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Wayne HooverI find it somewhat funny, and yet tragic, how life can steal our dreams. If you’re like me, you had plenty of dreams when you were young — there was no limit to your potential, no ceiling on the heights that you could attain, and certainly no one telling you that you couldn’t accomplish anything you wanted.

And then you met your older self.

As we get older and gain more responsibility, those childhood dreams seem to take a backseat to the “real-world problems” we all face. 

We see those around us start to settle into the rut.  Same thing, day after day, for far too little pay – but we all say, “Someday, I’ll (insert dream here).”

The trouble with most of us is that “someday isle” doesn’t exist anywhere on the map.  Believe me, I’ve looked — and I have yet to find it. 

Out of nowhere, this little voice starts rattling around in your head, telling you that you’re too old, you don’t have any talent, you don’t have any money, you don’t have any time, or the worst one – what will people think?  

They aren’t thinking about you at all, though. They’re too busy with their own stuff.

To overcome this subtle-yet-powerful voice, you have to develop one key trait to become a dreamer again.  Just one, that’s all!  It’s the same thing that the lion needed in the “Wizard of Oz,” and that’s COURAGE.  

We all have it within us, but it can be really difficult to unlock.

So when are you going to pursue your dreams?  Really, think about it, when?  Today, tomorrow, next week, when you retire?  

How about now?  

I spent years climbing the ladder in corporate America, only to find out that it was leaning on the wrong wall!  

I loved writing and thought that would be the avenue that would lead me out of the rut in which I was so heavily immersed. I decided to attend a Travel Writing Workshop with Great Escape Publishing in September 2012, with every intention of being the most sought-after travel writer on the planet. 

I also signed up for an extra day’s workshop on travel photographyand that was the day I had been waiting for my entire life.

I decided then and there that I would become a photographer. Period, no discussion! I studied everything I could get my hands on to learn the craft. And at first, I failed. And failed again.  And again. But with each failure I learned something, and slowly I got better.  

The rewards for my decision and subsequent hard work have been incalculable.  

Worldwide travel, new friends with common interests (and not one of them has told me that I can’t), and needless to say, the money. (“Attaboys” are great, right? But they don’t buy plane tickets.) My income stream is constantly growing, and as a result, so are my dreams.

My advice to those of you pondering your future is to simply go for it. If you don’t, you know what your future holds: more of the same!  If you just remember that “the negative screams and the positive whispers,” you can paint whatever future you want. 

Five years from today, you could be exactly where you are today. Or, you can make different choices in the two key factors for following your dreams in life: the information you gather, and the people with whom you associate. 

When you have a posse, it’s easier to find the courage you need to succeed, and you can find your posse with Great Escape — all you have to do is decide on your attitude and your effort. 

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