Let's Talk: Ambition & Dreams
There is one question that I absolutely dread being asked and that is; what are your plans for the next five years? Even just alluding to that question fills me fear as I simply do not know the answer and I can't work out whether that's a problem or not. Every single day without fail I think about the future and sometimes just the thought of it sends me into a spiral of worry that keeps me up at night. And I know this a pointless exercise because nothing is ever promised to us, we cannot guarantee the future but we all spend so much time focusing on it. So today I wanted to discuss with you the topic of ambition, hopes and dreams and whether or not it's a bad thing to not have huge Pinterest worthy dreams.
what drives you to work hard?
One of the most interesting conversations I believe you can have with someone is discussing what pushes them to work hard. We all have our different reasons for why we choose our profession and why we work so hard, these are mine;
- To give my dogs a good life.
- To feel pride in myself and know that I'm able to provide for myself.
- To contribute to our household.
- To be able to have a life that I love.
- To have freedom.
it's ok not to know
When I was younger I could always think of a million and one things that I wanted to do when I was older. But now I am at that elusive age, I can honestly say that I have no idea exactly what I want in life and that scares me. I always thought that I would get to a certain point in life and I would just know. Because that's what a young naive child whose head is full of fairytale books and movies would more than likely believe. I can safely say life isn't like that and you don't always have some sort of huge epiphany of what you want. And I think that's ok as life can change within seconds and it can bring your plans crashing down which is an awful feeling. From the moment we step in school we are asked what we want to do in life, there is so much pressure on our careers that it's easy to forget that we are more than what we do for work.
SOMETIMES HARD WORK DOESN'T PAY OFF
Whenever the topic of dreams and aspirations are talked about online it's always typically followed by being told if you just work really hard then they will always happen. And with hard work does come great things but that's not always the case, sometimes you can work yourself to the bone and it still doesn't work out and it's absolutely soul crushing when everybody is saying that it should. Sometimes it doesn't matter how hard you work, things just don't work out and although it's always ok in the long run that doesn't take away from the upset and hurt that it causes in the short term. Hard work isn't the only thing that plays into 'success', there are so many more factors that play into it. And one of the biggest things I've found is time.
what do you really want in life?
There are certain things that we are constantly told we need to achieve in life from a young age. The things that we're supposed to want so we tend not to question them and then, of course, there are the things that just make sense. These are the things that I really want to achieve in life;
- Provide for my family and make sure I give my dogs the best life possible.
- Look after my mental and physical health as much as possible.
- Spend time with my loved ones.
- Be able to grow old.
- Feel passionately about what I'm doing.
- Never take anything for granted.
NO-ONE SHARES THE SAME DREAM
When we are young then it's all too easy to share the same dreams as your best friends in the playground and all throughout school you're all generally striving for the same thing. But once you get older and you start to come more independent then your dreams start to differ from your dearest friends and that can feel really uncomfortable. There is a reason why there is the saying 'safety in numbers' because it's true. There is safety to be found when there is more than one of you chasing the same thing. Going it alone is terrifying though but it's so important to do what you actually feel passionate about rather than following the crowd. One of your friends might have the biggest dreams in the world and want to build an empire but that doesn't mean that's what you have to want. For such a long time, and really only until recently, I felt ok not doing what my closest friends are doing as when we see somebody doing well it's all too easy to think that's what we need to do too. And wouldn't the world be so boring if we were all doing the same thing?
the catch 22 of not being able to plan for the future
Not only is the question of; what do you want in your future? Slightly terrifying when you actually aren't sure at all what you want but it's also very difficult to know exactly what to do. Maybe the irony of this post is that I used to be a 5-year planner to an obsessive level. I thought if I planned things out then obviously it would just magically work out and I spent so long obsessing over my plan that I forgot what I needed to do to make it happen. Having a general idea of what you want is a wonderful thing and can be incredibly motivating but having things so structured and rigid often doesn't end well. My health went drastically downhill and that put a huge roadblock in the way of my five-year plan and it was so ridiculously difficult to handle it. Having a loose fluid plan is what I've found to work best rather than planning the years out month by month.
WHY DREAMS ARE IMPORTANT
Whilst typically my dreams are to be able to make sure there is food on the table and all our bills are paid as well as obviously my dogs having the best lives they can. I do have some bigger dreams and they aren't really career-related, which I think is where most people's big dreams are and that's totally fine. Some people are just more business-minded than others, I've said it before and I'll say it again but I am not a girl boss. These are what I would consider my biggest dreams in life;
- To have a bigger home with a large garden for the dogs.
- Get married.
- To be able to adopt greyhounds in retirement.
- To set up a sighthound sanctuary and build a sighthound safe dog park.
- Be able to afford my boyfriend time off work and be the breadwinner.