As children we dream of going to the moon and reaching for the stars, but when we become adults we get knocked over the head and told: "You need to wake up! You have to get a job, make money, and pay bills!" And then someone comes along and tells you that your dream is stupid and that you need to grow up. Nothing can be more discouraging to someone who is trying to better themselves and get an education than countless people who want to downplay them for it: "You don't need a degree to be successful" "Having a degree behind your name doesn't make you smart", "You're stupid for wanting to spend your money on education". At least that is what happened to me.
I was in that place in my life. I wanted to do great things with my art, characters, music, and stories. I wanted to become a game developer, designer, and artist. I wanted to create some of the most beautiful musical masterpieces the world has ever known! But along the way there were people coming and going telling me that my dreams were just childish and unrealistic. I was told that games take up your precious time and that there are more important things to do with your life. I was told that my music style was too out of place and that my purpose for doing these things needed to be reevaluated. I would get criticized for wanting to become an animator and put my art at the forefront because of where it would be shown. People thought I was immature, because isn't that what we are conditioned to think when we become adults? That play and fun are childish? That believing in a higher purpose for your life is something that only unsuccessful people do? It's time to get serious now. It's time to put the toys and play away and get to work! After all, you need money to be happy, right? And we need to work to get it. And we all need to be down-to-earth and stop believing that we can reach the stars with our dreams.
I think it's pretty immature to downplay someone who is actually trying to learn something new, and do something with their life, and criticize them for following his or her dreams. Let me tell you something, the longer you wait to get yourself educated, the more difficult it is going to be down the road! And I am already crying from the wreckage of my own trail. Waiting tables for the rest of my life is not the dream I envisioned for myself, nor would I recommend it to others. That is not the way I want to go. It's just a symbol of a shattered dream in my book, a dream that has never been fulfilled because I chose to buy into the lie! But I refuse to believe that lie! So I'm going back to school, and I'm getting an education that is worthwhile. It's taking some time out of my schedule, but it will be worth it! It will be for all of us! In this I am actually learning how to make my art skills the very best they can be, and how I can use it to make other's lives better. It’s not just about making good grades. It's not just about filling your head with knowledge from textbooks and passing an exam. It's about learning strategy, learning new skills, learning what you can do to fulfill a specific dream or goal. Yet so many of us give up on our dreams, visions, and goals for fear of failure, or because we bought into the lie that we didn't need that knowledge, and with that attitude we fail to make the change in the world we feel needs to take place. Therefore, we end up taking our ideas and visions with us to the grave!
It may be true that you don't need a degree to be successful. I'm not going to deny that. If your goal is to go to school just to get a degree so you can make more money, then you are doing it for all the wrong reasons. I'm going to spell it out. Keep moving forward no matter what obstacles may come your way. Don't let anyone discourage you from doing it, because that's what I see a lot in the world! Follow your dreams. But in doing this you have to work for it. You can't just expect it to fall into your lap. You get out of something what you put into it. If you want to learn something, get educated in it in any way you can. Immerse yourself into it every day. Apply yourself to learn it, read up on it. Study the subject. Get the tools you need for it. But do it because you want to learn it. Don't do it because you just need a degree. That means nothing without the passion of your dream and ambition behind it. It's what you have learned and how you applied it to yourself, and the world around you. That is what is going to truly make the difference.
I relate to an extremely busy work situation. Life happens when we least expect it. There will always be extra stuff that will try to get into the way of our goals in life. For years, that is how I felt about my goal to become a music artist, and my goal to get an education in the art field. But even if you just spend 5 minutes a day on your dream that will count for something! Keep pushing yourself!
One hard lesson I have learned, and I would like to share it with you. This world isn't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you down and keep you there if you let it. Life happens, and it will hit you like nothing else will. But it isn't how hard you get hit. It's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward, and how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. And if you know what you're worth, then get what you're worth. This isn't directed toward anyone in particular, but just a lesson I've learned in life: don't make excuses or point fingers at situations saying that you aren't what you want to be because of him, or her, or any given situation. Only a coward does that. That doesn't have to be you nor me. We can be better than that. That's why we should keep faith in our dreams and never give up!