10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Giving Up on Your Dream

Silhouette of Man Sitting

“Commitment in the face of conflict produces character.” ~Unknown

We all face obstacles in pursuing our goals, whether they’re professional or personal.

We think we’re on the right track but realize we’ve chosen the wrong approach. We’re enthusiastic and hard-working, but our support system disintegrates when we need them the most. We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding.

Tenacious as we may be, we all have our breaking points—that moment when the potential rewards stop justifying the effort. Usually, that’s the hump that separates your best shot and your best reality.

Before you throw in the towel and go back to something safe and far less taxing, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with, and has anything changed?

You had a good reason for committing to this plan. Maybe you visualized a financially free future once you started this new business, or you realized you’d live longer and healthier if you lost forty pounds.

Odds are, you still want those things as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could have them because your attempts have yet to yield results. Now you have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be worth it in the end?

2. Have you been operating with too much information?

With so much information at our fingertips on the good ole World Wide Web, it’s easy to overwhelm yourself with more knowledge than you can apply. You read e-books and blogs, participate in teleconferences and coaching sessions, and join user forums to talk about getting things done.

One of two things happen as a result: You spend more time planning to act than acting, or you devote minimal energy to multiple plans instead of committing to one solid approach. Instead of drowning in all the data, why not narrow it down and start again from a less overwhelming space?

3. Did you set a smart goal? SMART goals are:

  • Specific—you know exactly what your world will look like when you achieve this goal.
  • Measurable—you have a specific plan to mark your progress as you go.
  • Attainable—you have the attitude and aptitude to make your goal reality.
  • Realistic—you’re willing and able to do the required work.
  • Time-bound—you’ve set a concrete timeframe for completion to create a sense of urgency.

If you didn’t set a SMART goal, you may have set yourself up for failure. How can you possibly make something happen if you don’t know exactly what you want, or didn’t really believe you could do it? Are you really willing to walk away when you didn’t give yourself every opportunity to succeed?

4. What’s the worst that will happen if you keep going and don’t reach your goal?

Often when I want to turn around it’s because I’m afraid of failing—afraid other people will be disappointed in me or judge me, or afraid I’ll have wasted my time. In all reality, no one ever judges us like we judge ourselves, and we always grow and learn through the process of striving, regardless of what we attain.

If you don’t keep going, you’ll never know how far you could have gone and you’ll miss out on being the person you’d become through the effort itself. If you do keep going, well, it’s like this quote: “Shoot for the moon, for even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”

5. Are you afraid of succeeding?

One of my biggest problems is that I don’t like responsibility. There are many things I’d like to do, but I resist because I don’t want the power to impact, hurt, or disappoint other people. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have dreams. It’s just that I’m just scared of what achieving them will entail.

If you can relate to this feeling, perhaps you’ll respond well to the mantra I’ve been repeating: Great power comes with great responsibility, but it also brings great rewards. If you play it safe you won’t hurt or disappoint anyone, but you also won’t help or inspire anyone. And equally important, you won’t help or inspire yourself.

6. Are you acting on impulse or emotion instead of thinking things through?

Sometimes our emotions give us hints about what we want and what we should do, but other times they’re just responses to stress, and maybe even indications we’re on the right track. If you act in that moment of intense emotion—be it anger, fear, or frustration—you may regret it once the wave has passed.

So sit back. Take note of what you’re feeling. Feel it fully, without judging it or yourself. Then act when you’ve gotten to the other side. At least then you’ll know you made your decision in a moment of peace and clarity.

7. Would you enjoy giving a loved one the honest explanation for why you gave up?

And I mean honest.

Would you like telling your daughter, “I stopped trying to quit smoking because cigarettes are more important to me than having more golden years to spend with you?”

Would it be fun to tell your mother “I decided not to go to school because I’d rather spend all my time with my boyfriend of three months than prepare for a career that will ensure I won’t end up jobless and homeless?”

If you lay it out like this, odds are you’ll realize you had a really good reason for doing this difficult thing, and no matter how challenging the process is, it’s worth plowing ahead.

8. Would your life be better if you gave up on this goal?

This may not sound motivational, but sometimes giving up is actually good thing. Perhaps you set a completely unrealistic goal and the pursuit of it is filling you with a constant sense of inadequacy and anxiety. Or maybe the goal isn’t in your or your family’s best interest, and it’s better to get out before you invest so much time it’s near impossible to walk away.

You could easily use this as a justification to delude yourself, so think about it carefully. Is this goal really a good thing, when you weigh all the consequences of its fulfillment?

9. How much have you already put in?

A concept studied in social psychology called “the sunk cost principle” indicates the more we’ve invested in something, the less likely we are to prematurely walk away.

How invested are you? How much money and time have you devoted? How many sacrifices have you made? Are you really willing to chalk it all up as a loss because you’re not feeling confident in your abilities?

10. What would you tell someone else if they were in your shoes?

Would you tell your best friend to throw in the towel because she can’t possibly reach her goal? Or would you practice your finest motivational speech and help her see what you see in her potential? Unless you’re secretly a frenemy who hopes she fails in life, odds are you’d push her to be her best—so why not push yourself?

It may sound kind of cheesy, but you need to be your own best friend. You, more than anyone in this world, deserve your belief and motivation.

If you’ve gone through all these questions and still feel resolute about the decision to give up, you have my blessing to abandon your goal. (Bet you feel so relieved!)

If you don’t—if there’s some lingering doubt—keep working toward that dream that fills you with passion.

Take a different approach if you need to. Enlist new assistance. Scale back your time commitment to something you can more easily maintain. But whatever you do, don’t give yourself a reason to one day utter the words, “I quit because I was scared.”

Silhouette of man sitting image via Shutterstock

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Awesome article, Lori! As per usual, speaking to right where I am in the world at this moment. 🙂

  • This is a great article, I will be sharing it with friends, colleagues, and family.

  • Brian

    A very good read. Thank you.

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  • Hey, liked your explanation of SMART goals.

  • Gergorian

    Hmm, timing couldn't have been better. Did you write this one for me? (-; I've been struggling last couple weeks if I am doing the right thing, but now I think if I DON'T stick with my original plan and keep pushing then I'll never reach what my life can ultimately become.
    Nose back to the grindstone and pushing through a bit more… keep 'em coming!

  • 1. Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with—and has anything changed?

    9. How much have you already put in?

    Those are definitely my two favorite questions of the bunch. Reminding ourselves why we started has always been effective for me.

  • mona

    i love it 🙂 its makes me think – – to continue my ventures (a week ago i decided to give up) accidentally i read this 🙂 awwww … thank you!!!

  • Thanks Michael! I'm so glad you found this helpful.

  • Excellent! I love knowing my writing makes a difference. I hope they find it useful, as well.

  • Thank you for reading. =)

  • Thank you!

  • Yup, just for you Greg. 😉 I'm glad you're putting your nose back to the grindstone. I think we regret what we don't do in life more than the things we do. Best of luck moving forward!

  • Me, too. I tend to rationalize when things get harder that maybe I didn't really want something. I find it really helpful to remember my initial passion and tap back into it by thinking about all the work I've done so far.

  • I hope you decided not to give up…you're most welcome!

  • Lori, Excellent points and a very good set of questions to bring some logic to a process that rarely has much logic. I think it's important, though, to realize that sometimes abandoning a dream is far better for yourself, your family, and your future. I have stuck with dream projects for too long on a few occasions and put myself and people around me through far more discomfort than a rational analysis of the situation would accept. Sometimes recognizing when a dream IS out of reach and letting go is the hardest decision of all.

  • Hi Jonathan. I completely agree with you there. I think number 8 is a very important step. Sometimes, despite all the time and effort you've put in, moving on is the bravest and smartest choice.

  • nancyadler

    Spectacular article, Lori! Thank you so much for your insightful writing. ~ Nancy 🙂

  • This was a really great read! Thank you 😉

  • 14D

    Really great article!! Especially at a time when people are questioning their careers/employment or in my case my lack of employment.
    I'm even more motivated to keep trying!!

  • Thank you right back. I appreciate your kind feedback!

  • You're most welcome!

  • That's awesome! I know the feeling of wanting to give up. Maintaining my motivation has always been challenging, as I'm sure it is for many others–particularly now. I think we can do amazing things if we push through that discomfort. Best of luck moving forward!

  • 14sanity

    Really great article!! Especially at a time when people are questioning their careers/employment or in my case my lack of employment.
    I'm even more motivated to keep trying!!

  • Thank you right back. I appreciate your kind feedback!

  • You're most welcome!

  • That's awesome! I know the feeling of wanting to give up. Maintaining my motivation has always been challenging, as I'm sure it is for many others–particularly now. I think we can do amazing things if we push through that discomfort. Best of luck moving forward!

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  • jfdevinejr

    Before conceding your dreams..stop. Remember why they were there to in the first place. “To thine own self be true”

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  • oregon_beach_girl

    I agreed with most of this blog entry except for one thing. Not sure the “boyfriend” analogy is a good one to use. Sounds like a rather slanted opinion you've expressed there. First off, not all relationships are flings…and maybe it's better to work through it anyway. Better to have loved and lost and than never loved at all. A person can pick up college at any time in their lives. I personally didn't start university until I was out of high school 10 years. Also, sometimes a boyfriend of three months can become the HUSBAND, the love of a lifetime…and let's face it, holding onto nothing but a so-called career won't keep you warm at night. In fact, there are many lonely and homeless women who don't have a man or a career. Besides, there are plenty of women for whom all they want to do is be a wife and mother. That is THEIR dream… and what's so wrong with that? Why shoot that dream down because of some misguided feminist notion?

  • Hi there~

    Thank you for your comment. You make a valid point, and I appreciate that you added it. College isn't for everyone, and sometimes three months can turn into a lifetime.

    I took the liberty of assuming for most people, it would be an impulsive, and eventually regrettable decision to change their life path for the sake of spending more time with a new significant other, when it doesn't really need to be an if/or proposition. But as you've stated, this isn't universally true.

    I am a huge proponent of love, balance, and individual choice. Every dream is valuable, whether it's to go to start a business, travel the world, or have a family. I think in the end, it's about being honest with ourselves. Knowing when we're taking the easy road because it's what we want, and when we're doing it because it's safe.


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  • NOLADarling

    I really need this check list right now. Thanks.

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  • VSW

    I am starting a new project:! Thank you for the SMART list so that I can assess my project! Wish me luck!

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  • avon

    Ii agree

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  • Anonymous

    I decided not to go to school because I did spend time with my fella of seven months.

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  • Amarie417

    Ah! This could not have come at a more perfect moment!!!

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  • Great tips on love

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  • That’s
    the great article! I just pass ‘n read it, two thumbs up! 😉

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  • Didosasa

    OKAY u did just an awesome article it u said what is really need to be said but my problem i think is more difficult i hate working hard i dont know if i hate or not but sometimes when i work i dont find it that hard and i tell myself soo its easy but then again i failed to stick with it ive tried alot but i hate hardworking i dont know or maybe im lazy i wish i could find the answer  i wrote this because iv only got like 3 or 4 months andi m gonna do  the exam that will make my future i just cant handle that good felling of hard working this long time (excuse me for my english im egyptian )

  • Thanks Didosasa. Perhaps it’s not that your lazy, but just that you haven’t yet found something that you want to work hard for. Could that be it?

  • glenn

    I was going to give up on my application to a post graduate degree in oxford until I saw this. I realised I couldn’t give a satisfactory answer to any of the questions stated….

  • I’m glad this helped Glenn!

  • Imaniceperson35

     Im glad I just read this I have 2 High Schools recruiting me for basketball but I was scared to play because I was acting on impulse and I saw the section on it took it in and started thinking now im a starter for my Varsity High School team and im only a sophomore 

  • That’s great! Congratulations! =)

  • Guest

    This is all great and good but what if all you have are pipe dreams?

  • Lukey10

    Just read this after been thinking about quitting Acting. I graduated 4 years ago and have since written/produced and released my own play and Film. However the unstable nature of the job means i am now financially struggling and living beyond my means. Teaching seems to be something I am good at and get satisfaction from so am thinking of doing a PGCE and moving into Teaching which will provide me with a stable income and home etc. It means giving up my Acting. The dilemma Im having at the moment is to take the step. I feel afraid of people thinking I have Failed at it and therefore thrown in the towel. But at the moment my   brain is telling me that getting a teaching job will provide stability financially and lead to the choices of travelling and teaching abroad etc. Any thoughts, please do throw my way!

  • Schalkus

    awesome just awesome , it think that my life just spun back into the right direction

  • I’m glad this helped! =)

  • Angiefromvancouver

    I’m grateful I found this article today. I like how you explained SMART goals. Thanks.

  • You’re most welcome! I’m glad this helped! =)

  • Ohio2onesix

    wow! no way im giving up on my t-shirt business now. Very very helpful! thankyou!

  • Guest

    Hi Lori,

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I am a 30 something actor who’s had some success in the business in my hometown in the theatre. I’ve recently begun making the transition into film and television and even landed a guest spot on a television series last month. (2 days’ work) My issue is finances. Even though I have been in the theatre for the past 12 years, it doesnt pay alot. In this business there are none the trappings of security (ie. medical/dental insurance,etc.) Ive never owned a home or a vehicle, and because I am single, I do not have a double income to help out with bills and such. I am now seriously considering leaving the business. I am passionate about my dream, and have received enough positive feedback that lets me know I actually have a chance at achieving my goal. However, I am now so very frustrated with the struggling. I have another passion, which is deejaying. I’m actually pretty good at it and I’ve gigged few times successfully. I think I’d be happier doing that to be honest, but I don’t have the money to purchase the gear I’d need to get the business going (I used other people’s equipment for the few gigs Ive done already). I really identify with “We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding”

    I am very likely to succeed, but I don’t have the funding to move forward in either passion. As we speak, I do not have money for my rent, which is due in 8 days. My union fees are due, and I can’t pay those either. I’m so tired of the stress of this kind of life. The working once in a blue moon, the waiting, always waiting. I’ve wanted to have children and be married for as long as I can remember, but it hasnt happened, largely because I’ve put everything on the backburner to pursue acting, which hasnt even panned out the way I’d hoped for by now.

    Would it be reasonable for me to quit? I know I’ve invested so much time and money, but I don’t want to waste even more time all for nothing and miss out on the important things in life. Should I switch gears now and try to make up for lost time before its too late? Especially in the biological clock department, lol! I’m at my wits end and any advice would be so very appreciated. Thank you.

  • Guest

    I just wanted to add that I have tried doing other part-time work, I’m not a lazy person at all. but every time I do that I end up in a scheduling conflict with an acting audition/job. iI tried dipping out of work to go audition, but that didnt work out either. eventually my agent gave me an ultimatum, saying that I either make myself 100% available during the day for tv/film auditions, or she would not be able to represent me any longer. This is why the deejaying would be so ideal, as it is at night mostly, but as I said I can’t afford the equipment right now. So this had me between a rock and a hard place: Not able to work during the day to make up for lack of acting income, yet not able to make enough from the acting to sustain myself properly.

  • I can understand why you’d feel conflicted! On the one hand, you’ve invested so much time into this dream. On the other hand, there are no guarantees, and there are other things you want to do with your life.

    It’s tough to offer advice for this kind of thing, because it’s really a matter of following your own instincts.

    Would it be possible to continue pursuing acting, but to also make some time for the other things you want? Could you take on a part-time job that provides insurance and some additional security, while acting on the side of that?

  • I didn’t see this comment before. Have you ever done the waiter/bartender thing? I live in Los Angeles, so I meet a lot of actors who do that! Also, you may want to consider promotional marketing if you’ve never done that before. I used to do nighttime promotions. They’re flexible hours and they pay pretty well. (Just thinking of some ideas to generate additional income so you could buy some DJ equipment!)

  • lucy

    I have already given up on my dreams, I was studying saxophone and aiming to make a career in it, but I was too scared and decided I was not talented enough. Now a few years on other people that were studying with me have gone on to make careers out of it, and maybe they will not be able to live off it forever, but at least they are having a go at it. And many of those people were not as good at saxophone as me. Instead I decided to go on to study medicine because I figured if I could throw myself into something else I wouldn’t have time to dwell on my failure. Now I just live life in a kind of haze, and if I ever do let me guard down and think about what I really want, all I do is cry uncontrollably.

  • I’m so sorry Lucy. I can tell this has left a huge void in you. Do you still play saxophone, even if not professionally? And one more question: Would you consider changing directions, seeing as your feelings and intuition are telling you something isn’t right?

  • lucy

    Thanks for your response 🙂 I am only a few months away from finishing my medical degree so I have decided to stick through it to the end, but after I finish I hope to transition back to a music career. I haven’t been playing much lately because I always thought it was everything or nothing. Either I am the best saxophonist I can possibly be and playing at a professionally level, or not playing at all. I think now I am becoming a bit more accepting of the fact that life does not need to be that way, so the idea of having a day job whilst being an amateur musician on the side is something I would consider.

  • You’re most welcome. I know that “all or nothing” mindset well. I think sometimes doing something on the side is a good way to keep that passion alive and also open yourself up to potential opportunities. Congrats on approaching the end of school. You must be excited to be almost finished!

  • Faiy

    Everything is jst confusing and my heart jst drops wen I think about it. My dream is to b an actress and nothin else but it seems like it will NEVER come true. I hav acne and no money and the only good thing is that I’m 16 in performing arts. Deep in my heart it’s like I know, but everything looks like it’ll never happen. I dnt wanna give up but I am scared to fail and hav my parents who aren’t wit this already say, “c u guys, look at your older sister to wanted to become a use less actress.” sometimes it’s like God doesn’t hear me

  • Anonymous

    There is no such thing as “dreams”, only demands and expectations we place on reality. Human beings are stupid.

  • Charleechafiare

    I understand completely. you NEVER give up on your dreams.. EVER you tell yourself everyday that it will happen for you. god puts people on this earth for diffrent purposes. he makes no mistakes. sometimes it gets discouraging. but thyas normal for anything worth fighting for. acne is temporary and not a handicap. (michael jackson. had acne) you keep your head up and remember to think positive and you will NOT fail. I am 21 and I have always dreamt of being a singer. I am good. I write and all, sometimes I feel srupid like I should just give up. (get real) then i try to picture my life without it and……I always dram a blank. this IS for me. amd that IS for you. whether u were going to college or hollywood. its scary but NEVERR give up on yourself your sooooo young. you’ll regret it if you dont sweat cry and scream for it first! ..hope this helps -char-lee

  • nina

    Thank you for this! I graduated from drama school last year and have a degree in perorming arts. Thinking over what you wrote Im really not sure if acting us for me. Its just alk that Ive ever wanted to do since I was 15 (Im 22 now)..,I was so sure for so long that this is what I wanted to do but the reality of it is really difficult. The waiting round…the way you have to really push yourslf out of your comfort zone constantly when you are working on a project. I was just part of a project where I hated it. I didnt want to get up on the floor to work scenes, I was terrified. Im starting to think Im not brave enough. Do you think I should explore doing something else??? Teaching maybe??,…I feel like this unstable lifestyle will just drive me crazy and I wwont even feel satisfied by it..

  • I know what you mean Nina. That’s how I felt about pursuing acting professionally. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to the question if you should pursue something else. When you think about doing something else for a living, do you feel a sense of expansion or excitement? If so, that’s probably a good sign you want to do that!

  • Guest

    One of the best written articles on Tiny Buddha! It comes from a very realistic and inspiring place, hitting every nail on the head. 

    I’ve been “stuck” trying to figure out what to do next for my career. This makes me feel more confident in my decision. Sure, it may not take me straight from A to B, but it’s something I’m working towards. 

    Thanks for sharing, Lori. 

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • karen

    No saaaaaabes cuanto necesitaba un post como este! Increible , me sentí muy identificada! Siento que no soy la única loca en el mundo ahora jajaja Muy bello! Muchas graciaaas 🙂 ( Escribí en español porque supongo que puedes entender )

  • b.m.

    thanks. mine is waaaay unrealistic and things but i have thought it out. and thought of way to achieve this. i thought of ways to work up. if i could pull it off it would make lots of money and such but it is very unrealistic. but someday i might try to pull this off. its one of a kind

  • shruti

    I was thinking of giving up my graduate admission to CMU. It seems time and my scores are against me. I could’t give a satisfactory answer to most questions. But i have had so many experiences with dreams not coming true that it alone is a reason to give up. Maybe I dream too high.

  • Tiffany

    It’s funny; I’m giving up my dream because my parents highly disagree with me pursuing a music career. I mean, it is not within the entertainment industry or anything; I just hope to become a music teacher with the piano skills I have at the moment. It is the worst feeling because I KNOW I’m going to regret not attending the music college that I have already made into, and the thought of declining itself makes me fall into a boundless depression. I feel it is me against everyone else, and I can’t do it anymore. I mean, I feel so weak doing this, to give up something I Iong to pursue and what holds me back already are my parents.

  • lore

    I was about to give up on my dream now.. Since I was 5 years old, I dreamed of becoming one of those artists or animators inside a big company like Pixar, Dreamworks and etc and had drawn for the whole entire life, had worked so hard like every morning until midnight, I always draw and had won a lot of competitions (mostly 1st places and always on the top 2 or 3) but sadly, my parents doesn’t see how important it is for me and haven’t even saw me receiving those awards and prizes ever since! (honest!) I’m always alone on stage, giving address’s to other people I do not know of. I told them that I will take a degree in animation after I graduate in High school but they were so disappointed and pursued me to take other courses and they couldn’t support me. Here I am right now, I cannot draw very often like before, doing the things they want, but there is always inside me, like a burning fire to NEVER GIVE UP and find ways to head for my career life even if it takes blood and sweat but,

    I have a terrible sickness, a serious one.. (getting worse each year) and it might be impossible for me to reach my dreams. I might be gone early than my dreams. My parents told me I can’t reach it because I am weak. (which is true, I have a weak body since birth (lung disease and heart problems)). They told me “i’m running after impossible things, premature, childish”. But it’s my dream since I was 5! And I will not be silenced if I haven’t reached it. Before I die, I must reach it.

    Despite of lack support from my family, bad health condition
    still, I DIDN’T GAVE UP and NEVER will. But mostly I’m in the frequent of “going to give up for the sake of my health point” which saddens me quite a lot but didn’t discourages me to stop drawing..

  • lore

    Thank you so much for posting this by the way. 😀 Really motivated me to go on 🙂

  • You’re most welcome!

  • I am so inspired by you’d commitment to do what you love! I think it’s unfortunate your parents haven’t supported and encouraged you, especially considering your amazing strength and conviction. I have a feeling you’ll make that dream come true someday!

  • arnold

    do it . DO IT NOWWWW

  • Goddoesnotexist

    Im thinking about quitting even after reading this. Im a graphic artist have my own website (that I designed) & a business faceboook page but Im only making about $60 a week. People say Im too talented & I shouldn’t give up but I realized money makes the world go round so Im gonna start doing some illegal things just to make money. Do I want to? no but I need the money & my prayers go unanswered so I don’t believe in God anymore. So all I can say is this didn’t help me at all I hope it helps others. I had a dream of being a rap star lmao @ that dream but this one I thought would of been more realistic & I love doing it but I dont have enough customers to keep doing it & Ive been working in dead end jobs since I was 14 years old Im 33 now. I use to cut hair as a barber for more than 12 years but I HATED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. This is all I want to do make graphics but I think I was just born to be a failure cause my whole life I failed at everything.

  • Hi there,

    I am so sorry to hear about your disappointments with work. I can see why you’re frustrated, but I don’t believe for a second you were born to be a failure. Sometimes it just takes time to find what you love and then find a way to earn a living off of it. That was certainly the case for me.

    I hope you don’t start doing illegal things, as then you’ll really limit your choices in life.

    Are you doing work outside your own business, or trying to get freelance work in graphic design?


  • Guitarman

    After reading some of the comments on here I will let you know somethings about my recent admission that I have made to give up on my dream. For the last 20 years I have lived breathed and slept music (I am 31 now!! ) I got into playing in bands in my early teens as a guitar player just for fun and over the years after my exams did a degree in music in a music university as I had decided that I would like a career in Music. I played in bands for years in my 20’s all the shitty clubs and bars thinking that it would be all worth something and it would work out in the end. I got to see a lot of the world through touring over the years , even though it wasn’t great money and followed my dream to the brink, the band managed to land a recording contract with a reasonable budget to a label. To cut to the end of this story after a sizable budget had been spent touring and on trying to promote an album to get radio plays and TV slots which after the album didn’t sell well and it was less than what mainstream sales would regard as successful. I felt like a massive failure after all that hard work ( 17 years actually). Although I look back and I had the time of my life and got to meet some awesome people , I didn’t earn any real money from it. I decided to leave my band dream even though I did have some success behind as It made me very depressed towards the end and was affecting me in a bad way. Now I am very happy working teaching music to kids and I am pursuing a career in writing music for TV and Film in my spare time.

    My moral of the story for everyone I guess is that sometimes the things you want that you burn yourself out to achieve although you may see as failure can turn into a path to something your even happier doing 🙂

  • Robert

    I was gonna give up playing the lottery, but when I saw this, I said what’s a cupple of dollars ones a week, on a hey…you’ll never know dream of becoming a over night millionaire

  • Now that’s something I didn’t consider in writing this post, since I was thinking more about goals we work toward in life. But if you get enjoyment from playing the lottery, it’s within the realm of what you can afford, and it’s not negatively impacting your life in any way, I see no reason to completely give it up. =)

  • Megan Costello

    Thank you for this. It made me think things through more.

  • You’re most welcome!

  • elisabeth

    I live in Asia where I started out as an English teacher, which is comfortable and mildly satisfying, but less than stimulating. So I took my life savings and entered a Master’s degree program so that i might eventually have a real career in a field I love, that makes a real contribution to my host country. Now lots of schools and companies want me as an English teacher, and it would be nice to be getting a steady paycheck again. I was rejected for a full-time position from the organization where I interned (and would work for free if money weren’t an issue, that’s how much I loved it and believed in their work). It’s going to take another year or two (and more money) to get the language skills I need to work for a company, and the temptation to give up and just go back to English teaching is huge. I don’t want to have wasted 3 years of my life and nearly 30,000 in tuition and lost wages, but I’m already 30 and watching everyone I know get a nice house, retirement funds, insurance, and have kids and all the things you’re supposed to have at 30 that show you’re… I don’t know, responsible. An adult. I feel like such a loser and that my boat has sailed. Who the hell was I to think I can be something more?

  • I know what you mean Elisabeth. I’m 33, and I sometimes feel “behind” other people because I haven’t yet bought a house or started a family. But I know I wouldn’t be as satisfied if I didn’t take the time to discover and work toward what I really want to do (I didn’t start writing until 27). Also, I likely would have been less of a mother if I hadn’t given myself time to find myself and my place in the world. So let me ask you this: If you knew that two years from now, you’d be doing something you’re passionate about, would you be happy to that you devoted more time and money to do it? If you weren’t worried about what other people are doing, would you feel differently about this decision?

  • Justme28

    Really needed these questions so THANK YOU for putting them here to guide people

  • You’re most welcome!

  • Rhonda Adorno

    Great perspective shifter. Thank you.

  • You’re most welcome. =)

  • Inside Looking Out

    I appreciate your article, and there is great insight in these things, but I have to say that when I was reading it there were a few things that I have read that I know is advice that may work for some people, and although I have heard some
    of this advice many times, it is only now that I realize why it hasn’t worked for me. It’s great that it works for others, but this is what I struggle with:

    “Odds are you still want those things as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could have them because your attempts have yet to yield results. Now you have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be worth it in the end?”

    Do you mean the discomfort of not believing in yourself or the discomfort of repeat failures, or maybe both? Pushing through the discomfort can seem counter-intuitive because it doesn’t really strike me that most people pursue or have ambition to pursue something they don’t believe in. I have also observed, as I know have some others, that society tries to promote an idea that you can switch beliefs on and off like a switch. How can you do this without lying to yourself if you have the presence of mind that this is what you are doing? If the question is to keep pushing through after repeat failures in hope of a better turnout in the end, I suppose that the aforementioned conflict of disbelief must be dealt with, and how can you attempt to succeed again without having the belief? Ultimately, I see a compounding problem here that is its own parasite and its own host; the failures created disbelief in oneself, and the disbelief hinders the ambition to be pursuant in future endeavours.

    “In all reality, no one ever judges us like we judge ourselves; and we always grow and learn through the process of striving, regardless of what we attain.”

    Before I read to the end of that paragraph, I would like to note that I immediately thought of the “shoot for the moon” adage as soon as I started to read this paragraph. But I have to say that I have also heard the sayings that we judge ourselves the hardest, that we are our own toughest critics. I used to believe that, considering I grew up feeling inadequate and had neglectful—very neglectful parents. My opinion was always that of inadequacy and disbelief in myself so it was easy to believe anyone else who thought that way. I figured my parents just saw in me what I saw in myself, and not the other way around. However, when I got older I noticed that I don’t believe much in that I was ever my worst judge anymore, and that I question whether we really “in reality” are the hardest judges of ourselves.

    What I see when I look at the outside world is everyone pointing fingers at someone else, never at themselves. I see narcissism everywhere I look, self-absorption in almost every activity performed by anyone, a general thoughtlessness and lack of consideration as people stroll through life with an alarmingly narcoleptic existence, deteriorating into their own virtual worlds of social media and fake friends and technology. They are in their own bubbles. When I see them come out of it, I hear all sorts of trash about nothing that ever matters. Stupid, petty little things that are of no macrocosmic concern. Usually it’s about other people. Perhaps we judge ourselves so harshly because the world teaches us that they actually do judge you? “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.” Maybe that’s the reality and it isn’t in your head.

    Sometimes I come home and I feel like I’m actually going crazy, that there is something wrong with me because I fail to participate in this type of common hate. Maybe I’d have friends if I started badmouthing and gossiping. Other people go home and it doesn’t bother them. Why is this considered normal? Even this morning when I was in class, about 60% of the conversations people had were about other people, putting this person and that person down. This is after a 2-week break. These same people are nice to those people’s faces when they are present. Maybe I might still believe that no one judges us the way we judge ourselves if I could be a fly on the wall and know what isn’t said when I’m not around. He who brings carries.

    This negative thinking that you can’t succeed doesn’t come from within you. That’s total BS. You can’t be your own worst critic because no tree in the woods taught you this, no family pet, no material possession. We judge ourselves this harshly because we are taught this. If you don’t believe me, look at children in the playground and ask them what they want to be when they grow up. They’ll eagerly tell you as they run around like they are invincible because their future isn’t beaten out of them by everyone who will eventually tell them that they can’t do this and they can’t do that. They believe they can be whatever they can be because they haven’t learned those limitations yet.

    Most of the time when we provoke criticism it’s upon failing or falling short of someone else’s expectation of us, at the very least; it’s hardly ever provoked by just doing something right or how to keep on the right track by continuing to do what we did do right. This is negative reinforcement expecting to see positive results. This is a world that only cares what it can get from you. That’s pretty crass and extremely ignorant. This happens on almost every job you get, and it even happens in the classroom. Employers have an attitude that the petty check they pay you should be incentive enough, yet countless studies prove that there is a significant increase of performance and quality of work in a place that has more morale than that. It’s also shown in copious amounts of studies how stress, fear, and anxiety impede your work performance (like there need be any study in that). So when a boss comes down on you, why are you expected to improve? It’s proven already that it just does the opposite and it makes people passive-aggressively rebel. These behaviours aren’t motivational, and saying that they are would be just as stupid as saying that kids who are bullied were found to have the most self-esteem at school. We are not these inorganic machines that you put a token in and the job just gets done. A real machine never cares if you kick it and say, “Stupid machine.” And we are not all the same, as most of us force ourselves to believe just to function as a cog in the big machine. We are emotional creatures and I can’t believe how primitive society still is that they have to pretend they are robotic instead of accept what they are and what they need rather than suppressing it. Everyone knows it’s harder to give a compliment than to criticize, at least in western culture. So in reality, it’s the outside that the problem comes from.

    If the problem came from within, and you do it to yourself, why then do most homeless people happen to come from abusive, neglectful, alcoholic/drug using parents? Why do almost all of them have bad parents in common then? And then when someone on the street says they gotta get their act together like it’s that easy, they were not only told at home they fall short (or made to feel that way), now they’re blamed by other people for their circumstances on the outside. So who the worst critic is might get muddled down into semantics, but I don’t think you can become your own worst judge without someone already worse than you making you have a disbelieve in yourself (before you’re at the age to know you shouldn’t listen to them). When you get old enough to realize what they have done, much of the time the damage has already been done, and instilling that belief you lack in yourself you won’t find anywhere, except for maybe in yourself, once again, which isn’t easy unless you’re a truly extraordinary person.

    At any rate, I know I didn’t mention much about my dreams, but the truth is that rather than try and fail, I didn’t try at all. I, too, have been told that I was talented, but that always seemed to come secondary to the belief that I was wasting my time and that my dreams were silly and foolish, first starting at home and then as I got older it was being reinforced daily by the outside world. Thanks for the article, nonetheless, and it’s appreciated.

  • Hi there,

    Thanks for taking the time to write! There’s a lot here, so I’m going to break it down and respond to your questions:

    “Do you mean the discomfort of not believing in yourself or the discomfort of repeat failures, or maybe both?”

    I mean whatever the discomfort is for us individually. It could, and likely does, include lots of different things.

    “I suppose that the aforementioned conflict of disbelief must be dealt with, and how can you attempt to succeed again without having the belief?”

    I think we ultimately change beliefs by amassing proof to support the opposite one. When it comes to our beliefs about what we can do, a great way to do that is to keep taking tiny steps when we’re tempted to paralyze ourselves with fear and self-analysis. As we move forward and make progress, even if it’s slow, we slowly start changing our beliefs about what’s possible for us.

    “Perhaps we judge ourselves so harshly because the world teaches us that they actually do judge you?”

    I think others do judge, in much the same way we do–but we often see more judgment because that’s what we’re looking for (proof that the world is a kind, uncaring place). Of course, it makes sense someone would look for this if they grew up in a highly judgmental environment. It’s a defense mechanism–one I know all too well!

    “Maybe I might still believe that no one judges us the way we judge ourselves if I could be a fly on the wall and know what isn’t said when I’m not around.”

    In my experience, when people talk about others in the way you described, it’s because they’re projecting their own self-judgment onto other people. We all have our own insecurities, and it’s a lot easier to talk about other people than it is to face them.

    “We judge ourselves this harshly because we are taught this.”

    I do believe this–that we often learn to judge ourselves by watching the people around us. But that doesn’t change that only we can change our own thoughts.

    “So in reality, it’s the outside that the problem comes from.”

    I get what you’re saying in this section. There are some serious shortcomings in the way we operate as a whole. A therapist once told me we can’t change other people; we can only change how we respond to them. I think there’s a lot of truth in that. There will always be problems outside of us. We can add to those problems with self-victimizing thoughts, or we can do our best to empower ourselves within an imperfect world. It’s certainly not easy, and I’m no expert. But I know I can either be part of the problem or I can take responsibility for being part of the solution.

    “why then do most homeless people happen to come from abusive, neglectful, alcoholic/drug using parents? Why do almost all of them have bad parents in common then?”

    Because abusive parenting predisposes someone to self-abuse. It puts someone at a significant disadvantage, but the beautiful thing about the human spirit is that we all have the potential to grow beyond what we learned. We may never do a complete 180, but it is possible to heal and thrive, even if you grew up believing little in your worth or potential.

    “At any rate, I know I didn’t mention much about my dreams, but the truth is that rather than try and fail, I didn’t try at all.”

    I understand this instinct. This is exactly how I felt when I moved to NYC wanting to be a Broadway star and then did nothing but drink, smoke, and isolate myself for the first year and a half. What helped me in the beginning was to stop thinking so much about pursuing my dreams and focus more on the everyday experience of living with less pain and more joy. Until I could get through a day without thinking of myself as worthless, I couldn’t dedicate myself to something that I believed to be worthy.

    You’re most welcome for the article. I would love to know what your dreams are, if you feeling like sharing them!

  • Michael

    I have a dream to become a singer & an artist…though I have the voice,commitment,will power,I do not have my parents support at all..and after high school I wanted shift my entire time to’s basically my food & water…but there was constant pressure from my parents to stop pursuing music..& do something they consider useful..they took away all my hope..I was almost on the verge of losing the battle..but then I read your article & asked myself all these questions..& I just realized my dream is worth pursuing & fighting..I am gonna show them that even my dream is as important as what they think is a PERFECT career…I am gonna show them I am not gonna give up with out a fight….
    All thanks to you maam for writing such a inspirational article..which gave me hope which I lost…thank u very much maam…

  • You are most welcome Michael. I’m so glad you’re not going to give up on your dream! It’s been said we tend to regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did. I’m sure one day you’ll look back and be happy you made this choice!

  • Michael junior

    I had a dream like many people to become a singer..I was willing to do anything..go to any extent to make my dream a reality..I practiced hours together..I gave up everything I loved..I sacrificed whatever I had my time,my energy,to this dream of parents were not a great fan of what I was doing with my time,they thought I will be wasting my life following an impossible dream..they think the world revolves around doctors & engineers..& they had this mindset that if I go in these fields I would succeed..but I wanted to make a difference & I wanted to prove them wrong..I knew I would never know i didnt try..I started to work more hard to make my
    dream real..but whenever I took a step forward I was pulled 3 steps back with some or the other hurdle..I was losing this war parents were winnin..I lost all hope..but then there was just one point where I decided to give up..but it wasn’t easy after all the work & sweat I had was really sad to give up with out fighting further..then I came across this article I kinda asked all your questions to myself..& realised something..I am not a coward I am not going to give up in the fear of hurdles or failure..& my life would never be better if I would give up this dream..& I would never forgive myself..someday in future I wouldn’t want to look back and think “WHAT IF”..I trust in myself & my dream..
    & the only reason I got my will power back is because of this wonderful article..I THANK YOU from the bottom if my heart Lori..I reaply don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t read this article..
    & someday if I succeed I wI’ll surely dedicate to u .cause believe it or not you will be the reason for my success..thank u for this great article & hope many other people like me can find help..keep up the great work Lori..THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN..

  • You are most welcome Michael. I’m so inspired by your recommitment to your dream! =)

  • Michael junior

    Thank you Lori for taking your time to reply me..It really means a lot..

  • Michael junior

    Hey man we have a same name with similar problem…looks like we are on the same page bro…& miss Lori is right man u don’t want to be regretting your decisions later on…I say go for it..
    All the best buddy

  • It’s my pleasure. I’d love to hear how things go for you as you move forward!

  • Michael junior to..

  • Taha

    I did give up on my dream 3 years ago. I wanted to be an actor. I went to acting school and tried to get into the industry. I struggled so much with the lack of opportunities and i felt insecure about the way i looked. I left acting and found a “proper” job, bought a car, finished a degree in global politics (i know what was i thinking?!) and then things went downhill from there. I lost my job and just when i thought my life had ended, a film opportunity popped up in my life. Literally fell down from the sky. Now i am back in the industry and making my way up. Looking back now i realised that taking that break was actually good for me. I developed into a stronger person and I know exactly what i want right now. Don’t get me wrong i still get doubts every now and then but I always think of that time and it makes me realise that if something is meant to be and if you are truly passionate, all your dreams will come true 🙂

  • That’s wonderful that you’re back in the industry. Congrats on the film opportunity!

  • Alex

    Thank you for sharing, we only ever hear the super success stories in this society and rarely of those who gave their best and had to readjust and adapt.

  • Rose

    Reading this after giving up going to arts school to study acting to re-sit my exams and study psychology is making me re-think my decision and I honestly feel scared :/ but what I told myself was that I would study psychology but acting will still be a part of my life, just not the spotlight of it. Still scared I made the wrong choice..

  • Hi Rose,

    There’s another post on the site you may want to check out:

    It breaks down the fear of making the “wrong” decision. I hope this helps!


  • jarko

    Is there really a second chance sometimes? After 10 years finally happened but fear of failure made me lose it. The biggest pain for me now is that maybe I could have offered a better future for my son….Is it possible to overcome this?

  • Hi Jarko,

    What is it that you’re looking for a second chance with? What finally happened?


  • jarko

    Well, long story, I will make it short, I finally got my working visa for US, arrived there, after a shot while for not finding a job (now I didn’t stop to apply for one) something stopped me to continue, I think I realized that maybe I wasn’t ready for this, I could’t find a way to figure it out, maybe lack of patience (I was planning to bring my family there also) and finally came back to my home and job. Maybe no. 8 from your post is true for me.

  • Do you mean that your life was better for giving up on the goal? If so, and you felt you weren’t ready for it, then it sounds like you made the right decision for you!

  • Taking a break as a musician

    This is an interesting article and it was interesting to see the comments also. I too decided to take a back seat on my music career. When others see me play the guitar they would say I have the potential and skills to be a profesional musician (i graduated from one of the best music schools) but something has changed dramatically after 3 years of trying to ‘make it’. The importance of money has taken over and I realize that the things I have to sacrifice for in order to be a full time musician was far too great. I am 28 and have been working as an ’employee’ for almost 2 years. It’s apparent that I enjoy the music life much more, it is much more rewarding but I barely made any money as a ‘musician’.

    For me personally, I would like to leave the worries of money behind and so I started working towards a life free of financial barriers. I sometimes question myself when I see friends striking milestones on their music careers. I also see friends who haven’t gotten very far but are still sticking with it.

    Others might say that I have wasted my talents, skills and potential but in the end, I just want my freedom (financial freedom). Anyone else in the same boat as I am?

  • NefertitisChild

    I’m young and I have a lot before me. I’ve been going out with this guy, we both think that we’re literally soul mates and I love him very much. The thing is, I’ve always dreamed of being an archeologist, living in Africa and helping out in poor African villages as a teacher(the Red Cross could help or other similar organizations) or even being there and participating in their everyday lives . I dream about Egypt and Arabia. I think that if those dreams of traveling to archeological sites and being one of the most known archeologists would come true, then I would literally cry from joy. What I want to do in the future is travel the world in search of my inner self and the beauty of our lives. It’s just… In order to make these dreams come true I have been studying really hard and now I have a chance to go to one of the top schools in my state. I want to go there with all my heart, but my boyfriend wants me to stay with him. He also said that my dreams are childish and unrealistic, when I know that I can make them come true! I love him very much don’t get me wrong, I even thought about taking him with me, but… he wants to stay close to home. I know we’re young and all, but it hurts knowing that my parents and friends support me while he doesn’t. I would do anything for him, so maybe I should give up my dreams? I’m very fragile and I hate giving up on things or people… It’s the 21st century, so if I went to a school 30/40 min from home it wouldn’t be such a big deal, especially if I came back for every weekend, holiday etc. I’m just so confused, depressed and my head hurts from over thinking. This post and all these comments ignited some hope in me, thank you all 🙂

  • I’m glad this was helpful to you! In reading your comment, my heart ached for you, because I can imagine it’s confusing to have these dreams and to know that someone you love so much isn’t supporting or encouraging you. it’s always much easier to form opinions as an outsider, so I realize this is far more easily said than done–but you deserve to go after whatever it is you want to do in life, and anyone who doesn’t encourage you is selling you short and not really considering your wants and needs.

    In my experience, when we want something–when something means a lot to us–but we give it up to please someone we love, we eventually become resentful. And at that point, it can end up ruining the relationship after it already ruined the dream. So my advice to you, if you’re able to take it, is to really think about how you envision your future. And then ask yourself: Would you ever tell your boyfriend HIS dreams are childlike and unrealistic? Perhaps this will help you decide what’s really the best choice for you.

  • Paige

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon this, but god bless you for making this insight available to the world. I am a 23-year-old, struggling artist in New York City with the whole gamut of distresses: student loan debt, waitressing jobs, nannying jobs, rent to be paid, $112 Metrocard to be bought, anxiety, and exhaustion. I have dedicated my entire life to pursuing a career in dance and am SO on the verge of tossing in the towel for a corporate job with good benefits. After sobbing on the phone with my Mom back in the Midwest tonight, I decided to go back to this bookmarked page I had and type out an answer to each of these questions as if it were an interview. My answer came to me clear as day. I want to give you a big hug right now, but all I can say from my little apartment in Manhattan is…thank you. Thank you.

  • NefertitisChild

    Thank you so much for this 🙂 I realized that maybe pleasing myself from time to time isn’t so bad and anyway I live for my dreams.

  • You’re most welcome. I’m happy to help. =)

  • Laura

    Hi. OK, my dream is a bit different, but still a dream, I have always dreamed of living in California, for atleast 20 years. I have been waiting for my daughter to graduate high school first. She has 2 years. I am VERY sad to know that she doesn’t want to go to CA. She wants to stay in the Midwest, eastern side of the US. I am unsure if I can actually go thru with moving so far away. I don’t know that I would feel “whole” without her. So, do I spend all my savings and go somewhere with no job or friends? OR stay where I have a great job and lots of security and settle down with a home here? It makes me sad to think “this is it”, this would be my life. But I cry thinking about being so far from my daughter. I know kids go off to college all the time, but I just can’t do it! I am unsure if I will feel more empty if I move away or if I stay here and give up on that idea. I will be about 40 when she graduates, so its not really like I can just find a career. I do not have a degree.

  • Hi Laura,

    I can definitely understand the conflict about leaving your daughter. What do you envision yourself doing when you get to California? And have you spent any time there already? It might be help to write a list of your top 5 values (you can find a long list here: and then look at each option and see which best honors those values.

    That’s something that’s helped me as I’ve made decisions, because it’s allowed me to gauge where and how I would feel most fulfilled. I hope this helps a little!


  • fahim

    First of all, thank you for writing this, Lori. I read this and I think I know the answers to a lot of these questions.

    I’m on the verge of halting my acting career. I studied it in college, and got myself into debt–which gave me a panic attack senior year–yet I persisted because I still felt I had something meaningful to offer as an actor. Now, 2 years after graduation, it’s no longer adding up. I’m no longer seeing a “SMART” image of myself doing it 10 years from now. It doesn’t feel sustainable, even though I still enjoy the art and practice of being a stage and film performer, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done. But it no longer feels grounded in reality. And so, I’m having a hard time letting it go…

    I guess it’s easy to “give up” on something. I could name 100 things I’m not good at. But I think you have to go from a positive place–“okay, I can’t act. But whatever else it is that I choose to do, I hope it gives me the same joy and satisfaction that I had for acting (or whatever other passion you chose to pursue).”

    I’m trying to figure what that is now. It seems that most of us here have creative and artistic passions driving us, and I hope that we always have outlets for our unique gifts, even if they are not our sole source of income or they manifest themselves in different ways.

  • Gael

    Glad that you didn’t give up on your dreams.:)) when i was a kid i also wanted to be an animator ,i really love creating characters and portraits but as time goes by i stopped my passion, because my parents believed that i’ll never have a great future with that degree and i got scared. I pursued another degree which i really dont like because im not actually enjoying it. I tried to explain to them but they just dont unddrstand me so i have no choicd but to continue that degree. Now i regret that i didnt fighht for what i really wanted. I already gave up my passion. Drawing means a lot to me because when im making portraits and characters i feel so happy that its okay for me to spend my whole time working on it. Drawing is already part of my life that giving it up was kinda tough for me. The one thing that i learned is keep fighting your dreams because if you wont you’ll regret it and you’ll say to your self ” i wish i listened to what i want.” This is what i feel right now if only i could turn back time, i’ll correct my mistake.

  • mohamed

    This has help me so much ..
    I’m a medical student , I love to be a doctor ,, but I think it’s too long journey and I start feeling weak after my first year , because I didn’t achieve what I want to …I started to think about giving it up , and it took too much time from me …but now everything come clear I can’t give up my dream just because I’m nit confident in myself ..thank u

  • You’re most welcome Mohamed! I’m guessing it’s likely toughest in the first year. I think it’s awesome that you’re going to keep moving forward toward your dream!

  • mohamed

    Yeah I will keep moving ,, but I don’t know why I just can’t but all my strength in it , I keep wasting my time in stupid stuffs (like an ex meet me daily and ruined the whole day ) ,, I have tried anything to concentrate but it’s not working …
    Anyway I will just try to do my best in it ..thank u again

  • TheMilesAdams

    I’ve considered giving up so many times. I’m trying to be a professional golfer. Not only do I want to be on the PGA Tour, but I want to be one the best in the world. I dropped out of college to pursue my dreams. I sacrifice everything. I wake up at 4 am everyday without fail. I workout and workout hard. I work at a gym as a personal trainer for money but its just a J.O.B. (just over broke). My career is a professional golfer. I am 20 years old. If I am not working than I am out at the course. I only sleep 6 hours on average, I hardly hangout with friends, and if I’m not on the course than I’m studying golf and listening to motivational speeches (Kai Greene, Eric Thomas,…). I try to be the best person that I can be because if I can’t do something as simple as washing dishes correctly, how can I be expected to be the best in the world. I want to be an inspiration to others one day. I want children to look to me and see limitless possibilities. I am moving to Florida at the end of this year which is obviously a huge risk. Now, where I am having trouble is that I haven’t seen the success that I envision and that I work for and pray upon. I want to succeed as bad as I want to breath and I’m willing to do anything to get there. But I don’t have anything to show for what I put into this dream. I know I’m improving but it’s like my life is becoming a succession of little failures. I tell myself that all of this will be worth it, and I try to ignore the option of giving up and accepting a 9 to 5 job. But I am literally willing to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be. I’m good at golf. I’m great. But when I don’t win or get to where I need to be I ask myself; what are these people doing that I am apparently not doing. Now I’ve been playing since I was two years old. I was better than most be cause of my early start but I broke my hand in my hi school days and basically quit for a year thn never had the motivation to be better than average. I played in college and got serious but it wasn’t near the ambition that I have now. So for the last 6 months I’ve given it everything that I have. I guess I’m just frustrated because I don’t know when it will come. I don’t know when I will be able to look back and say that all these heartaches and failures and sacrifices are worth it. I’m rambling and crying at this point but as always, I’ll press on with the hopes that whoever reads this will be able to one day say that I read a post by Miles Adams, that professional golfer years ago and look where he is now. #OneDay

  • Anna

    I can relate! I have been dancing my whole life and am pursuing it in a major city now, but lately I have been developing outside interests (film, politics, acting)wondering if it would be easier to pursue one of those. Yet a part of me feels like its shouting that I need to see this dream through. Eventhough its hard. Inside I know its something I have to do or I will regret it the rest of my life. Its a complete struggle, but I have to trust it will be worth it. I hope it will be for you too!

  • Fact

    we are all told that we are ineligible to carry on or start some at point during our careers or lives, about what we love or are passionate about. Some of us are told when we are in our initial stages of careers/ lives, some in the middle, and some in the latter.

    a wise man once said “its really surprising how little we know about the things in our lives/ careers we love the most”.

    sorry about this.

  • R123

    I had a dream of going to UCLA. Almost my whole family (that is of age) has a degree from UCLA. I have pretty much given up on that dream. I feel like I could never do it. I get good enough grades, but if I get my hopes up and then I don’t get accepted, I will feel like a loser. I always doubt myself … I don’t know what to do 🙁

  • Bruce Edwards

    I don’t want that feeling. I am trying hard to focus on my music career and try to balance a normal life too. I work in it and God blessed with a job where I only work like 2-3 days a week for a 40 HR pay and I have all this time for my music. Keep in mind I been entertaining people and Makin music since I was 2, but I notice people whacker than me think I’m dope but, people better than me or have been around great musicians think I whack. It so frustrating and it makes me Want give up. But I can’t and I won’t. I think I just need a break. I’m 27 Btw.

  • Maxi

    I always dreamt about being a model-actor. And I’ll never stop. I’m 18 this year. I’m fat, but i work out 4 days a week, swim 2 days a week. Someday I wanna be able to look at people in the eye and say, ” if i could do it, you definitely can.” I’m from the small city of Singapore.

  • Music

    I compose music and composed this piece, over the years I have had a lot of family problems and issues, I wont go into the details would rather not but lets say my parents have not been healthy ones. one died years ago when I was a child and the other is very sick now. My dream had been music for many years and for a while I did give up due to depression and many other factors,but these last few months I have started to try again. So even if you decide to give up for a while if you have other issues to sort out, you can always come back to your dream later when you are feeling better and more in control of your emotions, there is no law to state that you have to stop at a certain age or time. If you have a talent, whether you decide to leave it alone for a year or several, you can always come back to it when things are better in your life, because you see, your talent is a part of you, it will always be there. and it does not matter if others believe in you or not, the important thing is, you have to believe in yourself! and have guts and determination. and also strength to cope with the many things in life in-between that may burden you, be it health, or work or family issues etc. Once you give up, you close all the doors to opportunity. So what if others dont believe in you. Yes its hard if they dont, but dont be burdened by their negative opinions. if its something you truly want, go for it. A lot of people are very fickle in this world, they dont believe you can make it, and when you do everyone wants to be your friend. I am still trying and yes at times I think, oh well, then I think ok, I will keep on trying its my dream. regardless. I have done some real gutsy things that I dont want to post here, but my friends have said, you did what! OMG. So far nothing has prevailed, but the one thing is, I did this and others probably didnt. So if you can, always try to go one better on your dream. Contacts are very important so try getting in touch with the people that represent what you want to do. You never know. I hope this has helped anyone here.

  • george

    Hey, I’m studying medicine ( still in the second year) . I’ve always loved to be a doctor and have a lot of money u know … Now I have what I dreamt in , but i don’t know what’s happenning with me lately .. I feel like this field isn’t for me .. I really like graphic design stuffs , and i feel i would like to transfer , even though it’s a very difficult step u know … I don’t know what i want anymore …!! I dreamt of medicine , and now i don’t want it … !!

  • hav2sing

    Really Really helpful for me right now. Today. Particularly the ‘Afraid of Success’ question with the follow up explanation. I’ve avoided, successfully, real responsibility for lots of reasons, not equating it with success on that “Ah-HA!” level, when you finally understand something, as opposed to just ‘knowing’ it. Thank you for that. To Eat, Sleep, Live and Pursue passion and talent takes Persistence, something I’ve known since college, but really have allowed the “I want it all” mentality to dilute the dream.

  • ashy

    im doin this speech on how ta be a millionaire im affraid everyone will laugh at me!!!!!!!!!can u give me some infice

  • Indunil

    i have built a company and an online service application…i already have one customer.. this company is not losing single penny…but it’s been 1 year and i’m still trying to get my 2nd customer…kind of frustrated.. ..thought of giving up.. then i read this .. for none of these questions i have a good answer….let me hold on some more time…. Thanks Lori.

  • You’re most welcome. Congrats in advance on your second customer. =)

  • Indunil

    will let you know once i get there… 🙂

  • Widy

    Thank you. I found my answer here. I’ve been pondering over and over whether to chase after my own dream or chase after my girl. I think now I should be able to give myself a proper answer. Thank you so much!

  • Marcus Copeland

    I was on the verge of giving up… Life Changing Post!

  • Marcus Copeland

    I was on the verge of giving up… Life Changing Post!

  • I’m glad it helped! =)

  • I’m glad it helped! =)

  • Lulu012

    what i’m thinking of giving up really isn’t a passion (I honestly don’t really stay passionate about things long term) but more of a career I’m interested in. I’ve dealt with mental health issues for awhile and made a quick decision to pursue my current studies at the time. It’s 2 years later with about 2 more years to go and I’m thinking of quitting because I realize I don’t believe in myself, have zero self confidence (in general) and that my mental health issues seem to be this wall I’m always running into. I’m constantly mentally overwhelmed.

    This is also a program that you have to be fairly exceptional (it’s competitive) to really get to the end and I’m messing up all over the place. I’m worried about wasting more time and money on this and I’m thinking of taking a break (while doing other work), focusing on getting help for my personal and mental health issues and going back to this sometime in the future. Annoyingly, I go through cycles of feeling capable and then mentally falling apart and screwing up badly so I’m constantly flip-flopping about what to do. I wish inspirational quotes were enough.

    Through all this though, I have this feeling in my gut that this is good for me and I should continue and I am someone that has quit things throughout my life. But I also have to face the reality of where I am mentally and if I’ll be able to succeed at this long term. And yes I failed the A & R in the SMART goal portion. I just have no clue what to do.

  • neev

    are u a milliniore?

  • neev

    Hi Lori please help me with my situation..I am from India..from
    childhood onwards my dream was to settled in foreign countries..then i
    met a guy in college..from him i quit my plan to do MS and stayed here
    in india we both got job in india..but my dream was to go to foreign and settle there to have better life..but my bf doesnt like to go there..he wants to stay here only..all my friends and cousins are settling in foriegn and enjoying there.. i feel jealous many times..i hv options to go but am not going only bcoz of him..its my dream to go there..he too knows that but i dont know if he wil take me there or not..wt i hv to do? how to let go of my dream .,,thinking of that dream and staying here is being quite difficult for me..wt do u suggest

  • Hi Neev~

    I’m sorry to hear about the situation you’re in. This is a tough one, because it sounds like it comes down to a choice: stay with your current significant other, or leave to fulfill your dream of living elsewhere.

    No one can tell you which choice is right for you. It really comes down to which feels like the bigger priority to you. Maybe it will help to picture yourself 20 years down the road. Will you be happier for knowing he’s still in your life, or for living somewhere else you’d rather be?

    I hope this helps a little!


  • neev

    Hi Lori thanks for responding..
    I may regret later if I leave him..but bcoz of my dream not getting fulfilled i am showing all my frustration on him….he said to me that he wil surely take me foreign but it might take some time…till then plz give some guidance how to control my anger /emotions..this is ruining my relationship for sure,,,,and how to stop being jealous of others..
    thanks in advance

  • Have you tried meditation? It’s the best way I know to release difficult emotions, as it allows you to find mental stillness. You may want to check out one of these posts:

    I hope this helps!


  • Ying. Y

    Just wanted to wish you all the best! From a fellow Singaporean.

  • Kain Akai

    I did give up a very unrealistic dream that I did not even want to achieve. like I was just imagining it but i did not really want it. also it putted some unnecessary pressure & stress on me to achieve it.
    The fact that I gave it up does not mean I may not try to go to the real side of it. as long as I am sure of myself from the inside I will achieve whatever I want.
    it’s all about what we want.
    btw read 7 habits of highly effective people,Steven R Covey.
    life changing, if you are not sure go to youtube and see his videos it may convince you.
    to sum up my exp, I just want everyone to be honest& clear with themselves. I want them to satisfy their happiness in their present life by living their moments to its fullest & to look for future happiness by working effectively toward a goal.

  • Kain Akai

    thank you for the post.

  • Caramel

    The article that just pop out of my facebook feed in the right moment.I am actually going through lots of depression lately but this gives me a hopes up. Thank you very much and keep it up. ^.^

  • Abracadabra

    How to put this bluntly?

    I spent three years believing I was the soulmate of a successful man and that if I just held out and waited, the Universe would bring us together (because he and I both work in an industry in which you can’t simply “walk up to” the other person and bring yourself and them together, yourself). The dream paid off absolutely nothing.

    I considered giving up. Each time, “signs from the Universe” would appear strongly warning me not to give up, to hold on, and that one day this person and I would meet indeed and bring happiness to each other. Each time, I believed these signs and held on. Still, no meeting came.

    Finally, a series of accidents, wounds and betrayals occurred in my personal life and I am still recovering from them. Tired, exhausted, pale, I have no more strength to hold on to the dream of this person. I need that energy for me. Besides, during the worst of the pain, I realized though I was born heterosexual, I dislike male-female relationships and cannot function in them… and that I will need to join the small but growing community of Declared Lesbians. It was here I realized the dream of this man no longer fit my reality and I was waiting for nothing.

    Literally nothing.

    This morning, looking at the clock, I took some deep breaths, and I said, “At 8:00 A.M., when the second hand reaches 12, release your dream of meeting and loving this person.” I felt tears in my eyes as I sucked in some more breaths to strengthen myself and stoke courage. It hurt to release a three-year dream. But I did it. And oddly, in the moments after, I feel relief, like a heavy chain fell from my neck.

    This is a beautiful essay, but at times, we really must let go of the dream.

  • Shameme Adams

    NEVER give up on your dream sweetie. One of mine (among many)! but this one is special is to finally have my surgery in MANHATTAN!!, New York. I have a severely twisted back (Scoliosis) that the British people have allowed to deteriorate and now my only hope is there. I contacted a Doctor there and with no money, contacts or influence got over to see him and now am just raising the money to have my surgery…..and get my dream-a straight back!. You sound amazing and if you ever want to say hi (having lots of friends is a dream too)! 🙂 my Twitter is @ShamemeAdams!. All the best with your dancing!!. x

  • Dannielle

    Lori this article is inspiring to say the least but im just having a hard time trying to really find myself. Ive tried to hold a job from the beginning and it never seems to work, i tried to ace schooling and it always ended in C’s. I mean i guess what im saying is that i gave up, on everything…. i feel like if i continue to go for my dream of being a vet tech, all ill do is fail like i have done my whole life, from relationships to work, from self insecurities about weight to following and pursuing my goals. Im a strong 23 year old woman, i know it in my heart but i just cant seem to find my motivation. i feel so… broken. Im scared to disappoint my family and boyfriend anymore than i already have, as well as being terrified to disappoint myself….again. No one seems to understand how im feeling so i have no one supporting me on the good, when i have striven for it, instead the criticize and ridicule me on my short comings and my failures. i just want a way to believe in myself again, a way to know that being in a dead end job isnt the best and safest option. sorry… just wanted to try and vent.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through, Dannielle. I know how hard it is to stay the course when you don’t have a strong support system. I was happy to read that you know you’re a strong woman. That tells me that deep down, you do believe in yourself–you’re just having a tough time right now.

    Perhaps it will help to look at everything that’s happened as something that needed to happen to help you learn and grow. And maybe, in some way, these people who are criticizing you can help you learn to be less critical with yourself. When you hear the voice in your head sounding like them, you can remind yourself that you deserve kindness and compassion–and then give to yourself what they’re not giving you.

    You may also want to make a list of everything you’ve done that you’re proud of. I know you think all you’ve done is fail, but odds are you’re not seeing the full picture. I’m sure there are lots of things, even if they’re small, that you’re proud of. If you can jot some of them down, it may help you feel better about yourself when you start feeling disappointed–and that will make it much easier to find motivation.

    These posts may help with that, as well.

    You are in my thoughts…


  • jjrico

    I took some time out from a career in IT to pursue some musical ambitions and worked really hard at it the past few years. I have become pretty good but ended up living in a country that doesn’t really appreciate what i am doing. They are just that way. I have been performing with my partner who sings and when we play together people congratulate her on her voice but virtually 100% of the time try to make it as obvious as possible that i dont exist. Now i dont want to play any more as all my hard work means nothing, it is especially hard as a good voice – which in this case wasn’t earnt with hard work – is more important than dedication and skill.

  • jjrico

    Absolutely. You have to question why one wants to be a musician. As you get older the things you want from being a successful musician you can get in other ways. If you like playing music for the sake of it then you can always do that.

  • Nana Owusu Djan

    Sometimes the stories that begins on a sad note always have a happy
    ending (He who laughs last, last best) I always told myself that one day
    i can become the passion in me. If you don’t believe in your dreams,
    who else will. Imagine growing up in one of the poorest west african
    countries, with poor parents and not even enough food to feed the family
    to talk of school. I had to move to the city to sleep on Abandon
    wrecked buildings and become a shoe shine in order to take me to senior
    high school. In all that, i could draw, paint and use the computer
    without any training. becoming the passion in you takes sacrifice,
    perseverance, and with a lil bit of encouragement each day, God will
    lift you up in the right time. Now I work as a graphics artist for the
    bigest Paint company in my country. Though I am not where i want to be
    yet, I am so glad i am not where i used to be either. Dont forget, I
    have had no formal education in Computer graphics/web designing but what
    i can do now amazes even the Degree holders in the same field. What i
    saw was a fire burning in me and i had to pursue it, Believe me, A
    degree plus my passion would be an unquenchable fire of destiny. If you
    feel it within you, it is because God deposited it in there. No matter
    what, talent is what makes the world beautiful. My name is Nana Djan.
    lets chat more on Facebook.

  • wonderkeyz .
  • wonderkeyz .

    so what is your answer? are you sticking with it?

  • bwub

    i have given up…

  • Louisa

    I keep giving up when I’m 99% of the way there because I’m scared of being famous. I love my work and I’m very very good at what I do, but HATE the way I look. The thought of having my disgusting face on TV or magazines for other people to see makes me feel physically sick. I will probably wait until I am 40+ years old and less likely to be judged on my appearance and then try to go public with my work. Until then I’ll just keep adding to my collection. Either that or find a model who is willing to pretend to be me!

  • Hi Louisa,

    What is it that you do for work? And just a question that came to mind: are there any famous people who you admire a great deal but don’t consider physically attractive? (I’m sure you know where I’m going with this…)


  • deep6644

    I am from India I have a dream since my childhood,,to persue MS and settle in foreign,,but when I was in 12th standard I felt love for one guy and we are still together(10yrs) He doesnt want to go to foreign so I didtn went for MS…recently our marrriage has been fixed but my dream is still not filfulled <,i am feeling most unlucky person in this world..I told my partner that I want to go to foreign lets go and settle there..he is saying if u wil not go there wll your life end why are u so stubborn on going there,,unless you act being so stubborn and acting as if there is no life unless u go there I wil not take you there..
    Its the only dream i ever had and he is not allowing me to fulfill my dreams which is making me more depressed,,its effecting out relationship also,,i am not happy right now.
    what shal i do,,how to let go of my dreams and live happily,,please help

  • deep6644

    I am from India I have a dream since my childhood,,to persue MS and
    settle in foreign,,but when I was in 12th standard I felt love for one
    guy and we are still together(10yrs) He doesnt want to go to foreign so I
    didtn went for MS…recently our marrriage has been fixed but my dream
    is still not filfulled <,i am feeling most unlucky person in this
    world..I told my partner that I want to go to foreign lets go and settle
    there..he is saying if u wil not go there wll your life end why are u
    so stubborn on going there,,unless you act being so stubborn and acting
    as if there is no life unless u go there I wil not take you there….
    the only dream i ever had and he is not allowing me to fulfill my
    dreams which is making me more depressed,,its effecting out relationship
    also,,i am not happy right now.
    what shal i do,,how to let go of my dreams and live happily,,please help

  • Hi there,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. It sounds like you have a tough choice to make: your dream, or the man you love.

    I can understand why you’d be frustrated about him seemingly not supporting you, but I can also understand why he’d be hesitant to uproot his life and move to a foreign country. So I suppose the question you need to answer for yourself is: which dream is a higher priority for you, the dream of a life with him, or the dream of the life he doesn’t want to be part of?

    Incidentally, you may also want to share your story in the Tiny Buddha forums to gain insight and advice from the community. It’s a really loving, supportive space!

    It’s free to join here:

    Then you can access the forums here:

    I hope this helps! You are in my thoughts…


  • Johnson H.

    Great article. Loved it

  • Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it ! 🙂

  • shreeya

    I am a Singer/Songwriter from England.

    I once thought about giving up my dream. I thought I would never be played on the radio, or sing at a concert with thousands watching. I have done both, but it has come at a price.

    When pursuing your dream, if its a dream that involves a level of “fame” either within the industry you are pursuing to be a part of, or tv/internet fame, be prepared for a long road of setbacks, heartbreak, hard work and the most common feeling of them all…depression.

    Depression is a massive part of pursuing a dream. Im in no way famous, or making a lot of money. However, I am happy that I have succeeded in my ultimate dream which was to have a job Singing and Songwriting. I was depressed for years, because when you are going for that precious goal, it seems like the world is against you, or telling you NO. Telling you that happiness is one 9-5 away. I sat in a call centre for 2 years, it sucked the life out of me.

    I kept my head down, worked hard, and at 30 years old, I received a phone call, from Universal Music.

    Im guessing some musicians will want the know how of how it happened. I will explain briefly. I worked the “back door” way of entering the music business. Its when you make a song so generic, so commercial, so run of the mill, that the radio has no other choice but to play the song. Im not a marketable artist, Im not 5ft tall with blonde shiny hair, perfect teeth and huge breats. Im a shy woman who loves to sing. My dream came at 30, making pop songs, getting them songs to every radio station, any way possible (BBC INTRODUCING was the radio that picked me up) and the rest is history.

    Nicki Minaj is a fantastic example of success through patience, hard work, dedication, AND NEVER GIVING UP. She was 30 years old when a artist by the name of Puff Daddy signed her. Who now, is one of the biggest names in the industry.

    My brother is a games artist, he has worked on Metal Gear Solid and Deadspace 2. He also pursued, and finally got his dream.


    (Please be aware, I got a job at a call centre to pay my way through general life. I would in no way encourage ANYBODY to stop working a routine paying job. It creates comfort, relaxation, a social life and also helps to achieve your goal by allowing you to purchase things you need for your goal)

    Shreeya 🙂

    ” If nobody dreamed, nobody would dream “

  • All inspiration no motivation

    Thank you Lori for this article. I have danced for 13 years and I have recently given it up because It just got too stressful and I enjoyed only the performance. I had been sick a few years ago before i quit and I got frustrated with everything as I wasn’t at my peak. I’ve always have been hard on myself and I expect more in no matter what I do , at school if you had to come up with 10 slides for a presentation i would do 20 with video clips included. I’ve started drama and i’m finding Im having the same problems as I did with dance. The self doubt, no motivation to practice. I do have that all or nothing attitude, I want to leave my mark on the world. I want to look back on my life like looking down everest.

  • You’re most welcome. I also have all-or-nothing thinking at times and I’m quite a perfectionist, so I understand and can relate! I hope you’re able to find joy in dancing again, as it sounds like it’s been a great passion of yours.

  • MG

    This is my third time switching majors. I >know< that my passion has always been animals. I am aiming for a degree where I can make a better life for them but I am barely in my first course and I am already failing it! This is my first time in a new city on my own. Apart that I am very homesick, I work and go to school. I am living a completely new life. It has been very difficult for me and I wonder if I made the right choice? I couldn't stopped crying last night because I saw how me switching majors backed me up in college. I also cried because I saw all the difficult courses I needed to take in the near future and it honestly frightened me. If I am failing this course, who knows how I will be when I get to the advance level? I feel overwhelmed and scared of failing. But if I give up now, I know I will regret later on. And this post helped me ease some tension. Thanks for that 🙂

  • I’m glad this helped, MG. I know how tough it is when you’re starting a whole new life and feeling overwhelmed and lonely. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s contributed to your struggles with this course. It’s not easy to handle so many new things at once.

    If this is what you love, then it sounds to me that you made the right choice. At the very least, you’ve given yourself a huge opportunity for growth and learning. That may sound like a cliche, but going through something like this really does strengthen you and help you discover who you are and what’s important to you. I have a feeling that one way or another, you will look back and feel you got a lot from this experience!

  • Devarshi Bhojak

    its really supporting thanks for sharing

  • Mark

    A business I was trying to run crashed and burned about 3 years ago, leaving me owing a lot of money. I either wanted to work contract work and pay my way through 2-3 more degrees at university, or run my own business and do the same. However, doing contract work was obviously the path I should have taken. I ended up trying to pay back what I owe through contract work, which was somewhat successful…I’m almost there.

    However, my last contract ended in September 2013 and I just thought I could keep it going, but I have not earned any money since then…I am now officially flat broke and living with family through charity. I go to the food back once a week, which is not a good idea because the food bank only supplies supplementary food…I’m trying to live solely on that. Suffice it to say I’m not getting the nutrition I need to survive.

    My goal was to work myself into project management, and I’m almost there…I just need one more job to make it. I am waiting to hear from a possible 12 opportunities but responses are taking forever. I’m at a loss now…the bank is calling frequently to see where my payments are, and I have been borrowing a little money from friends to keep gas in my car and pay my phone bill so I can still call potential employers.

    My family is non-existent…they never really cared about anyone anyway so that’s not a surprise and I’m not looking for sympathy.

    I’m just at a loss now what I should be doing. If I take a really low paying job anywhere I will be broke every month paying down what I owe for at least the next 2 years…and that’s no way to live either. I don’t want to file for bankruptcy if I don’t have to as that can be pretty devastating too.

    My initial dream was to get into more of the decision making part of my field and I have done that…now I’m looking to make the next step, but now the jobs seem to have dried up too. One can make a pretty lucrative living from this type of contract work if the contracts kept coming, but I can see that this isn’t going to be the case. However, even working once every 2 years once one has eliminated all debt would be feasible.

    So here I am striving forward with my dream…scouring the job market, networking, and trying to survive with zero income, a negative bank balance almost no food. I get periodic calls for work…but so far nothing has manifested.

    I’m still positive that something will come along soon…but it is definitely a mental and emotional struggle…I can see why so many people suffer worse than me.

    How does one remain optimistic, positive and driving forward? I am still positive, but it is definitely taking its toll, and family is not helping emotionally, spiritually, or psychologically. In fact, the opposite is true, and I cannot leave my current situation until I can generate some revenue to afford a move. Any suggestions?

  • thekins

    What about if you’re dream is to be a mom but you can’t get pregnant after 2 years of trying. I don’t know how long to try before I realize its not going to happen and come to terms with it.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been dealing with. I can only imagine how stressful this has been for you. Is adoption something you’ve considered?

  • Lina

    But I’m scared to death. Scared to fail, to disappoint not everyone around me, but mostly myself. I’m scared that I can’t handle it. I’m almost too scared to try.

    And still, a feeling linger, a feeling of extremly strong desire to make it reality. A desire to prove to everybody, including myself, than I can do better. That I can put everything I’ve been through behind me, and push forward and make something even greater. And somewhere, deep, deep inside, is a small feeling that says that I know I can make it.

    But I’m still scared to death.

    (gonna take some time and read your comments, maybe I can learn something from them 🙂 )

  • AC

    I know I’m a late commenter, but I’m on your same path buddy: Aspirations of being a professional animator. It’s rough to find the motivation to keep going indeed.

  • kavin paker

    I have a feeling you’ll make that dream come true someday!
    watch this free

  • kavin paker

    Thanks for being vulnerable. Ian Filippini

  • Bridgitt Lee

    I feel I’m about to give up because of my learning disability, special needs, and depression. I kind of thought it would be cool to be a lifeguard because I love swimming, and that I’d like to teach fitness classes, because everything else I’ve tried has been too hard, and made me suicidal. In my life, I have been severely depressed, misdiagnosed, have had no friends, have seen my grandmother get cancer twice, my mother be hospitalized for nervous breakdowns multiple times, had my father come out as a cross dresser, been pushed through the system even when I’ve begged for help, and have not been able to get a license. I also am riding a bike now, and going to a gym to swim/run/zumba/bike/row etc. My mother is completely destitute, has cancer, and I feel I can’t take care of myself. I can’t even get medication. I also have bed, binge eat disorder and I hate that I’ve had to give up everything because it gets too hard. No one has ever helped my mom besaides my grandmother. If that’s not enough, I’ve been a victim of molestation, and verbal, psycholgogical abuse, and trauma.

  • kavin paker

    me to stop drawing..

  • Hi Bridgitt,

    I’m sorry for my slow response–and I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through. I can only imagine how tough it’s been to cope with all these challenges and tragedies.

    Are you in therapy, or have you been in therapy before? Is there anyone in your life who is there for you emotionally? And how are you doing today?

    Thinking of you,

  • nanaxkyo

    I know I’m a late commenter but I really need some advices right now. I’m 25 years old and currently pursuing my degree in social sciences. I know I’m a bit late, no, its too late actually, because all my classmates age was 20, 21 and here I am, a lot older than them, although I know it well that there is no limit in studying, I just can’t help from worrying about my future. Actually, I grew up in a broken family and that was one of the reasons why I don’t have much self confidence. All these years I only saw failure in myself. I’ve been struggling all these years to be a successful person and yet until now, I was far from it. Since I was little I dreamed of going to Japan and study there. I was actually thinking to live there. I know I may sound pathetic and unreasonable, but it was that dream that makes me alive until now. I really want to study there but I really don’t know how and maybe I can’t because of my bad result. I’m trying my best in studying but the result was still disappointed me. I’m having my final exam right now but I was really lack of motivations. I’m afraid of being a loser again. I know i shouldn’t give up on my dream but sometimes it was really hard to keep on track when you know what awaits you at the end of the road.

  • Hi there,

    I understand how hard it is to stay committed, especially when you’re struggling with self-confidence issues from your past. And I also understand that feeling of being behind.

    But let me ask you this: if you don’t pursue your dream now because you fear it may be too late, how do you imagine you’ll feel five years from now? Would you rather that in five years you’re doing what you love because you pushed past the fear of being “too late”?

    I know it’s tough to keep going when your confidence is low, but if you keep going, it will help you build confidence and realize that you’re not a failure.

    You don’t sound pathetic and unreasonable. You sound like someone who has hopes, dreams, and fears–like all of us! Next time you start thinking self-defeating thoughts, ask yourself what you’d say to your best friend if she were in your shoes. Perhaps that will motivate you to keep moving forward and doing your best, even if you don’t know yet how everything will work out.

    If you keep going, you will figure it out as you go–and with each step into the unknown, you’ll feel better about yourself and what you can do.

    I hope this helps. You are in my thoughts!


  • Wily

    Thank You lori. This post cleared up alot of doubts i had in myself. From here on out it’s NON STOP TO THE TOP! I wish You great health, wealth & time to enjoy them.

  • You’re most welcome! Thanks so much, and I wish you the same. =)

  • Abe6772

    Does this count for college grads as well?

  • brr

    wat advice do u have for someone who actually quit and is now depressed…has been for 7 mnths…cant move on??? wish i had read this post earier

  • I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. If you were to look at your depression as a teacher, what would you think your depression is here to teach you? That you want to go back to what you quit? That you need a new sense of purpose and direction? Even though you can’t go back and change your decision from seven months ago, you can make a new decision now, and the first step is ascertaining what you really want.

  • Rishi Nigam

    I was just abt to give up on something… U saved me… Thank you…

  • You’re most welcome! =)

  • Hollis Bush

    Following a passion even if you fail is better than ending up in a job where you’d be stuck working from pay check to pay check. Failure comes with the territory of anything you do, so do something that’s worth your time and effort to where when you fail you can get back up and start all over again. I heard a sang that goes if you put in a hundred percent and fail get back up and put a hundred percent in again. So if your going to out a hundred percent into anything put it into something you love, the worse thing you can ever do is chase a job you have no desire for.

  • Mei

    I am a graduate student in research. My goal is to become a scientist, so becoming a graduate student is only one step closer before reach the goal. Yet, I feel to give up as my research project has took 2 years time and still go on up to now and Im not sure if I really capable to get any result. I feel want to give up my goal because this small step as a student has made my life miserable. I can’t get any result no matter how many times I tried. In fact, I try to think realistic that maybe this dream might not for me. I’ve been in the lab from morning to night to do experiment, to think what exactly i need to go, yet Nothing changed since then. I feel empty, scare to move on (In fact, I don’t know which way, what should I DO?), scare of giving up and lost. No matter how I tried to solve the solution, there is no solution for that. So, What exactly that I should do now?

    I’m 25 years old and I think this is the age where I should be more mature and able to take care of myself instead of depending to my parent. I really want to get out from the miserable life, yet scared to death. Everyday, every time, I’ve been asking myself, “what exactly I want?” What should I do?” Is there anyone who care of me?” Should i give up?” should I end this?” IS this dream really for me?” Am i really a real scientist? or am I a loser? But there is no answer, So, how am I going to live in this world?

    Is there anyone who are actually ever face this problem? Is there anyone who can help me?I tried so hard but I can’t reach it, no matter how hard it is, so, what is the point of trying then?

  • I’m sorry to hear about the frustration you’ve been feeling. You don’t sound like a loser to me. You sound like a dedicated person who has been working hard and could use a little help.

    Do you have a mentor in your field–someone who has been through this before and may be able to offer guidance to help you complete your project?

    If not, maybe you can connect with someone by sharing this story in the Tiny Buddha forums. It’s free to join here:

    Then you can access the forums here:

    Perhaps once you get a sense of what you can do differently going forward, and once you start making more progress, you’ll feel a renewed sense of confidence and commitment.

    I hope this helps!


  • cherdigan

    this is so spot on! it’s the first article i read after searching for “when to give up on a business” and now I feel enlightened and yes, there’s this nagging feeling that maybe I ought to push through…after reading this article, it made me reflect on how I was able to put up my business, the people I’ve met and the potential that it has. I’m in the travel and tours business and I am a bit doubting myself lately because I lost a client, and wishing that i had more support from the people close to me. Maybe I am looking at all the negatives as just that, negative. There are probably other approaches to my situation that I haven’t thought of. My morale is just so low right now that I could not think of the opportunities of this situation. Thanks for writing such a positive article 🙂

  • What a very honest, and beautiful story to share. I wish I knew what band you were in. I’ve always thought being a musician– a true songwriter– is one of the most beautiful careers to have. I majored in film and video production, but I’ve always felt a strong connection to music, but I’m not a musician in the slightest 😛 I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who can find happiness doing something they love, even if it’s not what they initially planed. Best wishes to you!

  • Those of you who’ve actually found a job while putting your dream on hold, consider yourselves lucky. For me, trying to find a simple job has been difficult…at least you’re able to work while pursing your dreams.

  • You’re most welcome! I’m sorry to hear that you lost a client, but glad this helped you look at things from a different angle. I wish you much joy and success as you move forward with your business!

  • YesHéloïseYes

    It’s hard to want something so bad … So bad, needing it so bad … I want to be a singer since I was born, but I only really knew it was going to be my job when I was thirteen. I started writing songs like a hundred a day… Now I’m fourteen and I keep writing a bunch of songs everyday, about my life, and everything. But it came to my mind sometimes “Maybe I should just give up it’s too complicated” but I think that what make me hold on is why do I want to do this ? This is MY destiny ,.. And I know it’s just a matter of time until my dream come true … Even if I’ve got so many things that are getting into my way, like I’m French, like I know how to sing and write songs but I don’t have a guitar or a piano yet … I’ve always sang, I always have my headphones on and I think that I figured that singing things I’ve been through was chearing me up because I was having a though time at school cause I always was the weirdo, the weird kid and all … This is what I’ve wanted my whole life and I’m not gonna give up … When I was little people always told me I sang right, now two “mean girls” told me that I didn’t sing this right … They were trying to be mean .. But it doesn’t work out anymore … They made me insecure before but it’s over now … I’ve got things under control ! Anyway don’t give up and keep being excited about your dreams and training hard !

  • That’s wonderful, that you’re such a prolific songwriter! I’m really inspired by what you wrote. If you keep this mindset, I’m sure you’ll achieve your goals, and have a blast along the way. =)

  • Noah K

    Nice article. I stumbled upon this article due to a mindless search on google while in a bad mood “giving up on music”. This was the first result. I’m a 23 year old classical guitarist and singer songwriter. When I was a teenager I wrote many songs and taught myself guitar. Every time I would write a new song I would get this fresh, innovative and spiritually satisfying feeling. I’ve gone to community college for 4 years and took a variety of different courses. I ended taking a vocal technique class, and a beginning harmony class. I desperately wanted to continue taking music classes while I was there, but they told me I needed to take major related classes because I was reaching my maximum allowed units at the community college. I began studying classical guitar privately with a teacher shortly after, and I have been continuing lessons 2 and a half years since then. I was faced with a decision to either transfer to a nearby CSU (my guitar teacher runs the music program there) in which I would have been able to be admitted into the music program, or transferring to UC Santa Cruz and pursue the major in Biology. To make things worse my girlfriend of two years is also transferring to a school nearby UCSC, UC Berkeley, but 5 hours from our original location, which is where I would have stayed. I ended up choosing to pursue the Biology major and am in the process of transferring to UC Santa Cruz next month.

    I am incredibly frustrated and filled with a feeling of woe at the moment. I am deeply dissatisfied and feel like my creative spirit has been disarmed. Especially because I changed my mind at the last minute as to my choice of schools/major. I have watched my friends progress in their music theory classes and create great pieces of music. Just knowing how prolific I am I know I would be creating so much right now if I had also taken the courses.
    I am able to learn to play pretty difficult material on the classical guitar, even on my own. But I have a strong desire not just to learn music but to create my own music, and perform. I want to teach myself the process of composition and the in’s and out’s of harmony and music theory but I am finding that it takes an incredible amount of discipline and time to do so and you are left with many holes in your knowledge in the process.
    I am the kind of person that requires the structure of a classroom environment in order to learn efficiently. My main hope right now is that I can attain a marketable skill through my college experience, and even go back to school for music composition/performance one day before I get too old.
    It’s not all bad though, it just sucks to feel like the one thing you pride yourself on, the one thing that sets you apart from the rest, you aren’t doing. I love music, I live for music.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about the confusion and stress you’ve been dealing with. It sounds like your instincts are telling you that you want to change your choice. Is there any way you could do that? If not now, perhaps after another semester?

  • still

    unfortunately this didn’t do it for me. i’m not afraid of failing at my dream. i’m not afraid of succeeding. i want to pursue this for a good reason i think, i still feel i need it. i’ve been working on it for many years. and perhaps in another time, if circumstances would be different i would go forth, full force. but i feel i’m at a place where i have to make the best choice. for myself and those i am responsible for. if i went on pursuing my dream; i’d be happy during the process – long or short, successful or not – but they will suffer longer. of course if and when my dream happens i could take care of them. but that could take decades. decades i would be so happy to live through… but thats me. at this moment i must choose something less risky. a better ‘goal’ for all of us. if i were to explain this to ‘my daughter’ as you say – with complete honesty, i would say: i gave up on my dream because at the time it was more probable that i would be able to take care of my family in another way rather than trying to pursue a dream with variable results – and that is most important to me. us, not just me.

  • crystal stacy

    After my divorce I wanted to get married to someone who loved me and appreciated everything I do that was my dream I would find a great guy to spend my life with. finally I meet a guy im truly in love with been together for three years but marriage for him isnt a opotion what should I do

  • Hi Crystal,

    I’m sorry to hear about your divorce, but happy to hear you’ve found love again! Why isn’t marriage an option for him?


  • Will Jones

    I too am another one who has/had a music dream. I’ve played drums for 15 years (now over half my life) and through sheer willpower and hard graft, I managed to get paid for it, but the recording side (the core) of my activities is now dying thanks to every drummer and his dog now owning a Mac and a few mics. I’m struggling with the realisation that I am destined to end up like the weekend warriors I currently play with in cover/tribute bands, just playing live at the weekends and doing a day job. I’ve always prided myself on developing as a player and rising to the challenges thrown at me by recording…plus I have always preferred recording to playing live, so flogging round playing other people’s music every weekend for the rest of my life will just see me going through the motions. I won’t play in an originals band again, I already gave ten years to that and earned no money and put up with so much s***.

    I’m tired out, it’s so much travelling and gear to set up/tear down. I barely even actually listen to music anymore. I need a tiny flicker of a spark there in order to feel that I’m getting some fulfilment out of playing, but the spark definitely isn’t there at the moment. It’s a conundrum as if I don’t have a gig coming up or a few scraps of recording to do, I don’t play at all, so I feel guilty, but if I bring myself to say “that’s it, no more”, I’ll have given up on that one thing I can do well. Most of all I’d like a long break from music to see what my reaction will be, but I can’t at the moment, so I’m forced to play through this period. Other people will know that gnawing feeling that creeps up and persists when you begin to realise you should get out of something or change something in your life.

  • Jon

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I needed in this moment. I’ve been working to shed my ego self for almost two years now, and the tasks I’ve placed have stretched me more than I ever could’ve imagined. Your article is spot on. I feel completely reenergised after reading this. By the time I read through point 2 I caught myself pumping my fist in resolution to get back up and go.
    I wish you all the best, thank you again for helping.

  • s-j

    I’ve been playing music for 12 years, Ive completed a 4 year music degree, performed with bands and as a duo and worked in music education for 7 years…I’ve lost my dream. Or the reasons for it need to change as I have stopped playing and performing miserable, desperately need something creative, feel like I will get no where as I’m old now, 37 and am thinking I should give up…I cant give up entirely on creativity though I am stuck

  • sadnchunky

    I give up everytime I am about to amount to something because the people that have been around me lead me to believe I am worhtless and that I will never make it..curently I have given up on school..which hurts me..

  • thanks for sharing. i’m also a musician, chasing this path is a very difficult dream to go for. i don’t expect to make any money from it either, but i am hoping it will lead me to other employment in the creative industries. needed to read a story from someone who had a similar goal in life.

  • ASocialGuy

    I’ve been writing and recording music since I was 14 years old. I just turned 28 a few days ago. It’s really really hard to accept that it’s not working out in my favor. We’ve done a lot of good things in the time we’ve been together (almost 6 years), but my band members seem disinterested in the band, and in me, and I feel very discouraged. I’ve sent our music to every label, and played as many shows in and out of my hometown as possible (all with as much attention to promotion/marketing as possible). I have a lot of people in my life encouraging me to continue, assuring me it’s just a matter of time…but I’m feeling older and sadder as the years fly by…All of my friends are getting married, working great jobs, buying homes. I am grateful for the things I have – a rented home, an AMAZING girlfriend (of 5 years – she’s my saving grace/my best friend), a loving and wonderful Mother/Father/Family – but I also have a shitty part time job, that brings in very little income – I have been fired and have quit so many jobs along the way on my path with music (always putting music first – calling off for shows in and out of state when they wouldn’t give me days off – being late almost every day b/c of late night rehearsals and not getting to sleep until 3 or 4 am – quitting jobs where my shift wasn’t working with the days all my band members could practice) – my track record is so bad from the past 10 years that so many places just will NOT hire me. These things I’ve listed are ALL my own fault. That I 100% understand. I just wish it would have worked out. Or rather, I wish I would have put all of this time and effort that I’ve put into being a musician into a set career path.

    I know it’s not hip or cool to say stuff like this, but

    1)Stay in school – I dropped out when I was 15, and sadly it shows in me. I’m not educated well at all. It’s hard for me to keep up with most of my friends in most conversations. It’s very VERY embarrassing.

    2)Have a dream – and pursue it – but DON’T let it take over your life.

    3)Work hard no matter where you work – be it McDonalds or Bank of America – b/c when the time comes and your dreams come crashing down, you’ll want to know that you can at the very least attain a job and hold it, and get your family and loved ones x-mas gifts.

    I’m sorry. Just feeling very bummed and sad right now.

    Fucking 28.


  • resto

    Then should be than

  • Thank you!

  • downtime_01

    wow, i searched “giving up on your dreams” and found a lot of aspiring animators here.
    I am actually a 3d artist and i really want to be a good one, though I think i still have a long100x way to go. But money is a big problem and working here in our country as a 3d artist sucks.
    I feel like my salary is only enough to sustain my “being alive”.
    I want to take classes and be creative without worrying if I’ll still be alive next month lol, but without savings and without parents to support me I’m just doomed.
    Well that’s for now.
    It pains me but I have to give up my dreams for maybe at least 2 years or so.
    I’ll work as a graphic artist, signage maker, logo designer and all other none 3d jobs abroad just so i could save enough money for my planned studies.. And yeah while Im at it I’ll just do self study.

  • downtimeBaby

    wow, i searched “giving up on your dreams” and found a lot of aspiring animators here.
    I am actually a 3d artist and i really want to be a good one, though I think i still have a long100x way to go. But money is a big problem and working here in our country as a 3d artist sucks.
    I feel like my salary is only enough to sustain my “being alive”.

    I want to take classes and be creative without worrying if I’ll still be alive next month lol, but without savings and without parents to support me I’m just doomed.

    Well that’s for now.

    It pains me but I have to give up my dreams for maybe at least 2 years or so.
    I’ll work as a graphic artist, signage maker, logo designer and all other none 3d jobs abroad just so i could save enough money for my planned studies.. And yeah while Im at it I’ll just do self study.

  • Ben

    I too am in a similar situation, about to start my 3rd year of animation studies, however, I’m redoing parts of the second year during the January break before my year returns as I failed a 6 week component last year. really really unsure if this is for me. I’m 30 years old and said to myself when the Lion King came out, “That’s what I want to do, work for Disney.” that as some 20 years ago and I never really pursued animation that much during my high school years (it wasn’t really available at my school) enrolling as a 28yo, I felt old after spending the last 6 or so years working in consumer electronics, a dead end job, this course would be a great way out and to chase that long lost animation desire, sadly for me, I struggle with programs like MAYA, getting the principles of animation to work etc etc. I’m genuinely scared and worried as to what I do next, i.e not take the 3rd year, get an average job whilst feeling like a quitter/loser.

  • moonshine

    No doubt you’re gonna make it mate,i love your dream,it’s diffrent and you are brave to have made it….surly your dreams will come true

  • Arron N. Demeritte

    About to give up on playing piano…can’t read..only could ear. Been playing all my life and people appreciate my “music” that I ear…..parents tell me my repotoire isnt gonna cut it…and I really can’t do anything else with a freaking piano..I used to be able to read until my ear skill came out the blue…was learning how to play jazz by myself but…having a hard time and nobody can teach me..nobody wants to or even have the time…I really enjoy music…makes me hella happy. But sometimes I feel like I suck…and I really am unsure of myself right now.

  • Irfan Salim

    thank you so much . These words were exactly what I needed in order to focus more positively on my goals

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad this helped!

  • flore

    Thanks, it really is me right now. All along on my own without anybody know what I’ve been and am going through. The only best friend I have in the world right now is my own self. I’m still doubtful that my dream is not worth pursuing, something is just making me curious, if I cannot make it. I am scared, yes. But I don’t want to quit either. I just have to make it happen. Nobody is supporting me even God…

  • yash

    Hi im yash im 17 live in india rite now is the turning point in my life. I want to become afootballer but i feel i cannott do it i just dont know what to do

  • ADH

    Keep going mate, If Disney had quit imagine what we would all have missed…

    Follow the things/areas you enjoy and get some help with the programs from someone who is passionate about them. When someone is passionate about a topic or subject they have a way of making the rest of us see and understand.

    Also considering that you had the guts to pursue something at all in this messy world indicates that in no way could you ever be a loser. In addition a quitter wouldn’t “redo” anything, so the fact that you made the effort to redo parts of the second year confirms that you have all it takes to achieve your dreams.

    Don’t be afraid to adjust and allow small changes along the path in order for you to stay aligned with your authentic self and true dreams.

    Your Dream/Life: Don’t force it. Picture it, work with it and follow your dream wherever it goes.

    How exciting life can be!


  • Ben

    Hey ADH, since my first message I’ve decided to withdraw from my course..yeah, I know..after 2 years in..we only did about 8 month of actual animation alongside modelling, rigging etc. I still enjoy modelling in MAYA. I’ve filled out an application form for a SFX course in April that covers prosthetics, sculpture and stage make-up. it was a tough call to withdraw but I was struggling alot with animation. I guess Disney had way more desire.. he was also in an animation pioneering era…that would’ve been interesting.

    thanks for your message.

  • Adam

    I am in a very similar boat. I played in bands for years and gave it everything I had. My band ended 18 month ago and I have been pretty depressed about it and thinking i wasted 8 years “trying to make it”. I was looking for some advise on moving on when I found disscusion. I HATE my day job and music is the only thing that makes me happy.
    I too am now working on music for picture and loving it. I am not making a living from music and never have. I am now 30 and the dream is to simply make a living from doing what I love. I will not give up on that.

  • dontquit

    I am an instrumental musician with hopes of making a living
    out of placing background music in film and TV. I have had little success
    with placing music in film and TV in the past, but not on a consistent basis. I
    used to be a substitute teacher and an adult educator, but I quit my job
    because I was there for seven years and hated it. I felt as though I was not
    being myself, and I dread the idea of working in an atmosphere where hours,
    dress, behavior, and personality are dictated by someone else. Also, I could
    not imagine working in the education career field for the rest of my life.
    Never have I felt as free and happy as I feel now after quitting my job, but
    unfortunately money is running low and I am not as financially stable as I was
    in the past and need more money ASAP. It seems as though my only options are to
    be broke and happy or to have money and to be miserable.

  • PerryParker

    I have a BA in economics and public administration. I have also MA in public policy. My degrees come from an elite private and college/university which has traditionally been a ticket for work in the higher strata of government. I had never very high ambitions and didn’t dream of working at the state department.

    In fact I was more than happy to work for a municipality or county level working with analysis/investigation within my field. I thought a small house in a middle class area, a average paid white color government job, a working car and maybe some children was not to unrealistic for someone with my social and educational background. When I finished my last (very prestigious I will add) internship at a federal institution I ended up unemployed. They didn’t hire me because acute depleted funds. The last two years I have sent out more than thousand resumes.

    I have called companies, agencies, municipalities, counties and private institutions. I have even offered them to work for minimum salary doing any qualified to very simple administrative. When I was in college and graduate school I was able to land jobs as administrative clerk. When I left graduate school these opportunities was closed. My
    last job I had was a part-time gig and full-time summer job as office assistant (ordering office material, copy, ordering flight tickets, helping reorganized the library and stuff like that) at a government institution working with something way outside my field. It was
    never a way of “sneak in” – rather it was just a way to make some cash and learn a thing or two.

    I thought I could fall back on it until I found a job after graduate school. I was wrong. They had negotiated an insane deal with the union that employees salaries was not only based on what they actually worked with but the level of their education. They told me that they have always been satisfied with my work but couldn’t hire me even for a part-time gig. I was simple to expensive.

    In normal cases they wouldn’t have hired me in the first place but at the time I was hired they had a case full of tax-dollars. The higher management was keen to increase the educational background of their employees to please politicians and nurture their government careers so having me doing a job which a high school dropout could perform. I had fit their bill with a college degree and was in graduate school. This agency had even gone further in their waste of money. Under the past year they hired a large amount of P.HD graduates and people with very long experiences for entry-level analysts/investigator positions. They had to pay them premium and the money run out.

    I use to tell people this story when they don’t grasp how the current market is for people with degrees. About two years ago I was on an interview for at a telephone service-line at a government agency. It is one of these very large and low-paid government jobs which historically have hired a bunch of college dropouts. Graduates with my specific education have always ranked them very low including the public. Their floor or their factory has three levels.

    The first line is the telephone service; (require high school diploma), the second line is councilors (require associate degrees) and third line is investigators (require college degrees). I had first applied for investigator and councilors positions and never heard from them. I learned that it is virtually impossible to be hired as such position because of the unemployment level among college graduates the last years. I then applied for a bunch of telephone-service positions. My idea was use it as a stepping stone.

    Out of the blue they called me and wanted me to do some kind psychology test measuring intelligence. They called it something else but that was what is basically was. I was pretty difficult (it was a test made for executives) but I did it and they call me
    back for a first telephone interview. The second interview was group interview. We are told that they will hire 20 and that we were among the lucky because 2000 have applied. People are than asked what they used to do for a living or did do for a living. All of them expect some of the college drop outs which worked in retail were unemployed.

    At least half of us attending for this interview held graduate (MA or P.HD) or professional degrees a bunch had also extensive highly qualified experience at rather impressive government and private institutions. We are told what we will do and that it is really simple. The last interview is held a week later. Most of us with a college degree or more are called for the final interview. It was a terrible interview. When I told them about my educational background, my intrest and what I had done at my internships they looked at me like I was from another planet. I did a terrible interview and telling them that I wanted further in their organization wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

    Outside I meet a girl just graduated from law school, a young laid-off researcher
    at a private corporation with P.HD in chemistry and a college drop-out. The young girl (in my age I believe) with the law degree said she couldn’t connect to what she just went through. It was surrealistic she said. They had questions her morality (this is actually true) because she had focused on corporate law.

    The researcher had been questioned why he couldn’t find a job. They (even though they didn’t tell him directly) couldn’t believe that someone with a P.HD and a few years as a corporate-researcher could be unemployed. The nineteen year old college drop-out said it went very well. She had told them about her experience in retail. We were later informed that they had to retake the hiring process because they couldn’t find twenty good candidates among those 60 they had called to a last interview. So who was employed in the end? It was mostly young college drop-outs, young with high school diplomas and a few of the college graduates.

    Government is extremely inefficient because of politicians and higher management. Many of them actually believe that if you are a janitor you will do a better job if you have a college degree in whatever. Often a person with a college degree doing menial work will perform worse because he takes no pride and happiness in it.

    When employers meet highly educated people (this particular institution even had a rather difficult test to get rid of a bunch of college graduates which explains why the sample looked like it did) none of the parts know how to interact. It is impossible for the average unemployed lawyer to explain why she wants to make slightly more than minimum-wage.

    The truth is that she has no real intrest in working there but is forced to because of the circumstances. This is the truth and everybody with some common sense knows it. What they really should do is to write that they will not hire college graduates and so they wouldn’t have any difficulty finding the right employees.

    I will be frank. When you have a college or graduate degree in something which is not in highly demand on the market place you will have hard time finding a job and I mean any job. Your chance is that you are hired when you did your internship but getting in internship after graduate school is difficult. I was one of those which were very close but unlucky.

    Those whom I know which has been lucky enough to be employed getting married, buying a house, do a career, having children and live the life I will never be able to reach. I’m told that I don’t do enough but according to professionals whom I have counseled tell me I have done everything in the book.

    Some of my friends are in the same situation I’m in and they have even done more than me. They have tried to start their own business but of course failed because of the dead end marketplace for small business. They have worked menial jobs. They are still unemployed and still deeply indebted.

    They are depressed and eat antidepressant. I also know about at least once suicide among those which I graduate with. My parents are telling me that I need to do something else. When I ask them what they have no clue and rant about I’m not accepting an offer working one night a month at night portier.

    An offer I actually did not receive but they don’t listen. When they left college they didn’t struggle. They were hired within their field more or less straight out of school. I wish I never went to college and graduate school. I would have been better off working that telemarketing job I had in high school at least I wouldn’t have any debt.

  • Mikey23!

    I wish I would have seen this 3 months ago as I would probably not be in the boat I am in now. I always wanted to be a navy pilot but never thought I was smart enough or had the type of financial background that I always thought Naval Aviators had. So, I joined the Navy as an enlisted member and always dreamed about flying and one day I found out that it was still possible for me to achieve that goal. I worked my tail off to finish a basic general studies bachelors, got a ton of volunteer hours, and did everything I could to help make my Navy OCS package look great for the board. I didn’t think I would get selected because my degree was a non technical degree, my entrance test scores was a little low, and I didn’t get the best evals (for whatever reason) but, after all the doubt in the world I was selected to go to Navy OCS and go to flight school to be a pilot.

    For whatever reason, I started to let me nerves get the best of me about before I was set to check-in and I ended up dropping out of the course within the first 4 hours of being here. When I was asked numerous times why I want to quit I used my family as an excuse and said I didn’t want to move them around anymore and that I really wanted to go back to school for a “real” degree. Every day that has passed since that day has been the worst days of my life, I go to sleep thinking about it, I go to sleep thinking about it, I just cant stop thinking about how dumb it was to quit before I even started. Everyday I wish I could go back and do the course but I cant, its a decision I have to live with for the rest of my life and one that I will regret making.

    I hope this helps someone else make a better decision. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Give whatever you are going against a try before you quit. Some things in life are given to you for reason and if all the odds are against you and you still get it, its probably a greater power in life giving you the chance. So take the chance if its given to you and run with it.

  • LostInLimbo

    I know this is an older article… but it’s relevant to me today. I quit my corporate 9-to-5 job about two and a half years ago because I decided that I wanted more freedom. I’m an artist, and I had decided that I wanted to be an artist full-time and have the flexibility to be a better mother. My daughter was 4 at the time; once she was in kindergarten, I enjoyed being able to pick her up from school and stay home with her on sick days without calling into a manager and stressing out over what he/she would say about me missing work. I enjoyed being able to stay home on rainy days and buy groceries when the stores weren’t as busy. However, I’ve been struggling with my artwork, because I’d LIKE to work for a larger company and actually be on a team of creatives, doing projects and making games, or movies. However, I just don’t live in an area where a studio is even within driving distance; moving would be really difficult since we have a blended family, so my daughter’s father is here, as are my husband’s elementary-aged kids, in addition to my whole family (parents, sisters, nieces, nephews, etc.). I feel like pursuing my dream would require a move that would be too costly for everyone else involved in my life. I really think I have the talent and the drive to pull it off; I really think that if I made the SMART goal to get hired at a company that animates movies, that I would eventually achieve this goal. I’ve been an artist since I could hold a crayon; I’ve mastered 3D programs, and I can work in all sorts of mediums.

    But I fear that achieving my dream is just too much to ask of my family. The biggest issue is, I’ll be thirty in a couple of years. If I stop now…. if I go back, get a regular job, and become a regular person and forget my dream.. that’s it. I’ll never get another chance. I worry I’ll always feel that burn of thinking “this can’t be it.” Any ‘normal’ job I’ve ever worked has felt temporary because I don’t feel like that’s what I should be wasting my time on in life. And I tell myself that plenty of people don’t live near their families… it’s not like we’d be different. It’s only been in the past decade that my whole family has been in one spot, anyway. When my siblings were younger and newly married, we were spread all across the U.S. Would it be so terrible of me to move away from them now if it meant doing something I feel is meaningful with my life?

    I can’t answer this. I go both ways. Be selfless… get a regular job. Give up for the greater good.

    Be selfish, but show my daughter how to fight for dreams. Feel like I’m spending my time and my talents doing something worthwhile.

    Both paths have pros, both have cons, and I don’t know which one is best for my family.

  • IBikeNYC

    What ever happened with your back?

  • Karanveer Singh

    Lori, i have a problem of running towards big dreams , i want to be a astrophysicist but i can only earn a lot with engineering , i am very confused , please give me some suggestion.

  • Hi Karanveer,

    Are you able to scale back on your expenses so you’re able to live comfortably earning less? I know it’s tough to turn down money, but if you needed less, I’m sure that would make it an easier choice!


  • dina ahmed

    actually my dream is relatively complex i want to be a successful engineer but unfortunately i majored in business this year it’s not my own choice but my financial situation in that time was really bad i have a chance the next year to transfer to engineering school shall i give up actually the challenges and threats is more than the opportunity itself if it is compared to the business school as business has many advantages

  • Thomas J. Allman

    I’m half-way through a 200 HR Yoga Teacher Training program and had a epic fail teaching a “real” class and thinking I will never fit the mold of what a yoga teacher is supposed to be…..thanks for posting #7 really hit home – I’m back in!! =]

  • lroura

    I just finished my 4th year of being a music education major, just finished the last of my music courses and all i need are my edu. Classes and then to student teach. My first year of college i did pretty well. Except there was a class i had to repeat, I had received a D. I didn’t feel too bad about it until i had to more than twice :/ . The same thing happened again with another course, then another. I kepted at it working really hard reminding myself I am so close to finishing. In between the disappointments I had made for myself, I started to visit a psychologist told me I am suffering from depression. The continous disappointments made me a bit numb which the faculty took it as me not caring or taking school seriously. I cried alone so nobody thought I was too weak, I wasnt going to cry in front of them. I have now been told that I may not be successful in my career especially since i cant seem to pass an educators test (another disappointment). Finally told my mom about how i have been struggling in school and she to me become a psychologist… I dont want to stray away from what I started I have spent the last 13 years playing flute and 4 years in college already I can’t change now. I thought the 3 years of part time college courses and being in high school for 4 years had helped me prepare myself.
    Right now I no longer see a future in teaching or at least an alternative. This used to scare me, but now I am having a hard time putting effort into anything. I realize that I don’t know what is truly important anymore.
    They are giving me to the end of june to take the educator test. I want to do well but I really am dwelling more about my actions instead of taking action.
    I think I am just tired of it all.

  • john

    I’ve been making Fashion jewelry for 30 years, still……NOTHING! No sales, not one committed follower who buys anything I create. I am really good, I taught myself. I’m competitive in terms of pricing, I have a multitude of colors to choose from in each style, I have several distinct looks. I’m defeated, I love what I do, and it’s the only thing I keep doing regardless if I make money or not. But, I’m tired of being poor, tired of having a few hundred dollars to my name at 50 years old, tired of competing against kids half my age who’s only success is generated by the fact they know several hundred college students that support anything that’s flashed in front of them. I hate my life, I hate the fact that i can’t even buy dinner for my only best friend who’s been by my side my whole entire life. I’m a loser, a miserable fucking loser

  • Hi John,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the hopelessness you’re feeling. I can understand why this would be frustrating, to put your heart into something, and for so long, without feeling any sense of progress. You don’t sound like a loser to me. You sound like someone with passion and amazing persistence. I know that might not seem like something to be proud of, but it is. I’m certainly inspired!

    Incidentally, where do you sell jewelry?


  • Talish Barmare

    I want to be the worlds fastest bowler. Been my dream to play cricket for India. But on the other side I am a topper at college. I got a job at one of the big 4 and my career has got a dream kick start. But my heart lies in cricket. I want to get there someday wearing the blue jersey for my country.
    And for that I won’t ever give up and I’ll work harder and get stronger!

  • Lotus Brady

    LOoOove youuuuu!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3

  • Goals or dreams? I don’t think I had any to begin with except living. I guess over time I’ve developed many that are as one and know I am right to myself but live in a world where it’s looked at as wrong. I guess you could call it the plan: Low cost mobile residence so I can relocate at will, no marriage, no kids, a one of a kind a-to-b cruiser, and working as little as possible. Throw in the mix of doing some artsy isht, just doing what I want to do, learn some new things, and not give a fuck about anyone really. Is it wrong just to not care about anything but myself anymore or having a goal strictly about my well being? It would be nice to meet a girl that had the same like minded “fuck it all” attitude but finding someone that isn’t brainwashed by societies draws for success isn’t really worth the trouble LOL. So yeah, stranger just going off at nothing, or is it a livable dream?

  • Now

    Attainable – well that’s the problem – I can’t attain anything. Well, I can attain a bunch of negatives like not killing myself, not being literally Hitler, whatever, but that’s completely worthless.

  • David Wright

    I gave up my dream as a musician. I had time and the money to get it going. However I decided to be a good person and I lost everything I worked so hard for. Took me five years to get my music gear and computer stuff. Lost it all in less than half a year. I wanted to commit suicide. I have no degree and no drivers license. My next dream is to be a cop or military. When I was young, I always had the heart of a warrior. I always liked the challenge. I know I’m not perfect but I feel like a failure. I’m 24 now and I still don’t have a degree, diploma or a drivers license. I almost feel like I can’t make it. I just wish God gives me a purpose I desire. I personally believe I don’t need a piece of paper to prove my intelligence. I believe just committing and wanting is enough to get any dream job you want. This is my opinion and I know the higher ups just don’t care.

  • ET

    I’m studying to become a teacher and the more and more I learn about this profession, the more it makes me want to give up. In Quebec, the education system is getting rougher and rougher. They say 1 out of 5 teacher abandons the profession in the first 5 years of teaching. Not only that, but the government cuts finances in public education and increases the number of students in classes. My second internship is starting soon, I’m going to do half of what a teacher does and we are apparently part of the only profession not paid for doing time as an intern.

    But all I feel right now is stress and anxiety about my future. More and more I look for other things that interests me in life such as travelling and working in HR, I’m looking for plan Bs. I don’t feel right now a fear of giving up on a dream, did this dream die slowly as I continued my studies and learning about the hardships of being a teacher? I’m not sure of it, but there’s already a few things I regret in life already. I’m not sure if I could bear that loss (if it turns out to be one). I think its ok to give up on a passion when you face the reality of it, especially if it turns out to be a career where you you will spend your entire life. For now, I’ll hold on to that internship and decide whether or not to continue. After all, my professors say this internship is the deciding factor.

  • fuck this life

    I guess I will die unhappy then…

  • miriam

    LOVE THS! thank you so much

  • You’re most welcome! =)

  • Danielle

    For the 2 past years, every other day I have wanted to give up on my dream…but every single time I jus can’t, even when I try so hard to let go. It’s my gut, it won’t let me.

    2 years ago, my career took an unexpected and major detour due to the recession in Europe where my career was thriving. Regardless, I picked my self up and was still striving for my dream. Upon moving back to the US, I took a job completely out of my field, interests, and skillset (I was running out of money). Ever since then I’ve felt stagnant and Iist site of any goals except to escape.
    I have been searching for happiness and I am happy again in most aspects of my life, but in general I am still extremely sad. Something is missing and it pains me. My career is extremely important to me and I’ve been trying to down play it and change who I am. I know that the career I’ve dreamed of since I was 17 will always be in the back of my mind, that when I’m older and look back at my life I’ll wonder what my life would have looked like had I taken that path. Perhaps I’d be happy, but I know who I am and that missing piece of me would always be vacant. One should not live a life of “what if’s”. That said, I feel the flame of my dream, my determination, and my optimism burn strong. Thank you for sharing this peice, I was going to announce to my family tomorrow that I’d be embarking on a new path and move closer to them (thousand of miles away from the sector of my dream job which is where I currently live). You have helped me in son many ways and I love Tiny Buddha. I have turned to it for advice very often in this past year – the content is incredible and brings me peace.

  • luvsthenews

    I’m 40 years old and I want to be a singer. My parents weren’t supportive and I was such a loner growing up that I always feared rejection. For the past 20 years I’ve sang karaoke as I raised my children. In doing so I also pushed my daughter toward my own dream…a decision that is literally killing me today. I find it unfair that I’m not dead but I might as well be because I feel like my chance is gone. I can’t find anything else that feeds my soul the way that singing does. I’m proud of the vocal range that I have and I still wish to share it with the world. My daughter (at 14) is very vocally talented. I really love her but why is it so hard to accept that it is her turn now and that it is too late for me?

  • Kris Langerhorst

    I’ve wanted to be a pilot since as far back as I can remember. I’ve worked my ass off since I graduated to fulfill my dream on my own and once I decided when I was 22 that I was going to give it my all I haven’t stopped. Like a freight train I was going to succeed, no one was going to get in my way. Fast forward to 11 years later, I’m still chasing my dream, not flying but working closely related. I have a family now and quite a bit of debt because of my dream that impedes me from accepting the position that is actually waiting for me. I’m ready to give up and start down a new career path. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of the debt that has always held me back from dropping everything and accepting a much lower paying job. The price of oil most certainly hasn’t helped me out at all either. Payroll cutbacks one after the other are making it even harder to pay off the debt. At a crossroads I feel. I want to be able to tell my daughter that daddy chased his dreams and achieved them, but when is it time to put my family first and begin a career that will afford me the life I want to have with them?

  • StarChild

    I have been thinking about giving up on my dreams. When I was 11 I attended an astronomy lecture on galaxies and I decided what I wanted to do. I was going to become an astronomer. I’m 13 now. Growing up on Star Trek and X-Files, I have always loved space. I plan to work at Gemini. However, recently, I am beginning to worry. I feel likema good for nothing failure. Math is a large part of astronomy, but i’m not very smart. I feel like i’ll never be able to come even close to my dream and i’m afraid ill lose it because i’m so stupid. My motto was ‘Believe’, But now its become ‘Believe, and even if you do, you will fail.’ What do I do

  • Achol Piom

    Wow u really help me I want to became an actress since I was 4 but people don’t believe I will make it do u know what I tell them ” nothing is possible” and I still have this hope am never giving up on my dream!

  • J.A.B

    I’ve enjoyed playing basketball my whole life. Im 13 years old. I love playing ball because i love the rush of excitement and the physical contact. I’ve dreamed to become one of the top women basketball players in the world and play in the WNBA in the team Chicago Sky. I’ve read this and i thought why give up now. I’ve played for my whole life and put a lot of efort to where i am now so why give up. Now i know i won’t give up and i will practice my heart out until my dream of being a WNBA player comes true

  • Love #10 when it comes to facing tough times.

    Whenever I face tough times and feel like giving up, I will ask myself what would “my mentor” do. Just like the recent Disney movie, Finding Dory. Whenever Nemo and Marlin were in trouble, they would ask, “What would Dory do?”
    It is a very powerful and I think everyone should try it.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • I love that – and I love Finding Nemo! You’re most welcome. =)

  • bob kiss my ass

    ther is no point to dream or even try to succed its all a waste of life and effort im done with all of you
    and hope you all are proud of yourselfs just stay away and get lost you ruined my life enjoy living knowing you helped ruin my life dont bother fuck u and your collage and i hope you all the same

  • Olmy Olm

    Great article!

    There are certainly some goals that I need to give up. But not others.

    The problem is, the ones that I need to give up, they keep bugging me and the burning desire keeps reigniting inside me, even though I rationally know that achieving it is completely unrealistic. How do I extinguish this?

  • Pokipopoo

    Ever since i was little all i really wanted to do was become an astronaut. My friends and family never supported me in my dreams though. They all said i can’t do it and i’m honestly starting to believe them. The only reason i ever wanted to become one is so that i can see the galaxy with my own 2 eyes. I’m the smartest person in my class yet i hate homework. I don’t like having responsibility. I’m lazy and i’m trying to fix that but i just can’t. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore.

  • Pokipopoo

    Exactly! And to shorten that its like the saying: shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!

  • Melanie Amor

    I’m a recent accounting graduate. From the very start that I chose this course, there is only one thing on my mind and that is “i want to be a certified public accountant”. But right now, even though I strongly believe that I am capable of accomplishing that goal, I don’t if I am going to be happy with it because it will still require me to invest another two years to take up all the subjects necessary for the licensure exam. Just thinking of the number of homeworks, paper works and number of quizzes and exams makes me super anxious and want to throw up. I am super scared to decide on whether I should continue this or just take a short-cut and get a job since I really want to explore and I am really not sure if being a CPA is the thing that would make me happy.

    I need your advice with this matter. I’ve been avoiding to make a decision for months now and everyone around me has decided and achieved something. I am SCARED that if I let this oppurtunity go, I would REGRET it in the future. But if I continue and take this opportunity, I won’t be happy and feel like I am trappes/in a cage again.

    Wha should I do?

  • kahi

    I am currently considering giving up on my dream.
    After graduating from school I went to university to study languages. After I graduated I didn’t know what to do with myself, my mom, who is an opera singer and a teacher, suggested that i get second higher education as her student. I was 24, which is considered late for starting singing. Nevertheless, when i started I realized this was what I wanted to do! I graduated with all the best grades, then I did a 2-year post-graduate course for singers at a prestigious academy. Now I am going to stay for the 3d year to write a thesis (music art) for PhD.
    But I can’t find a singer’s job. My best achievements: 1st place in a small competition in my city, finalist in another, passed the preliminaries in a prestigious international competition. Tried getting a job in opera theatres: passed to 2nd-3d round. The rest is just: “sorry, you don’t qualify”.
    This summer I auditioned in an opera theatre again and they said they were going to hire me to sing leading roles! They told me to call in september when the new season starts to settle all the formalities. And I called them – they basically changed their minds. This hurt so much!

    I was so busy pursuing my dream that my reality is like this: I am 30, I barely had a proper job (only part-time and a bit of teaching which brings only pocket money), I earned and earn nothing, I am not married and I still live with my parents.

    I have a choice to go and live with my boyfriend in another country. But that would mean giving up on everything and starting all over doing something else. No guarantee i’ll be able to find a proper job with no job experience at the age of 30. And I don’t speak the language either.
    I am completely lost and depressed. I start wishing I had never taken up singing.

  • LN


  • LN

    It’s not too late! I’m sorry the people around you are so unsupportive. I think it’d be really cool to see my mom pursue her dreams at a later age – it shows courage and bravery! Never. Too. Late.

  • stevejohnpeel

    A lot of post here are work related, or career oriented, and that’s just perfectly fine, as no matter the dream, its your dream. I have lived lots of dreams, a couple have been hard to recover from financially, but have nonetheless been worth it, as I have lived my life the way I wanted to live it.

    My post is on adventure, and now that my children are young adults, I find myself right at a point where I can actually live that dream, a lifelong dream that I was prepared to leave it just like that, but now it is within my reach, and I’m going to reach out and grab it with both hands.

    You will hear people say they gave up everything, when they really didn’t give up much at all. I have heard someone say they sold all their stocks and invest $10 million into property before leaving for 12 months around the world. Hardly a hardship or great sacrifice. But I have also heard of people who have not had a pot to pee in, and have just taken off in search of adventure, and found it too.

    I have always been restless. Born in the UK, migrated to Australia, back to the UK. At 21 with a good job and partner of 4 years, and a cat, I decided I needed to go. Within 2 weeks I had jacked the job, my partner (still friends to this day by the way), and took off back to Australia on my own via Malaysia. It was the best 2 years of my life. Returned to the UK 🙁

    Then spent the next 20 years married and brought up 2 amazingly wonderful daughters. Trekked through the Amazon, traveled extensively, marriage ended. Two years more traveling, then settled down again and married second wife, marriage ended, I know, but nothing sinister, we all just moved on as friends.

    Had a life filled with adventure, and love, and my wonderful daughters are now 20 and 23. I still have itchy feet, even after such a busy life. Experienced things you would find hard to believe and had the most amazing times.

    Always worked hard wherever in the building industry as a labourer or even running my own business. No degree and actually did not finish school as my dad dragged me out of school to work on building sites at 15. And so, everything I have done I have done for myself, and to myself :).

    But now, at age 53, single, owning my own home with no mortgage through working hard, can stop work anytime (and get no pay of course), no savings other than the house which is just an ordinary house nothing special, and wanting once more to take off.

    I was run over by a truck some years ago, and have damaged spine and nerve damage, and yet, and yet :), I am getting ready to put the house on the market, putting one third in an account to see me on a tight budget for 3 years of travel, in which wild camping and campsites will be the norm, and the rest will sit in the bank getting just enough interest to cover the cost of all my belongings in storage.

    I will not have enough money to buy a house like I live in now on my return, but could maybe buy a small 2 bed house or flat, as I am too old now to get a good mortgage, and too old to want one. While most people are preparing for the twilight years in retirement, my plan, even with so many physical issues, and mental you might think :), is to cycle completely around the world over a 3 year period, or longer if that’s what it takes. I look at it like this this :O

    The thing is, by the time I finish this trip, I will be closer to 60 than 50, and I will probably never be in this position again, and I do get that I may never be in the position I am now with my lovely home. I am aware I may not survive such a trip on some of the worlds worst roads and in some pretty harsh places, and of course that bothers me. But at the same time, I have survived many things, circled by sharks in Australia, flattened by an articulated lorry, trapped under a submerged excavator, picked up a blue-ringed octopus by accident, married twice :), and so much more, but I am so sure I will return, or at least survive.

    If I actually thought I would die, I wouldn’t do it, that would be silly. My daughters are very supportive as long as I continue to always be there on their birthdays, as I have never not been with them on their special day. They have even set up a Facebook page for me. I get the hint :).

    I am a builder, and can do pretty much anything, so would love to be able to work as I go, but that’s unlikely. I will miss my daughters dearly and it already upsets me to think I will not see them as often as I do now, which is pretty much when they want some cash :)).

    Do I do not want to just retire gracefully in my little house, having the grandkids once in a while when or if they come along in a few years time, enjoy just getting older until I get dragged kicking and screaming into a care home, the money from my house going to pay for the care home fees, and then just popping my clogs??? Is that what sounds like a good plan to you ?? Well HELL NO!! Not to me it doesn’t. I want my children telling their own children stories about their granddads wonderful travels and experiences, and I want to be remembered for living my dreams, and maybe inspiring my own children to live theirs too.

    What I am trying to get to the point of saying here is this: No matter what your situation, young or old, healthy or not, rich or with just enough to see you through, get yourself out on your travels. Take the opportunity you have right now, the dream you have in your grasp that you know you can see through at this moment, and just run with it.

    In the last 6 years, my best 3 friends in the world, all around the same age as me, have died. Tumor, heart failure, stroke. 3 amazing and wonderful people who lived their lives to the full. Their lives were short, but jam packed with experience and achievements. Life can truly be short, its up to you. Wishing you all the very best, and maybe we will pass each other somewhere wonderful.


  • Thomas Wukitsch

    two words. Grad school. Damned if you do: mental and physical health inevitably suffer in a toxic environment of workaholics who say that work life balance is important… then expect you to get the work done without excuse, reason, or rationale for not doing so. If you attempt to give a legitimate reason, you are lazy as an unwritten rule. I have a great advisor… I still feel this way. It is as much a message sent to me as a message from within me. Whether it was internalized or from both directions (in and outside)… I have no idea. All I know is what my doctors have told me: If you continue to work 3-5 16 hour days a week, you will burn out and you will suffer. Meanwhile, not committing that time is not an option to get the work I am expected to do, done. The whole time feeling like I accidentally arrived here as the shiniest of turds who applied. Damned if you don’t: Good luck finding a job. Good luck giving up on your dream.

  • Mitt Zombie


  • Caterina

    The worse part is when is not your choice to give up.
    My dream has always been to spend a year abroad, in Australia, and I started doing my research and I was informed that my parents don’t have the money.
    I have been dreaming about this since I was 8 (I’m 15 now) and I’m miserable.
    I’ve been investing so much time and faith on this and now, I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I have absolutely nothing to live for.

  • Hoi

    I love your last sentence. Thank you! I think that´s really important for staying grounded. Chasing a dream sounds so romantic but can leave you in a serious depression when you have nothing left, not even your dream. My health is not worth a depression anymore.

  • Unknownn

    I was about to give up my dream, but you inspired me! I will keep fighting till the end, because this is what I really want!

  • Your parents only want what’s best for you…but they’re wrong. YOU are the only one who knows your true path. Don’t give up! You’ll never be happy doing other things instead to please other people. Believe me, I’ve been there.
    If you’ve been drawing your whole life and this dream still inspires you, it’s something you should definitely be aiming for. Follow your dreams. You can do it!

  • Laur

    It’s not the “sunk cost principle”, it’s the sunk cost FALLACY. As in, “I can’t quit! I’ve invested so much!” is illogical, emotional thinking, and can actually end up ruining you when you could have escaped safely.

  • Kapil Gupta

    Hey lori…i am 20 years old and in my final year of college and i have a job and kinda in the middle of preparations for gmat to do an MBA from abroad as i live in india…but since i was born i always wanted to be a Cricketer and have been playing since (but not professionally) …i wanted to persue a career in it so i joined an academy back in 9th grade and continued till 10th grade and was fully commited to it and wanted to continue…but because i was also an average student in studies my parents(being indian and always interested in studies) never wanted me to continue my coaching so never let me continue after a few fights at home i being a kid and having no support also understood that and kinda made myself understand that maybe that dream will never i got busy into studies and got a good college …but i have always played like throughout these years but not at a professional level i always had this dream in my heart..and always had this thought of leaving everything to persue my dream because if there’s any chance i’ll get to where i want to go is to go all in or all out but the problem is even though i have this thought i was able to convince myself that maybe this is not the way all these years..but i know i’ll keep having these ideas again about my dream please tell me what to do and is it wise to give up all this and persue something at this age!

  • Jesse

    All I want is to write. I was once told to pursue this dream, and I have sunk hundreds upon hundreds of hours into developing these stories I want to tell. My job sucks the life out of me though, and nobody cares to listen to me try to talk about my ideas. Even my wife who would love me to follow my dream and be happy is unwilling to let me take the time to do it. I’ve watched my support retreat on me, leaving me behind. My depression hurts me more than anything though, my own thoughts telling me to give up… I can’t decide if I’ve had enough neglect and personal abuse to abandon my dream… I don’t know how to keep my strength. If nobody listens to my ideas now… Why would anyone read my books.

  • Liz

    I wanted to be a writer as I grew up but I was told to stop writing and to look for a better job. So I stopped writing and chose a desk job.

  • Nicoleta Minni

    yeah i gave up on my acting career. its unrealistic and stupid really because all i wanted was the outcome – not do the hard work. so its really not that big of a sacrifice to give up. Doesnt change my life

  • Macca

    I miss so inspired I’m a dancer and I’m injured and I don’t know how to do his whether I stop or whether to continue. Dance is honestly my absolute life I’ve given so much up for it and I can’t imagine not dancing I feel all caught up I can’t talk to anyone reading through this gave me a good idea and to talk and go through things still don’t know what to do though

  • Riyana Granger

    I’m 15 and ever since I was in pre k or kindergarten I’ve always dreamed of being an actress. I used to act out things with my siblings and loved to watch nick and disney, I’ve tried a couple of school plays like the christmas story and the princess bride But around 7th grade I given up my dream of becoming an actress,when I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere I try basketball and I didn’t make the team for 8th grade either. I was disappointed in myself and I instantly knew basketball wasn’t for me. After school was finished (over the summer of 2016-17)I was more determined than ever to pursue in acting but the only thing is my mom and dad don’t support the the idea of me becoming and actress and they both say I don’t have potential because I’m ‘shy’ but I constantly tell my mom that isn’t going to stop me. She suggest I should pick up basketball again and tell her I’m not the same me when I’m playing basketball…..I tell my seld each and everyday I am an actress and I hope that I’ll get a major speaking role and prove myself right

  • I’m really impressed by your commitment, Riyana! Throughout your life lots of people will tell you what you should be doing, so it’s wonderful that you’ve already learned to make that decision for yourself. Beauty comes in many forms, and there are roles for people with lots of different physical qualities, so I’m sure there’s a place for you, regardless of your look.

    I’m going to share one thing I wish someone told me when I was younger and had acting ambitions: there are lots of ways to fit performing into your life. it could be Hollywood, but it could also be regional theater or a local improv troupe. If you love acting, stay open to different ways of doing it. You never know where your path may take you!