Follow your dreams, not the dollar signs

I have great admiration for those kids who know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. I was never like that. In fact, I hardly even knew what I wanted for lunch that day; let alone what I wanted to be ‘when I was old’.

For me, each day was a new opportunity to float along, keeping an open mind to fresh opportunities and knowing that one day, the penny will drop and my true passion will ignite inside me like an explosion of wonderfulness.

I think I’m still waiting for that day, Happies, but I do know that I’m definitely on the right path and love what I do. Which, incidentally, appears to be almost as rare as finding those children in the playground who not only know what they want for lunch, but who have already planned their UAI score, degree, and career path all by the age of thirteen.

Finding happiness in what you do is a crucial part in finding happiness in life. We spend, on average, 8.5 hours a day in the office, equating to 42.5 hours a week, 170 hours a month, 2,040 hours a year, adding up to 81, 600 hours in your lifetime, assuming you work for 40 years.

Clearly, when you break the numbers down, that’s a long time to be doing something you hate. Or, for a more realistic term, despise. The number of friends, and even family members I have who are unhappy in their career, far outweighs those who love what they do.

It’s so easy to see how this happens, Happies. Especially for people like me, who never really knew what they wanted to do. When faced with the prospects at the terribly young age of sixteen or seventeen, it’s hard to know what will make you happy, and much easier to follow the bright, neon signs that scream ‘Follow the money. Follow the money.’

And here’s where I think I have been saved. It recently occurred to me, when having a chat to my sister, that I have never made a career decision based on money. Sure, the odd pay-rise when going from job to job was a bonus, but when considering my career path in those formative years, I never once looked at following those signs. Gosh, I was so ignorant I didn’t even see them flashing my way.

Instead, I made decisions based on what my instinct was telling me to do. It’s that simple, really. So often, we make small, seemingly reversible decisions based on money, or popular opinion, or parental pressure, only to look back down the path five years later and think, “how on earth did I get here? This is so far from where I want to be I may as well be on Mars.” All that detouring occurs for one simple reason, Happies – you didn’t trust in your instinct, or have clear directions of where you wanted to go.

When I quizzed people who truly loved what they did, the majority never followed the dollar signs. That said, they are now by far the most successful people I know, both financially, and in spirit, purely because they bounce out of bed each morning sharing their passion with the rest of the world.

Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of detours, and while I’m on the right track now, it’s been a long journey with a very, very long way to go. But there’s something to be said about making decisions based on what YOU want to do, figuring out your dreams, writing that road map to find them, and knowing that every decision you make from here on in is taking you somewhere awesome. While those neon signs may falsely flash at the beginning of your journey, know that if you follow your dreams and invest in your passion, your wealth will encompass far more than a bulging bank balance and a crappy corner office. After all, you can’t put a price on true happiness. Or, can you?

Tell me Happies…
Have you always known your correct path?
Do you make decisions on money, or passion?
Have you ever made a decision based on money and realised it doesn’t bring you happiness?



  1. Corrine/Frock & Roll · May 11, 2011

    TOO true.

    All the dollars in the world don’t make the slightest of differences if you’re engaging in work that makes you absolutely miserable!

  2. Kate · May 11, 2011

    Yaz. Thank you! This is what I need to read/hear right now. And by this, i mean this specifically…
    “But there’s something to be said about making decisions based on what YOU want to do, figuring out your dreams, writing that road map to find them, and knowing that every decision you make from here on in is taking you somewhere awesome.”
    I just left the life I know and the people I love, for my dreams. These first two weeks have been so hard but to be reminded that I made this decision based on what I wanted to do and what my dreams are…well I cant thank you enough. Seriously…you just put a smile on my dial 🙂 xx

  3. Jusbruers · May 12, 2011

    Yaz, thank you!
    I have been going the tortured artist route to follow my dream and looking for flexible casual work but was thinking of getting a ‘real job’. Thank you for reminding me why i’m doing this xx

  4. Pingback: A Week o’ Love « Dream. Delight. Inspire.
  5. Ashleigh · May 16, 2011

    Yaz, this is spot on! I have so many friends who hate their jobs and just live for the evenings and weekends. I just can’t imagine ever doing that, hating a third of my life, no thanks! I’m almost 26, have one useless degree, started another I wasn’t interested in in order to get a job…I was only 6 months off finishing and I decided I couldn’t hack hating going to work everyday. I dropped out, got a job (which, despite paying poorly, I enjoy) and am applying to study what I’m really and truly interested in. Life’s not about ticking boxes. Just do what you love and you’ll land on your feet x

  6. Megan · June 1, 2011

    I am 27 and still unsure of what I want to be ‘when I grow up’ lol
    After wanting to be a police officer since age 4 an injury whilst training for the fitness test delayed my entry and led me to work with animals in a shelter. I took it on regardless of pay rates and made a choice that this was the happier path for me. Now it may be time, 6 years later, for another change… Maybe into communications or teaching even, who knows. But I know I will feel the happiness when I find my next path too, I am just waiting.

  7. Skye · June 6, 2011

    I am halfway through my teaching degree and I dont feel as though it is what i want to do. Ive been at ‘school’ my whole life and I want to taste the working world, 9-5, 5 days a week at a coffee shop or something that is a small part of many peoples daily life.
    Your blog is making me feel like its okay to take a leap, even if it is into something that society may deem as ‘not as secure as getting my degree’. hang on, is that just my own insecurities?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s