Alden Tan is a blogger, bouncer and breakdancer, and he pulls it all off with style by not caring what others think about him. He quit his job last year to pursue his dream of being a writer. He has no regrets, as he’s constantly growing and evolving.
All my life they always told me that getting an education was the bottom line, that I absolutely had to get a college degree in order to make it in the outside world.
“They” of course being my family and then somehow the rest of the world.
So when I finally got my way to college, I thought I had it made.
Life would be good then.
I would graduate. Get a cushy job. Enjoy the income coming in. Then probably get married and live happily ever after.
Does this remind you of your own life?
Never would I’ve thought that my life would take a life for a turn and become the dream-chasing Bboy blogger that I’m today.
I was a bum in college
I was. I mostly skipped lectures and never really strived to score well.
Hell, I didn’t even get a single A!
I just wanted to pass all my modules and graduate.
You see, the way I saw it, college merely taught us theories and lessons which don’t really apply to life. Grades, like it or not judged us for our degree of competence and separated us.
I wondered then, can there be a grade for the way we live? For our own special emotions and dreams which are unique to us?
I didn’t see a point in studying hard when I knew life would “reset” once I came out to the corporate world.
The corporate world stint to blogger
It lasted for only a year.
Long story short, I thought life is more than just waking up every day to work in an office.
I knew mere work and a salary wasn’t going to help me fully realize the person I’m meant to be.
So in the fall of 2011, I ripped off the band aid and left my job to pursue my dream to be a writer in my own terms.
Here are some lessons about dreams and why I wish college, the all-encompassing institute of life gave me a heads-up.
I hope to give a real inside-look of what going after your dream is like, especially since most of us read about dreams from successful people and they achieved them.
It’s not all bells and whistles.
It’s not as easy as you think
Dreams aren’t easy.
You got to work hard and really push yourself to go for what you want in life.
College taught me, or maybe forced me to work hard, but they did not specially catered that to dreams.
Dreams are special to you, so you got to work at it alone.
That entails doing things without someone holding your hand.
I started my own blog alone. I had no one there for me. Not even a mentor. All the theories and lessons from college felt useless to me. I knew nothing about marketing and lack any foresight to do business. I had to learn it all from scratch.
Do you know how hard it has been?
All too often most of us are inspired by stories of success and people who follow their dreams in life. The inspiration feels great of course, but when you try your hand at it, you’d be in a world of surprise.
Dreams help you realize your potential as a person
When you push yourself and go with the flow, you’d be surprised with what you can come up with. That’s not to say how far you can go, you can also discover amazing things about yourself.
I started my blog with the intention of just “writing first and see how it goes”. I figured I’d just learn along the way.
I did. And it surprised me because I became an inspiration, something I never thought I could be.
I don’t need an ‘A’ for this. In fact, the grade ‘A’ only limits you to 100%. Go for 110%, or more. I think salaries and promotions from the corporate world are mere instruments of life that don’t give you what you truly want. Can you buy happiness? No.
Dreams help you realize there’s more to life
College and others said life would be good if you get a degree.
A job and a stable income is all you need. You’re pretty much set for life then cause that’s all you’re going to be doing.
If you want to see it on a practical level, dreams pretty much give people the freedom of lifestyle they desire.
You know how it is, travelling, doing what you love in life, meeting all sorts of people.
The world is huge and has 7 billion people. It’s impossible to meet them all, but I’m pretty sure you’re going to meet a lot less if you’re just stuck in an office all day.
On a more spiritual level, dreams help you look far.
It opens your eyes to what you can be, in this big world.
Many look up to celebrities or rich folks as “those lucky ones”, that as if we can never amount to be like them.
You may or may not be featured on TV or on the cover of magazines, but you certainly don’t have to be sitting on the side and looking at them.
Dreams are but the medium of giving you that ability to become what you want in life. Whatever it is, dreams can give you the identity of yourself in this world.
I don’t see others happy
I honestly have not met a single graduate friend of mine who is entirely happy.
They have jobs, money and a stable life.
But all they seem to do is complain about how tired they are and how their bosses suck.
Despite their high salary or new car, I just cannot seem to understand how they realize that they’re happy. The way I see it, people justify their own unhappiness with the delusion that it is “normal” and that people around them do the same.
No, I disagree that being told how you should feel is the way to happiness.
I don’t expect college to tell us, “Your life isn’t going that great actually”, but painting a picture for us isn’t the best solution…
… because we should be the artist of our own lives.
It’s all in you
Dreams aren’t easy, but it’s the journey towards a dream which I feel can make you love life more than anything.
Dreams can help create the life you want. You just have to believe in yourself and not give up.
And really, you don’t need college for that.
It’s all in you.
Special Bonus for Smart Boy Designs readers:
I want to share with you guys my email course, the 5-step Series to Stop Caring About What Others Think and Start Living!
It’s a little trick I use to keep myself going in this world, especially when sometimes you feel overwhelmed with negativity.
Over 1,500 people have downloaded the course so far, so click here and drop in your email to get it. It’s free!
- Find out how to gain the confidence to do what you love.
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- Top 50 list of things you can tell yourself, to be yourself!
This email course is only available through this link to Alden Tan.
Thanks for giving it a chance!