This is going to be one of those posts that has a question, but no answer. That’s because it’s an individual decision. You’re talking to somebody that spent 12 years developing a product before it even made it to market. And someone that hung in there for years as an actor. Some years were great, and I made several movies and TV shows. And some years were spent bartending and waiting tables for what seemed like an eternity. I’ve spent years in a relationship waiting for a ring. So, I’m really not one to tell anyone else when they should give up a dream. I guess the answer is… when you no longer have a passion for it.
Yesterday I was told that I would finally be getting a dream job I had been pursuing for about 2 years. But it started way before that. I started planting the seeds for it before I even knew I was looking for a job. And I didn’t know I was planting seeds at all. It started years ago when I went to get a Christmas tree. The guy at the lot was very proud of the trees and wanted to tell the story of how they got there. Most people were in a hurry to get their tree and go home. But I wasn’t in much of a hurry, for a change, and sensed his excitement over telling someone the Christmas tree story. So, I stayed and listened.
He showed me the freshly cut trees that had just come in that afternoon and were still in the refrigerated truck. I can still remember the strong smell of pine. He told me the whole story about how they were grown and shipped and how much pride they took in them. And how the lot gave seasonal jobs to people that really needed them. And I went back to the Christmas tree lot every year to hear the story and pick out a tree.
So, fast forward to the dream job. As it turned out, Christmas tree man was best friends with the hiring agent for said dream job and yesterday he made a personal introduction on my behalf. I got the job. It doesn’t start until the end of next year, but it just shows that it can happen if you’re patient.
When I coach with people who are starting their own business or looking for a job or inventing products, they want things to happen quickly. So do I. If you tell someone it may take years to get their dream job or get their business off the ground they will probably give up. I am pretty sure I might have done the same. That’s where the passion comes in. If you’re not able to sustain it, it becomes harder to keep hope alive.
So, how long should you chase your dream? As long as you still have hope.