Why? Because we are taught as a society to conform, to do things "the right way." This often means doing things the way everyone else is doing them. Or the way your family has done them. Or the way your colleagues and friends do them.
It's disheartening.There's is nothing more discouraging than telling your dream to a loved one or friend or family member and have them shoot it down.
If you aren't willing to face this kind of criticism and ignore it, you'll never get there. One reason I admire actors in Hollywood so much is that (If you do enough background reading), you see how often they are rejected for roles before they "make it," and how persistent they are in the face of so much negativity. It doesn't excuse the shallowness of some of them, but it helps you understand that you need something of an ego to endure the countless people who tell you that you're just a pretty waiter.
Which is why all dreamers need humour in their life. As a kid growing up in a small town, I was the youngest of three. My family is great, but there was often tension within it. As the youngest (and undoubtedly the most spoiled, as the only boy), I quickly learned that my role was to break that tension. To make people laugh.
And so I did.
I'm over forty now, and I still try to make people laugh. (Which is a really good skill for picking up hot women, like my wife, FYI) The tension is no longer there, but the habit remains. And waht I still appreciate, when it comes to dealing with my daily harangues, whether its depression or rejection or just getting my work done, is the solace of laughter.
We adults, as a rule, take ourselves to seriously. Everything is serious. Every life moment is crucial. Our votes. Our ideas. Our work environments.
We get so wound up in "being adults" we forget that the most joy we had came when we were kids. When we were allowed to play. And playing is dreaming. There is a direct correlation between the two. I take my writing seriously, but if there's no joy in it, it isn't a dream.
I've spoken with a number of successful people who believe the only "real" pressure comes when you work a high corporate position where you make lots of money and work intense overtime. And oh yeah, your salary is $500,000 a year.
I'd suggest that there is far greater pressure when you're not sure how you're going to pay rent and you're writing at 2am to finish a short story that may or may not ever be sold. I'm not suggesting that the high-powered executive isn't facing pressure. They are. (I've had a number of clients like this) But to suggest that such pressure is greater than that of the starving artist is bull. A single year of a salary like that is worth eight years of the life of a starving artist.
This is where the importance of humour enters. I've met numerous artists who are just as sad-faced and delirious as my high powered lawyer clients.(I'm a personal trainer. We see LOTS of rich clients.)
This is unacceptable.
If we lose our sense of humour, we lose our sense of place. This is death to any dreamer. It practically guarantees that we will become a self-important jerk.
And we have enough of those.
My suggestion? Find a way to laugh again.
Don't strain yourself to tell your partner that you're working on "your career." Don't roll your eyes at them when they ask you how it's going and don't quite understand. Of course they don't understand. Explain it to them, even if you've done it before. And most importantly, find things that make you laugh.
Laughter heals us. It makes us better. It helps artists to lose their narcissistic strain, (Yes, it's in you, too, no matter what you think.)
Tonight, I've posted a few videos that I find hilarious. I suggest you find people (John Oliver?) that speak profoundly but make you laugh. Never underestimate the power of a smile.
We need you to dream, but you need to laugh to follow through.
So let's find things to laugh about.
As a trainer, I have to include this one from Regan.
And one more from the great Louis C.K. (Swearing in this one, if that bothers you, but minimal) This is probably my favourite comedy bit of all time. Yeah, it's that good.)
Smiling now? Good!
Now get back to work, and forget about those dream killers and doubters and dummies who can't be bothered!
We need you!