If you have a dream or passion, nurture it. Protect and preserve it. Don’t let anyone discourage you from pursuing what’s important to you just because they don’t “get” it. Nourish it, feed it. It’s part of who you are, what makes you *you*.
Nix the naysayers. I started writing stories when I was six. But for a long time I listened to the negativity of those around me who were “realistic” and “practical”. I thought that if I could not make money at it, it was not worth pursuing. But I finally realized I should be writing. Period. Just because. No matter what anyone else thought I should be doing. For me. I let other people define me for too long.
Realize that if it’s important to you, it’s important. No matter what anyone else thinks. Sometimes those around us can deter us with negativity. It can be hard to tune out well-meaning parents or spouses and friends and their negativity. It doesn’t mean we can’t be realistic. Quitting a job to go write novels when you have a family to support may not be the wisest thing to do. But writing every day or joining a writing club supports your passion and keeps you moving toward your dream. You may not be a million-dollar Hollywood actor. But you can act in your local theater. Don’t let anyone kill your dream.
And don’t be a dream-killer to your children either. Don’t squash their dreams or passions just because they don’t line up with your own. Life rains on every kid’s parade soon enough. We as parents should never be the ones to douse the flames. Instead, we can fan the flames by encouraging them to pursue whatever it is that speaks to them. And when they fail, and they will, we can encourage them to get up and keep going.
Nurture your own dreams and those of your children. Nurture creativity, imagination, curiosity and excitement. Treat them like precious jewels because they are. Our dreams and passions are part of what makes life worth living. Don’t ever let them die.