Do you really believe you can have what you want? Or do you tend to operate with your feet in two camps -- one that says, 'I'm going out there and pursue my dream' and another that says, 'I'll also hedge my bets by doing something I don't love that much, just in case the dream thing doesn't work out.' This is called indirectness and I am here to say it doesn't work.
I spent a lot of time earlier in life hedging my bets under the mistaken illusion that this is mature, business-like behavior. The real irony is that seldom have these supposedly businesslike ideas ever produced income or other results that I thought for sure they would.
The urge to hedge your bets often runs contrary to everything your gut instincts scream at you to do. Your instinct says 'Quit the job! Go get licensed! Be a teacher kids never forget!"
Meanwhile, you hedge your bets by continuing to do work that doesn't feed your soul, and taking a course here and there that never really moves you any closer to the dream. You justify your lack of action by insisting you can't afford to quit your job, or deciding you don't want to change your lifestyle and live on a teacher's salary.
And yet ... what do you want? Do you want a life that's half-way, but never all the way, to the dream? Do you want the excuses, or do you want the results? For a lot of us, the excuses, and the half-baked life are all we think we deserve.
We don't focus on getting what we want because somewhere along the way, we decided we don't deserve that much happiness and fulfillment. I trace my own inclination to think that way back to a pivotal lunch with my mother back in my senior year in high school, when she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. As I was about to answer, 'Be a singer or a writer,' she pointed a finger at me and announced triumphantly, 'Communications! You're going to be GREAT in communications!" Whereupon I promptly burst into tears, and went on to spend 18 years in advertising, 'communicating' and hating myself all the while.
Seeds get planted that shouldn't be allowed to grow; ideas get listened to that should have been ignored. We cast about looking for anyone else but ourselves to give us direction -- and yet, WE are the only ones who can give us the permission to really, truly, honestly create what we want in life.
We can do what we want, but only if we are brave enough to seize the initiative, even if it means not listening to Mom and going it alone. The urge to not provide ourselves with what we need in life is a sort of Creative Anorexia, deprivation that is all about a distorted picture of who we are and what we deserve. The real irony is that seldom do the contingency plans and hedged bets work out.
During my entire career in advertising I never made half the salary that my other, more eager co-workers made. The simple fact was that I didn't want to be there, nor should I have been.
Perhaps the road to what you want won't be easy or lined with gold, but it will be one hundred percent honest. And that provides riches you can't even begin to count. So get out there, make a plan you can stick to, and begin to do what you want. I'm here to say that you do, indeed, deserve it.