Following your dream takes guts.
Of course there are situations which require prudence. Providing for a family, bowing to a spouse’s needs, getting out of debt, etc. all may necessitate taking a less than exciting or meaningful job.
But there are also times when we give up too easily on our dreams. We opt for the money, prestige or praise of colleagues. We shelve the work that we truly desire. It just looks too complicated—and there are too many tradeoffs to the life with which we’re comfortable.
Two Dutch Masters provide dramatic examples of following their hearts even though their earthly payoff was minimal.
“Look at Rembrandt and van Gogh. They trusted their vocations and died not allowing anyone to lead them astray. With true Dutch stubbornness, they followed their vocations from the moment they recognized them. They didn’t bend over backward to please their friends or enemies. Both ended their lives in poverty, but both left humanity with gifts that could heal the minds and hearts of many generations of people.
Think of these two men and trust that you too have a unique vocation that is worth claiming and living out faithfully.”
Henri Nouwen, “The Inner Voice of Love”
Now is the time in my life when I will choose a dream direction–knowing in my soul that that the work is what I really need. And the outcomes visible to the world may not be there in the short run, or even the long run for that matter.