I have a friend who loves to fly airplanes. He's really good at it; it’s his passion. He happens to be overweight by flight physical standards. And he will lose his license to fly if he doesn’t lose the weight. He's retired and is financially secure and comfortable. He is able-bodied. There is nothing on the surface to stop him from losing weight. And yet, he would allow his physical condition to keep him from flying, which he loves better than anything save for his wife.
It's heart breaking and fascinating to me. It’s not unusual. Lots of people put off their deep dreams indefinitely, work at jobs that they hate, and volunteer for things that interfere with what they love and want to do. I think my friend’s situation stands out to me because he won't be able to fly at all if he doesn’t take action. It’s a wake-up call.
We make many decisions every day that bring us closer to or further away from our goals and dreams. How many of us are embracing what we love every day? I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that most people are not giving attention to or acting on the things they truly love. I have some theories about why this is the case. But they don’t really matter.
What matters is that people wake up and give themselves a little of their dreams every day. Take one tiny baby step each day for what you love. What else are you here for, really?
I realize that there are obstacles. There are real bills to pay, children and sometimes parents to care for, a home to maintain. I suspect that we are a lot less likely to push through obstacles (or walk around them) when it comes to our dreams. In my experience, carving out a little space and time for what I love gives me energy and brain space to manage all the other stuff of life. If I put off what I love until I finish what’s on my to do list, it just doesn’t happen. There is always more to do.
This is a huge reason to find a partner in passion. Your partner can help you sort out whether your obstacle is real or resistance, and help you find a way to keep moving toward what you love. If it’s real, how can you work around it? If it’s resistance, simply proceed. Set a doable intention. If your dream is to write, you have three kids, and a full-time job, probably starting with 1,000 words a day isn’t doable. Find a reasonable goal, and follow through no matter what.
I don’t know what my friend will end up doing about his weight and his pilot’s license. I know what I would advise him to do: Find a way to make it happen. Spend 15 minutes every day doing what you need to do to lose the weight.
If you want to write, especially if you’ve always wanted to be a writer, then find a way to make it happen. There is no license to obtain or maintain. Don’t put it off until there is enough time, your children are out of the house, or all the planets are aligned. The perfect day to start (or restart) your writing life is today.
Carve out 15 minutes today, right now. Grab a pen and paper or your computer, set a timer, and write. Need a starting place? Write this at the top of the page: I have always wanted to write about... Then go for 15 minutes. Don’t censor yourself or try to get the grammar, spelling, and punctuation right. Just write. And after you’re done, share your experience with us in the comments below or on Facebook. We’d love to hear about the steps you are taking to pursue what you love.