Monday, February 3, 2014

Be Sensible: Pursue Your Dreams

Recently I was listening to the audiobook version of Kevin Smith's Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good. Kevin Smith is the director/writer of such classic indie films as Clerks and Dogma. In this book he talks about how, in the early '90s, he went from a postal employee's kid in "lower, lower, lower middle class" New Jersey to a Sundance Film Festival wunderkind.

(A quick warning: this is a great book, but if you're not familiar with Kevin Smith's work, you may want to see one of his movies before picking it up. He uses some of the naughtiest language imaginable! But he always manages to do it with lots of humor and no malice, which makes him both loveable and engaging...if very, very coarse.)

At the beginning of the book, Kevin talks about how his father's sudden death influenced him to pursue his dreams. Although this is obviously a sad subject, here's one of the things that he took away from the experience:

"...there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish
 all of your wildest dreams in life."

I don't know if that line will impact you the way it did me, but my personal reaction was one word: Wow

All of a sudden, I was looking at things from an entirely new angle. We're taught by a well-meaning society that pursuing dreams is nice, but sometimes a little foolhardy. We're told: "Be smart. Be sensible."

But what I realized is that the smart thing, the sensible thing, is to pursue our dreams. This doesn't mean that we can neglect the parts of our life that need tending, because the electric bill does have to be paid, and the kids do have to be clothed and fed (and hugged and listened to!). Sometimes day-to-day needs can overshadow our larger personal goals. It can be difficult to find the time and energy to chase our whimsies, and pursue our aspirations.

But in a way, the fact that it's difficult makes it all the more important. The universe doesn't typically open up a golden gate, unfurl a red carpet and say: "Okay kid, there's your road to accomplishment. Start walkin'!" We have to chisel out minutes, hours, days and years to follow our heart's desire. 

There is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life. So let's be smart, let's be sensible, and let's pursue our dreams.

This little bit of inspiration came to me from a very unexpected place (the dirty-mouthed, sweet-hearted Kevin Smith). I'd love to know: have you found inspiration in unexpected places? And what helps you or inspires you to accomplish your goals?


  1. Misha ~ Lovely post! Thank you. And so inspiring. Yes, I do find encouragement and inspiration in unusual places. I look for it everywhere in what I call my "Better Angels" ... those people who have gone before me in whatever field is their expertise and succeeded. I draw courage from their stories. It's how I learn and it gives me a nice kick in the pants sometimes to do more.

    I agree wholeheartedly, the sensible thing to do is pursue your dreams. Either you'll succeed, or you'll gain a great deal of wisdom to try again, a better way.

    <3 this post!

    1. So glad you liked it! And I love your comment that even if you don't succeed, you'll br smarter and more prepared for next time. Wonderful stuff!

  2. "Well-behaved women seldom make history." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    Sometimes I feel like I could misbehave a little more intentionally in the pursuit of my dreams, lol!

    I think I've always had a goodly amount of inspiration. Where I seem to fall short is in perspiration - the daily habits that contribute to success.

    Last fall I spent a Friday morning writing as I sat at a little café table outdoors with beautiful sunlight beaming down and people getting on with their daily business. I had a moment when I said to myself, "I want this." Not just occasionally, but routinely. I remind myself of this on those days when I don't feel like writing. That desire - to be on task, in a relaxing, enjoyable environment - inspires me to sweat words in pursuit of my goal.