Create a life you don’t want to escape from

By Liso Donaldson    18-Nov-2012 09:58 UTC+02:00

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela.

I aspire to work for Vogue Us. If this is your dream when you’re nine years old, you’re adorable. Go girl! If it’s your dream when you’re twenty-one, well, OK, good for you girlfriend! If you’re 44 and still dreaming about it, some people are going to think you’re pathetic.

Those people are not invited to my inevitable “Yay, I’m moving to New York to work for Vogue” party and there WILL be Champagne and balloons!

While some dreams, such as ‘famous child actor’ do have expiration dates, most do not, yet we feel pressure to be realistic and give up on our goals too soon. We’re plagued with thoughts like “If only I had done this or that then things would have been different and better now”. That may be true, but you cannot really change the past unless you have a time-machine but Apple is yet to bring this ‘Must Have’ device out to-date. It may FEEL like it is too late now but you are NOT stuck permanently in the life you have now. Feelings are not facts last I checked.

For some absurd reason we seem to be under the misconception that if we don’t become a huge success at a fairly young age, we’re just not that talented. I say don’t believe that insidious lie! We all have different life circumstances.

We’re worried people will laugh at us for trying. Let them. The truth is, a lot of people will not want you to pursue something ambitious, and they certainly don’t want you to achieve it, because what will that say about them? They don’t want to consider that giving up on dreams of their own was a huge mistake. Some people will be jealous of you for even trying. “Who the heck does she think she is?” they will say. Someone great, that’s who!

If we’re also super honest, we’re terrified we won’t be able to achieve it and the truth is you might not be able to, and you might have to do something you wouldn’t have planned for. But you’ll enjoy having tried. You won’t have wasted your time. I do understand that you may not be able to change your life immediately in the fabulous way you want to. There are real limits and obstacles in most people’s lives but if you can just make a small change, start there. From that small change and success you will gain confidence and you can build upon that to make more and perhaps even bigger changes further on.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson

A perfect example of a late bloomer to awesomeness was the loveable Kathryn Joosten who passed away in June this year. She was best known for her roles as Mrs McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and Mrs Landingham on the West Wing. She began in Community Theater at the age of 42. Ten years later, she took a job as a street performer at Disney World, and a few years after that she moved to Hollywood to pursue her acting dreams.

You may aspire to do things that don’t involve fame or riches. That is also fantastic, obviously! Whatever your goal/passion/ambition is, never tell yourself it’s too late to go for it unless we’re talking about becoming an Olympic gymnast or something of a similar nature. No matter what age you are, just be awesome!

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