“Fact is, you must either inherit funds, or have had the opportunity to earn or win funds some way, somehow. Either way, it’s money that’s freedom. If you don’t have it, like it or not, one can dream all one wants to, but no dream will come true.”
Someone left this comment on my blog a while ago basically saying only the wealthy can afford to live their dreams. That got me thinking a bit.
Is it that really true that only the wealthy can pursue their passion?
To an extent, I agree with the commenter. Having a certain amount of money certainly helps one live their dream. It helps to have enough money to pay for travel or the start-up costs of a new business. Having a backup cushion of money in the bank gives a certain amount of peace of mind in case of an emergency.
“All dreams require at least some money, because without it there is no education, food, etc…,” said Anne Dirkse, who works in the television business and has managed to figure out how to mix her passions of travel, bicycling, food, and photography, “but people who think they need 100K a year to travel the world are off kilter. There is a fine line; you do have to have significant resources to dream and do, but not the sort we take for granted in the US.
AJ Reardon, who decided as an adult to pursue her passion of dance, said, “If you have a dream and you really care about it, you’ll do whatever it takes to pursue it.”
Does not having large amounts of money preclude living your dream?
I had written a blog post exploring why some people live their dreams while others don’t. We all have dreams – yet only some of us ever act upon them. The others allow them to remain tucked away in the inner recesses of their brains and never let them out to see the light of day.
I came to the conclusion that it comes down to priorities. We’ll make time/effort/money for those things we hold nearest and dearest to our heart. Fear is also high on the list – fear of the unknown can hold people back and fear of regrets can encourage others to live their dreams.
The aforementioned commenter disagreed with me – he felt it was money that held people back. Unless you inherit a fortune or somehow win the lottery, you’ll never be able to live your dream.
I will agree with him for some people. If you live in Ethiopia or North Korea, there is little chance that you would ever be able to save the amount of money one would need to live their dream. Even if they could, by some miracle, save half of their earnings, half of next-to-nothing is still a very small amount. They are trapped in a cycle of existence and it’s a huge challenge to break out of it.
But for those of us who won the birth lottery and live in the developed world? Most of us CAN live our dreams – if we make it a priority.
Rebeca Groover has faced a certain amount of hardship while getting ready to travel the world with her husband and four kids. “I’m not saying that everyone can do it,” she said, “but for most, I think that if there’s a will, they’ll find a way.”
Justin Mussler, an American who is currently preparing to leave his job and take off with his family on an open-ended adventure added, “Money does grow on trees, but I think most people are too scared, lazy, or grown up to climb trees. You MAKE your dreams come true. When it feels like we don’t have a choice, we just haven’t looked hard enough. The key to it all is that people just don’t WANT the dream enough. Anyone with a choice can follow a dream, with or without cash. Sure it might be longer road for some, but as long as you have a choice you have a chance.”
I think Mr. Mussler is on to something. For those of us living in the developed world, we can make our dreams happen. It won’t be easy. It won’t fall in our lap. We won’t suddenly wake up one morning and find that the planets have aligned just perfectly and the money is in our bank account and the time is waiting to be spent.
“I think for some people, if they are in certain circumstances and they don’t know anyone personally who has done what they dream of doing, it can be tough to persevere for years to fulfill that dream,” said Katie Aune, a former attorney who dreamed about pursuing her true passion and is currently in Russia living it. “I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to pursue my passion if I hadn’t met people who had actually done the same thing – they made it seem like it was actually possible.”
“Working towards a dream is a thousand little steps in one direction over time,” added Kim who, along with her husband, is in the process of selling her stuff, quitting her job, and clawing her way out of her cubicle to travel the world. “It might take years or decades to save for it and it might not look the way you imagined it to look, but you can get there. Attitude is everything.”