Often, I hear driven young professionals share their big, huge dreams for themselves, their side hustles, their financial futures, and so on. I love hearing about people’s limitless, out of this world, big-picture dreams. It’s truly one of the things that lights me up the most because I really believe anything is possible.
And yet, these dreams are so often denied before they’re even pursued, and a common reason for that is because people feel like it’s not “right” to pursue their own lavish, luxurious dreams. They feel like having that kind of money, building that kind of business, doing that kind of traveling, or living a certain lifestyle has something wrong with it, like it’s a selfish thing to do with their lives.
I completely understand this as I spent years interning and working for nonprofits in college. I wanted to help people and help heal the suffering of the world, and thought this was the best way to do it. Of course, I had desires to travel, live luxuriously in New York, and I even had the curiosity to start my own business, but I somewhat dismissed them thinking that it was selfish of me to want to do those things when I was doing very noble work at charities, even if low paying.
Working for a charity is certainly admirable and I did love working there, but my thinking about why I should was all wrong. The greatest thing I (or you, or anyone else!) can do for the world is not at all to necessarily work for a charity.
The greatest thing you can do for the betterment of humanity is to make the most of yourself.
For some, that’s definitely working at a nonprofit, sure. For others, it’s working at a bank, or traveling full time, or being a stay-at-home parent. Whatever it is, it should come from the place of complete self-fulfillment and not from what we think we “ought” to do.
After all, the way you can be the best learner, supporter, family member, employee, employer, friend, and so on, is if you are fulfilled by your own right.
And further, when you do go for your dreams, whatever they are, you lead by example and then inspire other people to go for their dreams, which then brings them into that same place of fulfillment, where they can also be a better learner, supporter, family member, and so on.
You start a positive reaction and it’s contagious.
So here’s to going wholeheartedly for your dreams. It’s the most selfless thing you could do!