A week ago I called a friend. He’d been trying to get in touch with me for weeks, he really wanted to have a chat. I’ve been quite busy preparing our travel plans, juggling a few busy months of work and saying goodbye to friends that it took me ages to finally get around to calling him.
When I called him, he sounded distressed. I asked “What’s wrong?”
He confessed that he hates his job, that it’s soul destroying. The city he moved to isn’t what he thought it was and he basically hates living there. He earns enough money to sustain his life, but not enough to move forward. After four years of study at university, this was his reality.
I think we’ve all been there. Just above living paycheque, saving a bit of money each week but spending a lot of it on drinking and shopping.
It’s not very fulfilling.
The funny thing is: one and a half years ago, when my friend just had graduated from college, we spent a few weeks traveling together throughout Asia. It was heaps of fun – it was his first trip to Asia and he was in his element, flirting with the Thai girls, partying until crazy hours and meeting cool people from all around the world.
So to have this friend call me up, basically feeling depressed with life, well it was a big contrast.
I asked what he wanted to really do with his life and he confessed he wants to be a Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
Not quite what I was expecting, but I thought to myself “Why the hell not?”
After he had told me this he came out with a number of excuses as to why this route as too hard or too challenging:
Firstly, studying to fly this kind of plane in New Zealand is REALLY expensive and there’s not really a good enough foundation to get very far. Excuse #1
Luckily this friend has access to an EU passport. He had considered studying in The Netherlands, but as he doesn’t speak Dutch he thought he would not be accepted by his peers, and do poorly. Excuse #2
I suggested he take the time now to learn Dutch while he saves to have some emergency funds to go over and study. He seemed to just sigh. Excuse #3
I suggested he use his EU passport to find somewhere in Europe that will allow him to train for free or at a cheaper rate than in New Zealand. He wasn’t really sure – Excuse #4
Nothing I said to this friend seemed to satisfy him. Nothing seemed like a good enough solution to his problem.
All he wanted to know was how I make so much money and how he can duplicate it so he can go live his dream.
As much as I’d love to help all of my friends and family out and teach them what I do, the truth is I don’t really need more competition. That might sound harsh, but as this business is my partner and my sole incomes, I need to protect it.
I didn’t really know how to continue the conversation. It was really obvious to me that my friend’s biggest barrier was not his lack of Dutch language skills or the fact that it was expensive to learn to fly the plane, but that he didn’t really want it bad enough. He was his biggest barrier. He was stopping himself from living his dream.
I do think that becoming a Red Bull Air Race World Champion is pretty out there – it’s unique, challenging and not your run-of-the-mill dream, but if it’s your dream then I think you should own it.
I remember a few years ago when I told some friends that I wanted to get paid to travel the world, they were semi supportive, but didn’t seem to think it was really a possibility. Three years on and I make a decent living, which started from my travel blog, and now I’m off to travel the world.
I’m living my dream.
We only get one go at this life thing so I think we should make it count.
Are you stopping yourself from achieving your goals, dreams or crazy ambitions?
If you could do anything in the world, what would it be and what steps are you taking towards it?
Share in the comments, I’d love to hear your stories.