What Really Happens When You Don’t Chase Your Dreams

| April 8, 2014 | 15 Comments

I was pleasantly surprised last Friday after ordering a medium milk chocolate mocha at the Caribou Coffee down the street when they told me, “Happy Birthday! This one’s on us.” I didn’t have to sign up for any rewards programs nor apply for a new credit card and they still gave me a free drink. I mean, it was my thirtieth birthday after all.

meandgrandma

Sipping on my drink, I sat down to do some reading and possibly some writing. About an hour later, I got a call from my mom that I was somewhat expecting “Grandma just passed away”, Mom told me. “She went peacefully”, she added.

It was quite the mixture of good feelings and sad feelings that day. I know I’ll never forget my 30th birthday. It was such a momentous day as it was, let alone being the day I lost such an important person to me.

Grandma was 89, so she obviously lived a long life. There haven’t been many deaths in my family where we could honestly say those words. My other grandparents left us much earlier in their lives, two in their early 80s and my grandpa Mathias in his early 60s.

Today, April 8th, marks the 13th anniversary of my dad‘s passing. He was 46 years old.

So, as we wait this week for the memorial service of my last grandparent to go, and with this day being the day it is, I’m reflecting on that thing each of us will face, death.

It’s not that I’m being negative. It’s that I’m being realistic. We will all face death in our future, both that of people who go before us and then our own after that. Facing what will happen can help us make sure we’re not wasting our time here on earth.

What really happens to those of us who don’t chase our dreams?

What happens to us when we don’t chase our dreams is simple. We die.

“But, Kraig, we die even if we do chase our dreams!” you may respond with. Yes, you are correct. Those who chase their dreams will die too.

So if we all will die, then why would some of us choose not to do what we really believe we can do?

Easy. Because, we’re scared.

I’m scared even though I’m taking huge risks. That fear doesn’t go away just because I took the leap. But, it is possible to deal with it and keep that fear under control.

Fear is okay, as long as it doesn’t keep us from doing what we believe we need to do.

How many of us are dreading our paths in life? How many of us feel like we’re dying inside a little bit every single day? I bet a lot of us do. I have felt that way before.

Should Everyone Just Be Irresponsible and Go Chase Their Dreams?

No, of course we should not be irresponsible, but yes, we should start chasing our dreams. If you know you don’t want to continue on the path you’re on long term, then it’s time to lay the groundwork for your next step after this.

If you’re broke because you keep spending all your money on stupid stuff, and at the same time love the way you earn your income, then fine keep going and being broke. It’s obviously working out okay for you since you love what you’re doing and you are bringing in enough income to live how you want to.

But if you’re broke and hate what you’re doing with your life, then you have a massive problem. You’re stuck, buddy.

The point isn’t to be all “new agey” and “YOLOish”, but instead it’s to not spend your life settling for less than you’re capable of doing. Don’t sit in a job you aren’t happy with just because it’s more secure. It’s not worth it. You could die in two years, or four, or ten. Is it really a smart move to delay things another five years? No, it’s not smart.

We are all meant to do more than that.

Our Years Aren’t Worth Any Amount of Money

I encourage you to do some reflection on what it is your doing with your year this year, 2014. Is it being spent working toward something you believe in and care about? Or is it being spent working toward something someone else believes in and cares about. Why would you donate an entire year of your short life to postpone what’s important to you and “sell” your year for a few bucks?

Haven’t you figured out yet that our lives weren’t meant to be sold and that no year of our life is ever worth any amount of money?

PS: Have you subscribed to the CMI podcast yet? Here’s a link to the show both on this site and on iTunes.

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Category: Learning New Things

Comments (15)

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  1. I like this kind of post, Kraig! I love to keep a holistic view of life in mind by not wanting to waste a second. Family is such an important part of life. I like that you are honoring your family in this post both by talking about them but also by motivating us all to think about how we’re living.

    • Thanks Nick,

      That’s what I love about your writings as well. They are holistic and reflective of life. You may need to write a book one of these days.

      We should connect again via Hangouts or Skype. What do you think? Talk to you soon,

  2. Ashley says:

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother, Kraig! :( I like that she is inspiring you to keep on your journey! You’re absolutely right- life is going to end whether we do what we want in life or not. Why not do what we want?

    • Thanks Ashley.

      And yes, exactly. Life is too short, even if live to be 89, to be wasting our years selling out our time just for a few bucks. That’s why I advocate both getting your finances under control and THEN (and only then), setting out to really experience life.

      Have a good trip down to NC!

  3. Bex says:

    Hey Kraig, Happy Belated Birthday and sorry to hear about your grandmother. I just got news a month ago my grandmother (94) has just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Her main bucketlist item is a family reunion, so I’m happy that in 2 weeks I get to visit my whole family and spend time with her.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Nice. That picture above of me and my grandma was actually taken at a family reunion my mom put together last summer. Those are definitely good things to have as grandparents get up there in age. I’m glad we were all able to do it and I’m sure your family will really value it too.

      Sorry to hear about the news of your grandma. Hope your remaining time together is special.

      Talk to you soon,

  4. Dana French says:

    Hey, Kraig. So sorry to hear about your grandmother. And, happy birthday.

    I’m completely enjoying your posts. They always make me think!

    Missed seeing you at High Point market this week.

    Dana

    • Hi Dana,

      Thanks for the kind words. Glad you’re getting value from my posts. Hope things are going well at market. We’ll have to catch up again soon.

      Take care,

  5. Wade says:

    Happy belated birthday Kraig and I also am sorry to hear about your grandmother.

    At 42 it is quite amazing that both my grandmas are alive (one is 104, one is 94) They reside in the same nursing home. Both grandpas went way to soon. One 70 and one 81.

    Our Lent series at church has been about grief and dying. Hard topics, but certainly relevant and interesting. It is not all about you and You are not in control were two topics that caught me.

    Tonight’s sermon is “You are going to die”. Short and to the point.

    Life is an interesting and confusing mixture of options that require analysis and patience. The older I get, the less certain I am of much. Which I guess is progress of some sort.

    Wade

    • Wade,

      Wow, you have some serious longevity in your genes. I bet it’s nice to have them both in the same place.

      Interesting about your Lent series. Those are deep topics. Keep us posted on how this next one goes.

      Talk to you soon,

  6. Hi Kraig, sorry to hear about your grandmother, my condolences. Your post rings true for me. I’m about to have my first child and we’re planning on taking some time off. As a man this isn’t typical but our rationale is that we should seize these opportunities when they come around. I’ll always be able to work. I’ll never have this moment again in my life.

    • Thomas,

      Thanks for the kind words. Congratulations on the upcoming baby! I think that’s a great thing you’re doing to take some time off at this time. I’m sure you’ll get some weird looks from people, especially guys, about what you’re doing. You’ll also likely second guess yourself quite a bit. Just remember why you did it and you’ll be fine.

      Thanks for stopping by and keep us all posted here!

  7. Kelly S, says:

    Paternity leaves are gaining momentum in the work place, I’ve seen a couple of guys take them.

    It’s tough losing a grandparent, I was especially close to mine, so I know what you’re going through.

    Reading this post made me study more last night toward my goals. I haven’t been chasing my dream; more like stopping and petting it, then walking along. I still have some time to go before my finances are in shape, when I will have wiggle room for risk, and more opportunity. But right now would be the time to study, research, and plan.

    It also occurred to me that just because someone works from home in their pajamas doesn’t mean they aren’t working their hindparts off. It doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. On the contrary, this group may work harder and longer than 9to5ers.

    I need it turn it up. Now.

    If I’m really going to be about that life…..

    • Kelly,

      I agree with all your points. I work from home and put in WAAY more hours that I used to at my 9-5. It’s because I enjoy this and am creating a life for myself that I am happy with. It’s exciting to me and therefore the hours slip by without even noticing really.

      I think it’s good for all of us, me included, to consistently take a look at our lives and the goals we have/what we want to accomplish and make sure we’re working toward making them happen. Our lives are short so we need to get moving, like you said, “we need to TURN IT UP!”

      Take care and talk to you soon!

  8. Kelly S, says:

    Oops – “I need to turn it up”

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