Should you share your goals, dreams and aspirations with your loved ones?

When first starting out, my advice is to keep your goals and aspirations to yourself….. unless you are surrounded by a group of like minded people who share your passion, niche or pursuit. Otherwise, the respond you may get is something you can see in the video below (yes, it is a cheeky video):

 

 

When sharing may cause problems for us….

1. Opinions and ‘concerns’ from others may discourage us
If we plan to do something unconventional, and our family and friends are those who like to play safe and value financial security, they may be genuinely concerned or worried that we may fail. Maybe they know of so-and-so who did what we did and ended up a failure and maybe owning huge amount of debts.

While the video above, I did make fun of the respond of people who may call us crazy, the truth is that people around us give their opinion out of good intentions because they have the best interest for us in their hearts. They may not have a clear idea what we are doing so their concern for us may make them worried for our wellbeing. Especially when you have parents or relatives that grew up in poverty or had a tough childhood, then financial stability would be the top priority to them because they know how it feels like to starve and live in dire conditions.

And often, they may not put it subtly but may talk bluntly, thus trampling on the little bit of self confidence that we have.

What should we do if we really want them to know what we are up to?

We can share but if they are not into it or do not understand, then do not keep repeating it to their face. Also, we need to put our pride aside and really take into consideration the reasons why they may not want to support us.

Because they may be what we need to keep us grounded.

Let me share a personal experience with you. About the ages of 19 to my early twenties, my dream was to become a full time crafter, making crafts for a living. While my mom then did not mind me making crafts as a hobby, she was horrified at the prospect of me considering to craft for a full time living.

After a few times of me repeatedly ‘sharing’ with her my grand plans, one day she just told me bluntly that my creations are only good enough as a hobby or to give to like charity to raise funds. Because no one would buy them. You know, the kind of charity event where people would be willing to pay for something at a price that they would otherwise never pay at a store because they wanted to do charity.

By nature, my mom could be quite blunt (but genuinely meant well).  Her words stung. I was young then and took offense at what she said. I continued to work hard in my production, making tonnes of product, dreaming of selling them all one day at craft fairs…..if only I could muster up the courage to open a stall and set it up.

I got rebelious and went into full production mode, using all available free and waking time away from work and sleep to make my crafts. I was determined to proof her wrong and was offended at why she always pour cold water on all my ‘dreams’. Like the time when I was in my early teens and told her I wanna drop out of school so that I could be a hawker and sell fried noodles.

But at the back of my mind, I also know my mom’s character well. She was often right about a lot of things. So I did not completely disregard but I kept in view what she said.

One day, I got a wake up call. After months and maybe a few years of making tonnes of products, I finally came to my senses. For example, I made crafted hairclips and each one took me at least 2 hours to make by hand. How much could a small hairclip make? That time mass produced goods from China were flooding the market with beautiful clips and crafts retailing for mere pennies.

Many crafters from developed countries were seeing these mass produced items flooding the market and having their livelihood destroyed. They wanted to lobby to stop the import and sale of these items at craft fairs. But in the end, as a customer, the cost of the item would win over. Most people would not mind a mass produced item if they love the design rather than a hand crafted item that cost a bomb.

In the end, I realized I could never make it as a full time crafter. If I pursue that route, I would be worse than a starving artist. Instead, what I could do was to apply the creativity in making crafts in my job and I also learned to build my own blogs. I was thankful for my mom for keeping me grounded (she has Alzheimer’s now, I do miss her dearly and that is why I resigned from my corporate job without hesitation to be her full time caregiver. It is now more than 6  years).

From personal experience, I feel that we need not follow our passion in the career we choose because having our livelihood hanging by the thread of what our creativity and passion can produce can be stressful, demoralizing and cause us to develop adversion towards it. Instead, a better way is to channel the skill sets that come with our interests, hobbies and passion into our career. For example if you are a blogger, then make use of the writing skill to apply a job that is related to copywriting or communication:

 

2. We may lose ‘steam’ or momentum ourselves

In the beginning of trying out anything, we usually would be met with a steep learning curve. While there are the exciting parts, there are also the boring parts.

For example, if we wish to side a side business, while it is exciting to plan the concept and materials, there are also ‘boring’ aspects of the business such as registration (should we go for sole prop or LLC?), understanding local regulatory requirements, doing the accounting, building the website and a thousand other tasks that when we are just starting out, we may have to do it ourselves for we cannot afford to hire someone to do it.

Therefore after the initial excitement wears off, there come the grind and hustle of working hard. It is an uphill battle. It seemed that sometimes when we tell out and keep talking about our dreams, we may expand a lot of mental energy, energy that are perhaps better spent to work on our goals.

Honestly, I do not share my blogs and YouTube channel with people in my life, including my family members. My family is aware of it but they do not actively seek out my channel because they have no interest in the things I talk about or my content. And as for my friends, I do not mention it. I mean, all they needed to do is to Google my name and they would find my content all over the internet and they can recognize my voice (in some of my YouTube videos) and my profile photo. Yet, who would thought of googling this unasumming friend of theirs?

Ironically in my life, people close to me do not share the same interest, passion and aspiration. I also saw no need to bore them with my blogs or YouTube channel. And I have been a blogger for more than 10 years and in YouTube for the last few years. It has gone to a stage where there is an inner motivation and call to create content, to share my thoughts and ideas with those who come across my content.  I do not require any external validation, approval or judgement.

Therefore, if you have a passion project or interest or goal that is unique and no one in your real life share with you, it is really okay. If it is that inner voice that could not be silenced, then give it a go but do not quit your job just yet until you can earn enough to make it into a full time living. See if you can stick to it without being bored, discouraged or lose interest because you would need to stick to it for the long term.

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