Follow Your Dreams

How many people do you know who love their job?

Most people stay in their jobs because they don’t think the perfect job exists.

The perfect job requires work, both from our heart and mind.

We need to listen to our heart on what we truly desire, leaving the mind to sort out the practicality later.

More often than we realize, our ideas get shut down pretty quickly. This is largely because either those ideas are not what we truly desire, or we let our mind do the talking too quickly on how practical and feasible the ideas are before we even give ourselves a good change to explore them.

The mind is here to help us overcome challenges, not to stop us from pursuing our dreams, being our authentic selves and living our lives to the fullest.

Our mind is such a powerful tool that if we don’t consciously own it, it will unconsciously own us.


Recently, I had a conversation with Tom, the director of a hair salon.

On top of his salon work, Tom does a lot of hair styling for local celebrities for magazine and TV commercial shoots.

He has been in the industry for over 15 years, building his name, image and a good clientele with the skills that he acquired and harnessed over the years.

But Tom is looking for a change — something that he enjoys doing and making a living from.

In other words, he is looking for his perfect job.

Surprisngly, he was never passionate about a career in the industry. He started working in the industry because he didn’t mind trying it out when he got an opportunity.

So what is Tom interested in?

He once wanted to learn Korean and be a tour guide in Korea.

But he has never seriously considered it as an option, because his mind threw up all the reasons he cannot — “I don’t know what I could do in Korea, what I could use Korean for and how I could support myself by being able to speak Korean.”

Instead of taking the first step in pursuing his interest, Tom is waiting for an opportunity to make it happen for him, just like his journey into the hair-styling profession.

We need to work for and on our perfect job — it doesn’t just present itself.


Take Luca, whom I met in Italy on a local food tour. At that time, Luca had just started his business. He had a small van with a driver taking no more than six people for either a half- or full-day food tour.

Fast forward eight years, Luca now has four big vans, similar tours covering other parts of Italy and a food export buiness to places such as United States and Hong Kong.

He said it has been an amazing journey but with a lot of hard work.

Like Tom, Luca faced many unknowns and uncertainties.

His wasn’t offered any opporutnity to follow his interest. He didn’t need one because he took the first step and created one himself.

Once he started, more opportunities came to him.

There is risk involved when you start something new.

Are you risking leaving your dreams and life behind by holding onto what is safe? Or are you risking what you have now, which no longer serves you, in order to pursue your dreams to live the life you want?


(This article was originally published in The Straits Times, an English newspaper based in Singapore.)