What does it take to realize your dreams and seize your passion? It takes courage. It takes conviction, commitment, perseverance, passion, grit, resilience, inspiration, motivation, action, and so many other big dream words. And those words don’t even cover it all.
It takes a lot to realize your dreams. But, sometimes, we underestimate, disregard, or even just forget that simple, albeit scary, leap of faith we must take for any of it to even be possible. That willingness to take a chance, to take a risk, and just go for it – even when we’re not sure how it will turn out, even when we don’t know where we’ll land and nothing on the other side of it is guaranteed. Yes, it takes a lot to realize your dreams and to never ever give up on them, and sometimes taking that leap and just going for it is the only next best thing left to do.
Whether going after your dreams, dealing with life’s never-ending changes, trying something new, or even just feeling stuck and in a rut and unable to move forward in any way – taking that leap feels uncertain, unfamiliar, or probably both – and that is scary! So, it takes courage and bravery. Courage and bravery to remember to stop being afraid of what could go wrong and instead start focusing on what could go right. Courage and bravery to remember that we don’t always have to have it all figured out (and we couldn’t even if we tried) before moving forward. Courage and bravery to take that leap of faith and just go for it!
“There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they overthought it, or they were too cautious and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.” -James Cameron
“Every great move forward in your life begins with a leap of faith, a step into the unknown.” -Brian Tracy
“What if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?“ -Erin Hanson
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney
Here is an article written for Seyopa by Zoe Brady illustrating some great examples of going-for-it success stories! May you be inspired to go for it!
5 Stars Who Simply Went For Their Dreams | By, Zoe Brady
When it comes to following your passion, many of the best stories boil down to one of two things. The first is spinning difficulty into success –– something covered in this video: “10 People That Turned Hardships Into Blessings”. The second, however, is embracing a risk, or taking a leap –– going for it, so to speak.
This second approach is one we tend to see a lot of, in particular, among famous figures who have risen to the tops of their fields. So, for those who have those little, deep-rooted desires to take a leap, we thought we’d look at a few celebrity success stories for a bit of inspiration…
1 – Sylvester Stallone
Today, we think of Sylvester Stallone as an established movie star –– equal parts action and sports hero, and a man with about as solid a legacy as any in Hollywood. There was a time, however (the early ‘70s to be exact) when Stallone was just one of thousands of small-time actors attempting to make their way in a brutally competitive industry. So, what did he do? Many fans particularly in younger generations may not realize it, but he sat down and wrote the script for his own passion project: Rocky.
In fact, according to a CheatSheet.com write-up on Stallone, he did this in just three days’ time –– an astonishingly short timeline for a full script. Stallone acknowledges that the script later went through “about 25 rewrites,” but the point is that he sat down and took a chance on his idea. He also then refused to have the film made unless he could star in it. We’ll never know if Stallone would have become a bona fide movie star without Rocky, but this determined, inspired leap is just the sort of thing many of us imagine we have within ourselves. The fact that it worked out so well ought to be inspirational.
2 – Kesha
Kesha Rose Sebert, sometimes known as “Ke$ha,” is a renowned pop star, and has been more or less since she burst onto the scene at the tail end of the 2000s. Before her single “Tik Tok” became one of the most popular songs in the United States, however, Kesha was an aspiring artist who had left conventional careers behind –– despite being a star pupil. Famously somewhat brilliant, Kesha nearly aced her SATs in high school and went on to Barnard College (a sort of sister school to Columbia). Feeling a call to music, however, Kesha dropped out of school and poured her intellect into music studies –– networking, practicing, recording, and ultimately breaking into the industry.
This is not to say that the oft-mythologized concept of dropping out is necessarily a wise “leap” for everyone. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to admire Kesha’s dedication to her calling.
3 – Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu is universally regarded as one of the top poker pros, not just currently but of all time. He’s won six of the World Series of Poker’s prestigious bracelets and has finished on top of the World Poker Tour on two separate occasions. And according to Negreanu’s bio page at Poker.org, it all started when he simply picked up and moved to Las Vegas in his early 20s.
Negreanu had a “tumultuous childhood,” and didn’t take to traditional schooling. Aware that he had a talent for cards, however, he made the incredibly bold decision to move to the world’s poker Mecca and try his hand at a living playing cards. All these years later, Negreanu is a world-famous competitor with tens of millions to his name –– all earned at the poker tables. We can’t think of many clearer examples of how following a passion can work out for the best.
4 – Jim Carrey
Now recognized as a beloved comic and dramatic actor, Jim Carrey famously comes from difficult beginnings. As a child in Canada, he watched his parents struggle to make ends meet, and even took on jobs to help. At different times he lived in a van (with his family) and in a tent –– eventually earning lodging by taking on shifts as a janitor at a factory his father worked at.
Even with all these challenges to contend with though, Carrey decided at an early age to pursue comedy –– doing stand-up, impression, and contortion acts in and around Toronto. In the early ‘80s, he made an ambitious move to Hollywood, pouring himself into stand-up comedy and ultimately earning TV bookings that would launch his career. Carrey’s confidence in taking this road is to be commended; not many of us, when struggling to make ends meet, would still choose to pursue passion rather than the surest bet of work or a steady paycheck.
5 – Giannis Antetokounmpo
Finally, there’s Giannis Antetokounmpo –– affectionately nicknamed “The Greek Freak,” and perhaps the best basketball player on the planet today. Fans of basketball know Antetokounmpo today as a force of nature –– a 6-foot-11 superstar who has twice been the NBA’s MVP, and who in 2021 won the Milwaukee Bucks an NBA championship. The Greek Freak’s rise to this level, however, was about as improbable as any sports story –– flat-out “outlandish,” as an ESPN.com story on Antetokounmpo once put it. And it came about due to multiple leaps of faith.
Antetokounmpo spent his childhood in Greece playing soccer like his father and brother, who had been good players in Nigeria (where the family was from). He didn’t begin playing basketball until age 12. Four years later, he made the jump to professional basketball, and at the age of 18 he moved on to the famously challenging Spanish league to improve his game. Barely a year later, he entered the NBA Draft as a little-known prospect with only a few years of play under his belt. The potential was there, to be certain. But Antetokounmpo leaped to the NBA with no guarantee of success… and wound up becoming one of the best players of a generation.
Of course, there are many ways to pursue your dreams and seize your passion. It doesn’t always require a dramatic leap of faith. Success stories like these, however, are excellent reminders that when you do feel an urge to pursue a passion, following the urge can pay off.
Author: Zoe Brady
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