Is It Too Early to Follow Your Dream?

If there’s one thing I learned from college it’s this: it is SO easy to procrastinate. 10 page paper due in a week? Perfect, that means I’ve got 6.75 days to do whatever I want.

 

 

Now that I’ve graduated, procrastination can play an even bigger, more serious role. Specifically, a lot of people my age are saying the same things: “I’ll eventually do something I really love, but this is fine for now” and “Hey, it’s not what I love, but it’s a job.” I agree that in today’s world even having a job is important, and it’s sometimes necessary to take what is available. However, people often sell themselves too short and start out in a career path they don’t enjoy or that doesn’t challenge them. As the old saying goes, “it’s never too late to do what you love or follow your dream.” For some people, this is the perfect procrastinator’s excuse. I absolutely agree that you sometimes don’t know what your dream is until later in life or that it’s just not financially viable right now to follow it, but I also believe that it’s never too early to take the steps toward achieving your dreams or doing something you love.

I graduated from college in May of 2011 with a degree in psychology. In my mind, graduate school in some specific field of psychology presented itself as the next logical step. So, I started studying for the GRE, got a very rewarding job in a group home for residents with varying forms of schizophrenia and started my search for the right graduate school.

I managed to plod through the days, but those GRE books were not holding my attention. Another passion kept knocking at my door: voice over acting. I have loved performing since I can remember. I recorded made-up commercials with my friend Tom about random objects around my basement, played the evil dentist, Orin Scrivello, in my high school’s version of Little Shop of Horrors, sang at Carnegie Hall with my high school’s vocal jazz group, Voices of Fire, and performed with an all-male a cappella group in college named Johnnie Blend. I will never forget those moments. But during those recently-graduated days of summer, I just saw those events as little bits of fun sprinkled into my path of becoming a psychologist or professor…professions I could easily explain to my family.

I never truly imagined that I could channel this drive into a unique but legitimate profession: voice over acting. I had thought about becoming a male voice over talent for years, and I actually looked into it pretty extensively the summer before my senior year. It looked fun and exciting but like most things, required a lot of hard work. Plus, this unique career path scared me. What would everyone think?! What would my family think? Or worse, my girlfriend’s family? So I put it on the back burner and let psychology stay up front.

A year went by and I found myself studying for the GRE during the summer of 2011. One day, I decided to take a quick break from studying quantitative and verbal reasoning to check up on the world of voice over acting. It all came back to me in that moment. It looked so fun, challenging, exciting, and you could even make money doing it! What started as a quick break turned into a couple hours, and then into a couple days, and then into a full-fledged dedication to researching and discovering what it takes to become a successful male voice actor.

I truly believe that it’s never too early to do what you love, and I encourage you to follow your passion. At 23, I am very fortunate to have lots of loving support from my family, girlfriend, and friends in launching head first into a scary but exciting career. I don’t regret it for a second. Even if you think your friends and family won’t fully support you or believe in what you’re doing, you owe it to yourself to follow your dream and live a fulfilling life. I encourage you, even in the little things you do day to day, to pursue what you love. Sometimes you have to go through difficult stages to get where you want to be, but don’t let that stop you. It’s NEVER too EARLY.

As one of my favorite authors, Paolo Coelho, writes in The Alchemist, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

In the comments below, feel free to share your dreams and passions. What are you working toward in life? What challenges hold you back, and how will you overcome them?

Enjoy this awesome song “Go the Distance” from Disney’s Hercules, and check out my voice over by clicking VoiceOverGenie.com above! 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cja4NvIR1UU

 

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6 Comments on “Is It Too Early to Follow Your Dream?”

  1. Brian Johnson

    “What would my family think? Or worse, my girlfriend’s family?” Haha nice! Great post though! I can definitely relate to a lot of the stuff in there. Do something awesome!

  2. Dan Bonebright

    There’s a lot to be said about pursuing your passion. It’s not always easy to see where you’re going, and it requires a lot of hard work, but you’re right on the money with this post. It’s encouraging to see others following their dreams, and I couldn’t be happier to see you following yours. Keep up the good work, and best of luck!

    1. John Lano

      Thanks for the post, Dan. It’s definitely a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. That’s why we’ve got people like you two to support others who are chasing their dreams. 🙂

      Also, Dan, Brian Johnson (who also posted here) has an awesome blog at http://blog.brianjohnsondesign.com/ where he talks about social media, web design, and everything internet.

      @Brian, Dan’s got an awesome blog as well where he talks about PR and internet related stuff. http://messagemanagement.wordpress.com/

  3. Jenny

    There is much to be said about following your passion and living your dream. *YOU* (meaning anyone reading this) are the only person that can make your dream come true. Without taking the chance, it surely won’t happen. Great words of wisdom John & wishing you the best of luck on your future endevours. ~Jenny

  4. John Lano

    You are absolutely right, Jenny. You have to take control. No one can do it for you. I appreciate your encouragement, and I hope everything is going well with you too! 🙂

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