17 Reasons To Ignore Everybody and Follow Your Dreams

“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I just had my first piece of press written about the Roller Coaster Tour thanks to the Muskegon Chronicle! Muskegon is where I’m beginning the tour so I naturally contacted them first.

I got some interesting comments in regards to that article. On the whole the e-mails I received from new readers was positive. But one person said, “This is an incredible waste of resources. You should be doing X instead of this.”

Instead of responding and kicking him off his high horse I trashed the message. Those of us who are doing what we want with our lives will always run into naysayers, doubters, and people who think they know better. It’s the crabs in a bucket phenomenon.

Yesterday I read an article on All of Us Revolution (Kristin and Shannon are launching an organic, fair trade, sustainable clothing line!) where they were talking about the “noes” they receive. When they get a “no” they turn to each other and say “yes.” That’s a great attitude. When you’re going after something big lots of people will tell you “no.” Sometimes you’re the only one telling yourself “yes” and that’s OK. Know that you’re in good company.

Yesterday I also talked to my friend Kenny about someone telling him “no, that’s not gonna happen” in regards to him playing Michael Jordan 1 on 1. Later he got a phone call that was a massive “YES!” in the right direction. Maybe the biggest “yes” he has received since beginning his journey.

Nobody is immune to “no.” Preparing for the Roller Coaster Tour has been, in general, a fight against “no,” but I’ll save that for another day.

With that all said, here are 17 reasons you should follow your dreams:

  1. If you don’t follow your dreams you crush your dreams. Eventually you’ll stop dreaming altogether.
  2. There are very few things worse than regret. What will you regret tomorrow that you didn’t do today?
  3. Dreamers who took action have created everything around you.
  4. Following your dreams doesn’t always turn out as planned, but that makes them even more memorable.
  5. Personal growth happens when you stretch yourself. If you don’t follow your dreams you’re not stretching.
  6. You want to be remembered. Everybody does. We remember those who follow their dreams.
  7. Doing what you want attracts haters. This gives you a change to ignore them. They hate that more than anything. Keep doing what you do. (In case that wasn’t clear: Don’t ever engage haters. It’s not worth your time. Let them be losers.)
  8. Your dreams and your actions define you. If you do what others tell you to do then you’re letting them define you.
  9. Following your dreams gives you the opportunity to Ignore Everybody.
  10. When people who look up to you see you following your dreams it will inspire some of them to follow their dreams.
  11. When people who don’t even know you see you following your dreams it will inspire some of them to follow their dreams as well. (<– This is one of the reasons I write publicly on this website.)
  12. Following your dreams makes you interesting.
  13. You learn a lot from failure. Since you will fail on your path you’ll learn a lot too.
  14. Someone who’s motivated to accomplish something great is instantly sexier.
  15. There are no rules in life so why limit yourself to what everybody else is doing?
  16. You might live forever, but you might also die tomorrow. Take a chance.
  17. It’s better than watching TV.

I’m gonna continue following my crazy dreams. How about you?

###

If you enjoyed this article, inspire your friends to follow their dreams by taking a second to Like it on Facebook, Tweet it, or Stumble it:

{ 69 comments }

Kenny Eller

Thanks Karol! What happened with me yesterday, someone saying no and then getting the biggest yes ever, doesn’t always happen that quickly, but it could! To your point, you’ll never know unless you put forth effort and go after your dreams!

The people that truly believed that I would play MJ when I began, I could have counted on one hand and maybe had a few fingers left over. It’s fun to see that beginning to change. It’s fun to inspire people and help them believe anything IS possible. It’s not always going to come EASY, but it really shouldn’t. The purity of the goal really comes through when there is struggle.

Thanks for the constant encouragement! Means a lot!

Roller Coaster Tour is going to be amazing! I can’t wait to see this grow! You are now less than 20 days from beginning a crazy cool journey! Happy for you!!!

Karol

“The purity of the goal really comes through when there is struggle.” – Thanks Kenny, I like that.

From the beginning I knew it would be a massive undertaking, but I also believed if anybody was going to make it happen, you’d be the one playing MJ. The tides are finally turning. :)

Kenny Eller

Thanks man!:)

Maggie

Great post!! For one thing, I am so excited to read about your Roller Coaster tour, and I think it’s a fun idea! I’m glad you are determined to stick with it. For my part, I’m planning to quit my job and take my son on a 3 month road trip next year. My friends think this is an awesome idea (which is why they are my friends) but as you can imagine some people are dead set on convincing me what a dumb idea that is. I think part of that is because they are too scared to do something like that themselves. Oh well, they can jump in a creek. We’re going to have a blast.

meg

I can’t begin to tell you how much I think this is a great idea! It will be the highlight of your life with your son :)

Karol

That’s awesome Maggie. I second Meg’s thoughts, I think it’s a great idea and you and your son will remember it forever.

Gayle Thompson

I just want to contribute a big YES to Kenny ….. one step closer is always one step closer, a big DO IT to Maggie ….. awesome idea that you will never regret (our kids are only young once) and of course Karol ….. you always do amazing things and thank you for continuing to inspire. THANK YOU!

Kenny Eller

Thank you Gayle!!! Much appreciated!!!! :-D

Karol

:) You rock Gayle!

Jonathan Vaudreuil

It’s sad that a lot of people try to crush other’s dreams. Even worse when it’s close family and friends.

The most important thing is to stay focused and find people who DO support you and your dreams. It doesn’t mean they’ll say yes or agree with everything, of course, yet their presence, support, and even their tough questions are just what everyone with big dreams needs.

Reminders like this post are always helpful, of course.

Karol

Great point Jonathan. It’s really important to have supportive people in your life and to break ties with unsupportive people.

Patricia GW

There will always be naysayers, but it’s your own inner motivation to fulfill your dreams that will keep you going. You have a great attitude Karol, I’m glad you’re spreading inspiration around :)

Karol

Thanks Patricia. I’m doing what I can. :)

Tim Woodbury

This one really resonated with me today. Thanks, Karol! You only get one go at this life thing, so you’d best make the most of it.

This reminds me of my favorite quote. Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” I carry my club with me everywhere. ;)

Karol

haha! I’m gonna start carrying my club with me everywhere now too. :)

Salvatore Greco

Ah, like fresh air it was to read this in the morning. GREAT Karol… My favorite is #3 “Dreamers who took action have created everything around you” I am tweeting that now…

I often think about people like T. Edison who dreamed so big. They say that if it could be thought about it can be done. People like him really prove that…

Thanks Roller Coaster Tycoon!

Karol

Thank you Salvatore.

Although he was a shrewd dude, Edison was a big inspiration to me in years past. He definitely proved that you can shape your own reality with enough focus and determination.

paurullan

Hell yeah! :D

You know why I have not been commenting or giving life-signs for the last month? Because am I kicking ass and doing awesome :D|-<

And thank you, you are really one of the best pushes I have ever had. Thanks dude ;)

Karol

Pau, thank you, you know I would much rather you be out kicking ass than hanging around here commenting all the time. But thanks for coming around and doing it today anyway. :)

Jennifer

Haha I love 14. Kind of immature, I know. :D

I was doodling while on the phone yesterday – a nasty habit for sure – and after the call I looked at what I drew. I drew a cheery clown being shoved into a cannon with the caption: “I’m not happy or excited!!” Sadly, this is totally a metaphor for my life currently.

Thanks for this post, I needed it!

Karol

Hey Jennifer! It’s not immature at all. It’s reality!

Glad that this post resonated with you. Don’t let the clowns get you down.

Elle Dougherty

Karol, why are you wasting your time on a crazy roller coaster tour when you could be pursuing MY dream? Just kidding! ;)

This was an inspirational list that I’m going to be sharing with everyone I know. #1 & #2 especially hit home with me because I know my dream-crushing family’s advice comes from a place of regret. They are full of excuses and “I can’t” statements with regards to their own lives.

Much thanks to you (and the other great writers I follow) for motivating me to stay positive and never give up!

Karol

haha! You know, I didn’t think about it, but that’s exactly what that dude was saying. Because he’s not following his own dreams he wants me to follow them for him. :)

Thanks Elle. Hope to see in you on the coaster tour when it rolls through Orlando!

Brad

The robots choose to deflect and rationalize others dreams as unconventional and unorthodox. It’s their programming man. You can’t fault people for faulty wiring. It’s MacGyvers like yourself that like to take action, blow shit up and then jump into the flames of awesomeness.

Good Post sir, I award you +1 internet point.

Karol

Haha! Thank you for comparing me to MacGyver!

You’re right though. You can’t fault people for faulty wiring. Some of them will get rewired, some of them won’t. It’s all good.

Rosa

“Someone who’s motivated to accomplish something great is instantly sexier”
Absolutebly!

Hanlie

After reading this post, I said yes to a job I haven’t been offered yet. But they will offer it.

Karol

:) That sounds interesting. What are you doing to make them offer it?

Maria

Hi Karol,

Wow, that was a much needed boost. Sometimes you are just low, self-doubting, and not knowing how to proceed. You are indeed inspiring, and thanks for doing that.

Karol

Thanks Maria. I’m glad it gave you a boost. To be completely honest, I wrote this because I needed a boost as well. :)

Maria

Yes, lows happen to all of us. Conclusion: Writing an inspirational post is a win-win tactic; Both the writer and the readers feel better afterwards!

Good luck on your tour!!!

La Pham Nikita

This is post is good timing for me, personally. Although I’ve never had a problem ignoring everybody else and what they say or think about my dreams and choices, I have been struggling more lately with the part of me that’s is sometimes creating self-doubt and confusion about what I want and should do with my life. For me, I have a rebellious stubborn nature, so it is easy for me to ignore the outside world. It is my own inner demons and that other voice inside my head that I have to battle with.

I continue to follow my dreams and fight for them, no matter what, but I struggle now with the challenge of how to make it all happen and within the challenge of today’s economy. I find myself torn between wanting to do something spontaneous and risky and feeling the pressure to be smart and responsible.

In my past experience, I’ve learned that being spontaneous and risky in my younger years was the right thing for me. As I got older and started making more responsible decisions, thinking that was the right thing to do, it turned out that those decisions were not the best for me. So, that’s what is making it hard for me right now. It’s hard not to let myself think and be influenced by societal pressure that I would be irresponsible to quit my state job that provides me with a stable living and health insurance purely for freedom. But I know I value freedom so much more than stability and it’s been quite a challenge finding a balance between that and all the other things I value.

Anyway, just some of my thoughts. I’m still following my dreams in some sort of scattered way, so I don’t know how it’ll turn out, but I have lots of faith and hope that things will turn out for me. They somehow always have. **fingers crossed**

Karol

Hey Niki,

I wasn’t as spontaneous and risky in my younger years. Maybe I’m making up for that now? Who knows? Anyway, it’s tough to step out of the comfort zone. Whether quitting a job you don’t hate is the correct path for you is ultimately up to you. The thing I think a lot of people don’t realize is that quitting a job isn’t the end all and be all. If you find out you hate going your own way jobs will always be there. But if you don’t go your own way you’ll always wonder “what if?” and that’s no fun.

La Pham Nikita

yea, perhaps. I know I’m making up for lost time. it’s def a job I hate, so I know it’s not the end all be all. I know quitting it is def the right thing for me, just trying to figure out HOW to do that AND be financially responsible is the tough part. I used to pick up and go with my 2 suitcases every year, from 1 country to another. So it’s not something I haven’t done before. it’s just trying to do it with all the responsibilities I have now, job, mortgage, debt, 2 kitties…. that’s why it’s been so difficult for me to do this time around.

Karol

What is financial responsibility anyway? It’s a question I’ve thought a lot about. We’ve been forcefed a definition of financial responsibility that I don’t believe in.

As for your cats: I know exactly what you mean. My cat lives in Austin (it’s kinda on purpose I put her in my favorite city) and I don’t get to see her often. Luckily I have a friend who takes good care of her.

Brigitte

“Following your dreams doesn’t always turn out as planned, but that makes them even more memorable.”

This is probably the hardest for me. Learning to enjoy the twists and turns that you can’t predict. But I’m getting there. Sllooowly. :)

Karol

Embrace the twists and turns Brigitte! :) First step: stop beating me in Words With Friends. Second step: everything else.

Brigitte

But what if my dream is total Words With Friends domination?

Karol

In that case, my dear Brigitte, you have reached your dream. Bask for a while, but it’s time for a new one. :)

Jeffrey Tang

Ignoring everybody = freedom. I don’t think I can put it any more clearly than that :) Free to write what you want, read what you want, do what you want, be who you want. There’s (almost) nothing better.

And it’s not about rejecting people or being alone, it’s just about finding motivation and meaning within yourself, instead of hoping other people will give it to you. Of course, when you do this, all kinds of awesome people show up to support you!

Karol

It’s not about being alone, but it is definitely about rejecting people … even if that doesn’t happen on purpose. I actively remove people from my life if they drag me down. I may live forever, but I just don’t want to waste my time with unsupportive souls.

Sadat

I do agree with you karol.

Margaret Goerig

I’m so glad I stumbled across this link on Twitter. I try to remind myself of why I’m following my dream quite often but sometimes I need to hear it from someone else and today was one of those times. Thank you.

Karol

Glad I could be there for you Margaret. :)

Margaret Goerig

Thanks. Me, too : )

Jonathan

This article is exactly what I needed. Recently I have gotten off track in regards to what was really important to me, and have had the corresponding drop in my enjoyment if life, and satisfaction with myself.

I needed to hear this right now. :)

Karol

It happens Jonathan. Great that this is what you needed to hear today.

Maria

Oh YES!!! I love this Karol.

I follow my dreams for 3 simple reasons:

1.) I have EVERYTHING to gain.
2.) I have NOTHING to loose.
3.) I want NO REGRETS at the end of the day.

Thanks for these 17 awesome reasons, and for the reminder we all need every once in a while of what’s important.

Karol

That is awesome, thanks for sharing Maria.

Drew

Number 8 is what really resonated with me. The past 20 years of my life have more or less been dictated and defined by others. Your blog and writing has been essential in my decision to put an end to that. Thanks for being awesome dude. =]

Karol

Thanks Drew. I appreciate you taking the time to write that.

asrai

Following your dreams is fun.

Plus according to Michael Neill, people who strive for what they want acheive more than people who strive for what they think they can get. So aim higher, make mistakes and have fun (i’m finding people are trying to hard to get noticed and aren’t having fun. so i’m striving to surround myself and promote FUN having as my bottom line).

Karol

I’m not familiar with Michael Niell’s work, but thanks for bringing him to my attention. I like where his head’s at. Surrounding yourself with and promoting fun sounds like a great plan Asrai.

Laurie

I love #14 :)

The one I’ve heard a lot is “it’s really hard to make it as an artist.” I know, I’ve been doing it for 16 years. And I’ve decided I’d rather have it be “hard” on my own terms and have more fun and excitement and fulfillment with it that way. My “release date” from my old job is May 27. Woohoo!!!

Karol

“Release date” – I’d never heard it before, but I love that phrase! :)

Algis Tamosaitis

Great article Karol.

It took me way too long to realize that following my dreams was the only way to truly be happy. I’m far more interested and engaged on a daily basis. No more auto pilot and no more doing “what you’re supposed to do.” Who cares what anybody else thinks as long as your pursuing your dream.

Kristen

I love this. Found it through a tweet by @NoMeatAthlete. Inspirational words because they’re true.

Thank you, I needed this reminder.

Karol

Hey Kristen, thanks for moseying on over from Matt’s recommendation. :)

Rachel

Karol –

Love, love, love what you wrote and all 17 of your reasons! My dreams are big, small, crazy, and often in the “leap of faith” category. In 3 days I’ll be doing my first real Adventure Race and I’ve gotten a whole bunch well-meaning people telling me all the reasons I’m crazy, should start smaller, should wait, blah, blah, blah. YES! That’s what I say to all of my dreams and Life List plans. Thanks for your supremely encouraging post!
Rachel

Karol

Kick ass Rachel. Keep saying yes and have fun on your first Adventure Race!

Harshit Singhal

Yep you should always have a passion to keep going after your dream and keep working towards it. The fire to succeed is what makes one successful !

Renae

I found your site yesterday and have been browsing through your articles since. Thanks for your authentic accounts. This post is my favorite so far. Reminding me about the crabs in a bucket! I had forgotten, suddenly my life is a little more clear- thank you.

Karol

Hey Renae! Thanks for finding and enjoying the articles. :)

Ronnie Libra

Very nice article. I’m at that place in my life right now where I’m thinking, it’s time to just go for broke and follow what I’m good at. Because of it I built my blog (linked into my name above) and started doing one of the things I really like to do, which is write and inspire people.

Inspiring people seems to happen with our without my participation. I have had so many influences on so many people that have completely and yet subtly changed them for the better.

I figure, why not really just follow up with writing and doing some of the other things I really want to do REGARDLESS of how much it doesn’t make any sense.

We only live this lifetime one time I suppose.

Karol

Thanks Ronnie. The important thing, when building a business, is to follow what you’re good at *and* what people will pay for. When you find that cross-section you will succeed.

Ronnie Libra

That’s what I’m working on. The problem I have been having is, I’m good at a lot of things, but I get bored quickly.

I love to write and explore. I love being social.

I am good at leasing apartments in the city – it pays the bills, but I have ZERO passion for it, actually felt like continuing it was taking me in the WRONG direction and draining the life out of me.

So Writing is what I decided to do. Would be nice to make some money off of it too. I definitely would like to Monetize my blog over time, but I don’t want to cheeze it out and have the blog lose it’s soul.

And frankly I have no idea how to do that. I guess I wouldn’t know where to learn that either. It’s easy to search for “blog traffic” or “skyrocket my blog” or “monetize my blog” but what is not easy is finding a reliable source to learn all that in:
1. an easy step by step way.
2. a reliable way
3. a way where someone isn’t trying to sell me information I could find for free.

In another post you had listed 3 mentors and said delete the rest. I guess what I would like is to have a mentor for building my blog into a success; not necessarily what to write but how to generate traffic, get exposure, and then eventually build off of it and possibly make some money as writing what I love.

Kim

I’m really, really thankful that this site exists! :’)

Karol

Kim, I’m thankful you exist.

Ashleigh

Wow! This has really inspired me!
I’ve been thinking about a career change for a while now, I’m in a job I hate and have been wanting to leave to follow my dreams and get that dream job. Some of my family and friends have told me not to do it but others have told me to go for it! Until now I’ve been on the fence about what to do, but this has finally give me the push and made my mind up!
Keep doing what your doing and inspiring people, hopefully one day I will inspire people as you are doing! Thank you :-)

{ 5 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: