Doug Dvorak's Blog


What It Takes To Pursue Your Dreams

“Follow your dreams” is a common cliche that people are constantly inundated with, especially when we are kids. However, often it is a phrase that is completely meaningless.

It often lacks the context of what your dream is and what situation your life is in. It is such a worthless cliche that some people think it is a childish notion and that abandoning your dream is what it takes to be successful. There is an unfortunate truth that not everybody is able to follow their dreams and the simplicity of simply saying “follow your dreams,” belies the difficulty of actually pursuing your dreams.

Actually pursuing your dreams is incredibly hard and requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and sometimes luck for it to come to fruition. But people who are willing to do what it takes to pursue their dreams, whether it be for a hobby or something they can build into a career, will have something they will be able to pursue and cherish for the rest of their lives. Read on to learn what it takes to pursue your dreams.


If your dream is something you really want to do, then you have to fight for it. Whatever your dream may be, whether it is to be an entrepreneur, an athlete, or an artist, you have to be willing to put in the work to achieve it.

This work includes practicing or studying your chosen field, putting your all into the stepping stones needed to achieve those dreams, and even being willing to do and learn about things that you are not familiar or comfortable with. If your dream is that important to you, then you need to be willing to go through some discomfort to be successful. To be determined means to be willing to do whatever it takes for that dream to become a reality.

But what does it mean to put your all into your dream? It does not mean just brute forcing it and needlessly tiring yourself out, thinking you are being productive when you are just wasting energy. It means doing everything in your power to be the best you can be in your field. It means learning what the best methods are, practicing until you are able to replicate those methods, spending an ample amount of time on your dream to improve, and making sure the steps leading up to it are done properly, without cutting corners. There are no shortcuts to your dream, those will only lead you to dead-ends or mediocrity.


One reason people are not willing to pursue their dreams is because they are afraid. Afraid of being rejected, afraid of being judged, afraid of their lives changing, and ultimately their fear of failing. And it is okay to be afraid, fear is an important part of us, so we do not make foolish mistakes. But it is just as important to not let fear hinder you. To be able to pursue your dreams, you need to be courageous and fight against those fears so they can flourish.

The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, once said: “Believe you can, and you are halfway there.” Something that also holds people back is that they do not believe that they are capable.

And even if that is the case, believing that you are capable of pursuing the dream you yearn for will be the thing that pushes it from being a dream to a possible reality. Even if you are not capable yet, you can still believe you can be capable of it if you put in the effort.


Even if you overcome the fear of failure, it can still be unbelievably crushing to experience it. That is why it is important to be resilient and to not give up so easily. Failing once, or even failing a bunch of times, does not mean that you are doomed to fail.

All successes are predicated on a mound of failure, everybody needs to fail at some point to be successful. It is important to think of failure as a learning experience, to know what you did wrong, what you can do to improve, and what is just bad luck. Being willing to get up and try again, even if your failure is humiliating, will keep you going another day. Even if it is hard, there is always next time.

Furthermore, it can be easy to focus on the negatives and the failures you experience instead of the positives and the successes you have achieved thus far. It does not have to be substantial or impressive to be considered a success. Even something as simple as overcoming your fear, finally finishing a project, and getting a compliment on something you did well can be enough to help push forward.

While it is good to analyze your failures, dwelling on them beyond what is useful will not do you any good. Focus on the small victories until they eventually become larger ones.


There is an unfortunate truth, however, that luck is a determining factor in your dream becoming a successful one. While luck does favor the one who is prepared and it is important to do everything in your power to reach your dream, there are many cases where a person fails to reach it because of simple bad luck. Sometimes your best is rejected, not because you did anything wrong, but because of forces beyond your control.

And sometimes, being unlucky means that you do not have what it takes to follow your dream the way you want to. In such cases, however, that does not mean you just give up. Sometimes you have to adapt. Instead of being able to follow your dream directly, perhaps you can teach others to follow a similar one. You may be able to work with people in your chosen field, even if it is not the position you initially wanted. Or you could be working in a completely different field, yet still have a passion for something. It all depends on what your dream is and what you are capable of doing. Even if you do not have what it takes or bad luck is keeping you from reaching your dream the way you want to, never give up and learn to adapt.


Finally, be patient. Not everything you want to happen is going to happen all at once. Sometimes you need to work at it for a long time before you see any results and that is okay. Sometimes you need to wait until your work, even if it is great, is accepted before you are able to make any headway and that is okay too. While your success cannot be promised, being patient and doing whatever you can now to reach your dream can be fulfilling in the long run. Do not pursue your dream because you want immediate success or sometimes even financial success, do it because you love it. That in itself is its own reward.


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