Unlocking Your Dreams: Living Life to Your Fullest Potential

Don’t be afraid to follow your heart and pursue your desires.
Don’t be afraid to follow your heart and pursue your desires.

In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recalls a memory many years ago when she was with Brian De Palma and Steve Spielberg, who were “little-known directors” at the time. She writes of how Spielberg described a film he wanted to make involving the “UFO phenomenon.” Cameron writes, “There was scant support for the project, and Spielberg was discouraged—although the project itself excited him. What to do? De Palma encouraged him to follow his heart and make that piece of art. That movie became Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” What if Spielberg would have remained discouraged? What if De Palma would not have encouraged him to follow his heart? Going out on a limb, being creative, and following your heart can feel impractical and maybe even really scary. So often you hear of people going into their family businesses, choosing life paths based on their parents’ encouragement or insistence, or not following their dreams at all because they seem so foolish. However, if you follow someone else’s dream or deny a part of yourself, you may be left feeling empty, depressed, bored, or unfulfilled. You end up ignoring your God-given gifts.

Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl once said, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life…Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” Do you feel you are following your mission in life? What have you thought about wanting to do, but you find yourself ignoring it? Is it because you don’t feel you have the time, money, courage, support or other necessary means to do it? Too often, people push these questions out of their minds, but find themselves unfulfilled with life.

Often, there are underlying issues that keep people from being able to live life to the fullest. Fear can stop people in their tracks. Maybe they are afraid people will reject or laugh at their ideas or—even worse—reject or laugh at them. It can be very beneficial to talk to someone to sort through these roadblocks.

If you are struggling with unanswered questions, doubts, or insecurities regarding a new direction for your life, talking to a professional can be the answer to your search for support. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help through counseling—it doesn’t make you less brave, and it doesn’t make you weak.