Who’s Dream Is It Anyway?

Early in my career I made decisions that were different from my colleagues. The decisions were hard…and did not lead to an increase in salary or income. I had to ask over and over for permission to pursue a different career path within my specialty, and I was met with a lot of “No.”

I did things I knew I wanted, to create a career I wanted, 10 years in the future. I chose things that did not result in instant cash (one does not get paid to write manuscripts and grant applications on evenings and weekends). I chose research studies and creating courses, and my manuscripts and ideas were rejected over and over. I could have easily signed up for more than my allotted clinical call, which would have resulted in instant extra cash. Instead I chose writing curriculum and formulating ideas and programs.

I hustled, hustled, hustled. It nearly broke me.

Now I have opportunities, and responsibilities, and a different structure in my job than many of the people I work with. Sometimes people judge me who do not understand my career choices, and thats ok. We all have different desires, talents and paths, and one isn’t better than the other. I wanted something different, and I had to do it myself. No one is going to hand it to you.

If you want one yes, you have to be willing to hear 10 nos. I love what I do. I love speaking to people, teaching people from all over the world, and writing. I love thinking of questions, and formulating plans to answer them.

I am now in a place where I can see what hard work and determination brought me. I still have to hustle…that never stops. My failures are on a lager scale, but farther in between.

My point is this: many of you are living someone else’s dream for you. You’re letting someone else define it and you’re frustrated, depressed, and burned out. If you’re willing to put aside instant gratification for a while, if you’re willing to put up with the criticism that comes with standing alone, your career or dream or whatever it is you want, is there.

Believe me, it is there.

I challenge you to look deep inside yourself and ask: “Who’s dream is this anyway?”

Shine on.