a year ago, sold her flat and bought a narrowboat, quit her job and decided to try her luck as a professional musician. She's making it work, just, and she's happy, if a little financially insecure. She does a lot of gigs, covers and originals, in pubs, parties, old peoples' homes. The downside is that she has very little free time when her friends are also free and she has very little financial security. I'm slightly in awe of her, but I don't think I could walk that path. For one, I'm not willing to sell my house and live on a narrow boat :P

I'm leaving my current job in a few months, because I realised it's just not right for me and I'm not right for it, but also because last time I was job hunting, I could have walked into any number of jobs within a few days, so I'm not too worried about the financial security part of it. I also have several months' worth of spending saved up, so that if I choose to take a longer break (or if the jobs market has drastically changed) it buys me some breathing space. I'm intending to take some time after I leave to improve my composition and production skills and try to break into the sync market. Even if my plan is 100% successful, I anticipate needing to work in my day job again within about 3 months of leaving this one. That's ok - I'll take a maternity cover contract or something, then have a natural break to allow me to concentrate on that again. In the meantime, I can carry on as a hobbyist/apprentice :P

So I guess my thoughts are similar to @katpiercemusic's but with more spreadsheets to work it out :P

I think you have to decide what the term dream means. Are you talking about a whimsical fancy that would be great if fell out of the sky or an actual situation that would be your ideal life that you worked for to achieve? There's a huge difference in that, and most all of it involves what you are willing go through to get it. Makes perfect when they say it's the journey, not the destination. If you want to do something and stay laser focused on it, you can achieve it. You can do that. It's a matter of time, energy, and not letting anything deter you. It's the negatives thoughts that keep us from doing things. Things like, I won't have much money,I'll have to work to hard, what makes me think I can do what others haven't are the types of things that keep us from our goals. But those are legit reasons. It may be that you start out to do something, and then decide it's not really what you wanted. That's great, because you change always change your mind along the way. You don't have to feel bad if you want to change the goal. Everything is up to you. So whatever it is you want to try, just go for it, see what happens and decide if it's what you really want.

Oi, it's all I ever used to do, follow my dreams. With varying levels of success, but it took me to some interesting places/projects, like scoring and producing an independent film. My next dream is kinda small but still difficult in some ways. I'll tell you if I get there...

I don't think of my dream as "fanciful". I think it's what I want to do, even if the evidence suggests it's doomed to failure. But I'm not sure I have the courage to try... That whole "doomed to failure" vs. "what I want to do" problem. I also think I'll kick myself if I don't try, yet also think it could be a really bad choice... *sigh* Why does life have to be difficult? Smile

Probably the three big ones that worked out (to varying degrees) were I dreamed of leaving the family religion and going to college when no one in my immediate/extended family or (then) circle of friends had. I did it and got a job in the field. I had to pay a price (basically disconnected from childhood roots) and now nearing retirement I wonder what if??? Twenty some years ago I dreamed of restoring an old Mustang (to a daily driver, a convertible) like the 69 Fastback I had in high school. I did but again paid a price, alot of time in the garage, working around fiberglass and welding, twice I got the Mustang roadworthy and felt good about progress onl;y to have fender benders set me back. After ten years of effort, I sold the car on ebay with no desire to undertake another restoration project like that. Ten years ago I dreamed of learning to play guitar, write songs, perform, and paint. I did while keeping the day job, marriage intact (actually improved), and as part of adopting a healthy lifestyle, but again had to make sacrifices of other interests and pursuits (giving up alcohol, fast food, eating meat, following organized sports, watching TV programs, etc.) and lost some old friends but made many new ones in music and art. Now the dream is living more sustainably. I bought two electric vehicles, sold the internal combustion engine vehicle, am installing solar panels and exploring other ways. Again I am paying a price in extending my working years along with all the joys and travails of being an early adopter. At least that has given me plenty of song fodder and I feel good about my efforts.

I've always perused music in one form or another. About 6 years ago I more or less got thrust into doing it full time. I was already playing most weekends with my band and I had started doing a little bit of solo work. Meanwhile I had a full time job and so did my wife at the same place. Within 24 hours we were both let go and my wife encouraged me to pursue doing my music full time. It was a little nerve racking at first but has been a blessing. Now we have 2 young boys and I stay home with them during the week and play music nights and weekends. I haven't lost my love of performing although sometimes the business side of things can be daunting and time consuming when I would rather be writing and recording.

I will say it's not exactly my original dream of going to Nashville and being a big star but I determined a few years back that if I could play music and provide for me and my family off it that I would be happy with that. I guess sometimes dreams change.

@AndyGetch - I didn't know about the Mustang! I don't think it's going too overboard to say you are an inspiration to me. (Folks, Andy is a neighbor of mine, a fellow yogi, and we often perform together at our local market.)
@Krayzie003 - Losing a full-time job can surely be a major motivator! I've had that happen a time or two. It sounds like your family motivates and supports you, too. I am far more motivated to keep pursuing new things by my wife and daughter than I ever would be alone.

Another dream my wife and I followed was to leave our stable, albeit predictable, lives in Ohio and move to Florida. We were both school teachers, so finding jobs here was easy. But we've tried, failed, tried, and succeeded at things in Florida we likely would have never attempted in Ohio. (Nothing at all against Ohio - I'm proud of my roots there.)

I have the courage to follow several far out dreams but the common sense not to! ; )

Love that story!

Oh, I just had a wonderful "Reflection Exercise" in considering this thesis, literally: "Anyone have the courage to follow your dreams?"
-- No.

The one person who had the "courage to follow my dreams with me", I married Crazy
(Imagine the woman who did that?! Wink ) O M G ! (No, it was not "Josephine" Crazy Lol )

-- But, I've spare all here what I wrote... saved to my source file of ideas for future adventures.

Anyway, the implication here is "risk" and "security", -- how commented by many here.

OK, then, -- on the other hand I have a few hundred thousand folks who daily follow me in my dreams, risks, security daily. Really? How, you ask?
-- As I drive down the Road, with traffic coming at me at ~70mph, 24 inches away, separated by a yellow paint strip "keeping" us separated from a 140mph head on pile up. It's a mystery to me how millions daily have that much faith in the yellow paint, painted as a line onto pot-holed asphalt with folks driving who may not even have drivers licenses. Crazy Yet, have no confidence beyond "status quo" which can/will be snatched from you in a nanosecond. But, this is the intersection of a "TLTR" post... so leave it there.

-- God I LOVE my life ... wishing only that I could have taken bigger risks, opportunities to do so. Well, -- the day is not over yet!!

It seems I get discouraged way too easily. An hour ago, I was fantasising about being a keyboard busker in London. Then I played my keyboard, got discouraged, and have temporarily given up on that dream... *sigh* Combine a mercurial art (music) with being easily discouraged, and it seems my dreams will never be fulfilled. Yet, at the same time, when I get inspired and "dream"y, I'm 100% certain I can make it work...

Conflicted much?