What did you want to be when you grew up?
How did that turn out?
I have always dreamed of being a performance artist.
X never got that square!
John Lennon observed, “Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans.”
That’s pretty close to the mark! Most of us find ourselves in careers we never dreamed of.
But not everyone!
When Bob Dylan performed in his high school talent show, classmates booed him. Not many people would’ve turned that into a career. In a recently discovered 1957 letter to his high school sweetheart, Dylan wrote of his dream to sell a million records. To date, he’s sold 125 million.
Childhood polio left Joni Mitchel’s left hand too weak to form traditional guitar chords. So, she experimented with alternate guitar tunings that allowed her to make a sound all her own. How many of us would choose a career that involves a musical instrument we are too weak to play?
Reflecting on these examples, I was thinking about why I didn’t pursue my dream.
I’ve always told myself it was due to a lack of talent!
That might be true, but I think the real reason was it was easier to wish I sounded like someone else than muster the courage to be who I am.
An adoring fan once told Itzhak Perlman that he would give his life to play the violin like him. Reportedly, the great maestro replied, “I have.”
Nick Cave, frontman of the band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, writes a blog called “The Red Hand Files.” The posts consist of answers to personal questions posed by fans.
Here’s a recent one:
I’m 62 years old and decided to learn how to play guitar. Rock guitar. Is such an endeavor a fool’s errand for someone of my age?” – Chris, Aurora, USA
Yes. It is almost certainly a fool’s errand to learn the guitar at 62. However, personally, I have a lot of time for fool’s errands. Many things of genuine artistic value seem to start as such – needless and profitless ideas that find, in time and to our complete surprise, their value.”
How often do we hold ourselves back out of fear of what people might think or that we aren’t good enough?
Most people reading this have already chosen a career or completed one. But dreams never die. What is the voice in your head saying about your dreams now?
The world would be smaller if our favorite artists acquiesced to the negative chatter in their heads.
That’s something worth thinking about the next time we choose not to get up and dance!
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