Blog

Start Doing What You Love Right Now!


By Jody Hedlund, @JodyHedlund

My kids have loved watching the Olympics over the past couple of weeks. I know this because they're constantly checking to see what events are on TV.

But I also know the excitement goes deeper when I see my daughters pretending to be Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman as they jump on the trampoline. Or when my young son is doing the backstroke at the pool and claims to be Michael Phelps.

After listening to story after story about athletes and their rigorous workouts, my oldest son went online, found a detailed training plan, and printed it out.

There's something about watching others strive after their dreams that inspires us to reach higher for ours.

My twin daughters recently had a sleepover with a friend and watched the Disney movie, Lemonade Mouth. Yes, it's slightly cheesy and unrealistic. But it was still an inspiring movie. A group of misfit teens came together, formed a band, and then worked hard to make something of themselves. 

After the movie, as the girls and I processed the good and the bad, I remarked that one of the things I liked about the movie was that the kids pursued their passion even though they were young. They didn't let age or other obstacles stand in their way. They didn't wait until they finished high school, had more time, or were more mature. They just did it.

My daughters' friend that slept over is a budding writer. She's in seventh grade, but she already has a binder full of research for her book and has plotted it out in great detail. During the sleepover, I gave her a copy of my character worksheets so she could use them in her planning.

I did it because I believe in her. I don't think she's too young to write a book or pursue her passion.

She isn't letting anything stop her from doing what she loves. Like the kids in Lemonade Mouth, she isn't telling herself she's too young. She's embracing her gifting and passion with abandon.

Often when we get older, we lose faith in ourselves. Once we've experienced the hard knocks of life, we start viewing the world more cynically. We're no longer oblivious to the realities and roadblocks that loom between us and our dreams.

So we grow less willing to jump into the unknown. Instead, we tiptoe in, testing the waters slowly. And we have the tendency to slink out at the least ripple. 

If only we could hang on to the child-like abandonment of chasing after our dreams. If only we didn't focus so much on the obstacles standing in our way. If only we didn't let fear stop us. If only we continued to believe that everything was still possible.

Because the truth is, none of us are too young or too old to follow our passions, to begin doing what we love every day. 

Maybe we need to stop tip-toeing in and just take the plunge. Jump into the water with a splash. Get wet. Go deep. And give it all we've got.

So be like a child. Believe in yourself.

Believe you can be a writer. Or artist. Or musician.

Start now. Why wait?

Are you doing what you love with childlike abandonment? Or are you letting obstacles and fear hold you back?


29 comments:

  1. I've been discovering this recently watching my ten month old exploring the world. He throws himself into (or off!) anything and everything! No fear of getting hurt, no worrying it won't work out, or that he'll fail and look stupid, just total immersion in discovery.

    Of course there are the times when it doesn't work out so well and the bottom lip goes out and the tears well and the arms get raised for Mummy or Daddy to pick him up and make it better. And then when all is well, he's off again, throwing himself off the next thing.

    Though given that his big dreams seem to revolve around sticking things in electrical sockets and/or getting into the kitchen cupboards to play with the cleaning supplies I have to admit I do spend most of my time trying to prevent them coming to fruition :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Yes Kara, you will definitely want to keep those pursuits of his from coming to fruition! ;-) But someday he'll move beyond sticking things in electrical outlets (hopefully!), and you'll be inspired by your children's passion to pursue what they love!

      Delete
    2. Yes, one day he'll graduate and begin teaching others how to stick things in electrical sockets. o_O

      Delete
  2. I get inspired by my children dreams of pursuing their dreams. They are so absolute, unshakeable in their faith. We adults all need a little more of that. I put aside my dreams when I got married and had kids. And when I divorced and became a single parent, it wasn't the time to follow the path I wanted to but things have shifted around over the past years and now that my kids are 13 and 15, I have time to pursue my own dreams again. Somehow, that fire never dies no matter how much has been thrown at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Traci,

      I'm sure your path of late has been rocky and hard. Going through divorce and becoming a single parent doesn't always allow the time to chase after dreams. But I hope you're moving into a new season of having more time to take care of yourself and do the things you love!

      Delete
  3. Great post, Jody. Full of heart and insight.

    I've been writing for 15 years now and I've lost some of the luster of that initial dream and passion. Even though my latest book just received a starred review on Kirkus, I feel a bit weary. I had no idea how hard the journey would be. The spark is still there, however, and this post makes me want to turn up the heat again.

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder!
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,

      So glad the post inspired you to want to turn up the heat! Sometimes we really do need to recapture that childlike enthusiasm we once had!

      Delete
  4. 'None of us are too young or too old to follow our passions.'
    Hmm... I frequently hear about not being to old but I'm thinking if that's the way it is, then you can never being to young either to follow your passion.( You're right!)

    Oh, GREAT reminder, Jody!

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This blog gave me a lot to think about and I think I ride a rollor coaster with each new book. Childlike abandoment and really excited at the start, but the closer I come to the finish, that fear creeps in (but I fight it).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the encouraging words today. You have no idea how much I needed them. I've been working really hard on my rough draft. When I looked over it last night, I discovered how rough it really was. Ouch! It really got me down.

    But this post reminds me how much I enjoyed writing that rough draft. All those hours were very hard, yet I was engergized by doing what I love to do.

    I still have a lot more work to do. If I can remember how much I love it and not focus on how hard it is, then maybe I can make it through.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I saw yesterday a twelve-year-old got a two-book deal for a graphic novel about middle school. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that, Caroline! THAT is amazing! But it just proves that we can do anything we set our minds to doing! We just can't stop believing in ourselves!

      Delete
  8. I miss my young self who could write so easily, without a care in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What an inpsiring post, Jody!! It's such a good feeling when we can let go and ignore all the obstacles and fears that hold us back at times.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You have no idea how much I needed this today. I can rememmber not letting anything stop me when I was a child. I want that back!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd like to think I am, but 'obstacles and fear' are often more real than the passion.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Everyone!! So glad the post today has been inspiring to everyone! As always, the blog post was a "note to self." :-)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just what I needed to hear today too. So, Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I tackled my dream to write rather late in life... in fact, when I look at statistics, reality says my 'window of opportunity' for publication has almost closed. But I'll keep believing, and as long as I have the desire I might as well keep trying, right?

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My father grumbles that he wants a new job. I ask what he wants to do—what he likes to do—and he has no idea. I can't imagine that.

    Whereas I'm still young by most folks' reckoning, and God has blessed me into stumbling into one of my life dream occupations. (Okay, so I didn't "stumble"—He showed me it existed as a possibility and gave me the experience and guts to seek out the opportunity to do it.)

    There's one more major dream that I want, but I'm going for it. I have to remind myself about it sometimes, though, because sometimes I feel like settling. Then I shake myself, look around, and realize, "Hey, wait a minute!"

    ReplyDelete
  16. It's never too late to pursue your dreams. You gotta have faith in yourself and that's what matters! I'm pursuing my dream early because once that door closes, it's closed forever. We have to chase our dreams and fulfill them to their fullest!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I keep my writing a secret from most people, partly because I'm afraid that they'll judge me or criticize me for writing. A lot of people will say that it's tough/impossible to get published and that I should do something else, but I don't really need to hear that. I know it's difficult to get published, but publication isn't the only reason I write anyway. So I keep pursuing my dream, even though several people could probably come up with many reasons why I shouldn't.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Meeting and understanding the obstacles in our path as we grow up and grow old should only make us more tenacious, and it should fine-tune our ability to estimate the effort we need to invest for our passion to be realized.

    I think it's more likely the other people telling us it's not worth the trouble or whining about their own failures as if they're natural and universal that's eventually keeping us from going after what we want.

    I really believe the will is there, slumbering in all of us, and it would come forth if there weren't so many naysayers and if we payed more attention to our own desires than others' complaints.

    So yeah, I'm with you all the way in this one, Jody -- we should just go ahead and do what we love to do, work to realize our dreams. No one else will do it for us. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great point, Vero! If only the obstacles would make us more tenacious and push us to work harder. I'm afraid for many, the obstacles send us back to the sidelines. Of course there may be seasons in our life when we may not be able to chase after our dreams to the fullest extent. The passion inside may have to simmer. But we can't make our whole life that "season" of waiting on our dreams, otherwise life will pass us by without us doing what we love. :-)

      Delete
  19. Love this post. As the mother of two daughters who both love to write, I encourage them every chance I get. I never want to be a dream squasher! Unfortunately, there will be many obstacles for them to overcome along the way I won't be able to remove for them. I've learned a lot about writing from watching my daughters. (And I am a writer!) The unabashed passion for spinning stories is amazing to witness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mollie! Yes, your daughters will face enough obstacles eventually. They don't need it from you too! I think believing in them and encouraging them to pursue their dreams is one of the best gifts you can give them! :-)

      Delete
  20. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

© All the articles in this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without prior written consent from the author. You may quote without permission if you give proper credit and links. Thank you!