Based in Chicago, Omerisms is a blog by Omer Abdullah. His posts explore Ideas, perspectives and points of view across business, sales, marketing, life and (sometimes) football (the real kind).

Be an Idealist

Be an Idealist

Photo Credit to  David Pacey

Photo Credit to David Pacey

When we're kids, we're limitless. We're idealists. We believe.

Fireman. Musician. Actor. Astronaut.

As we get older, we mature, we grow, we learn. We develop new skills, we focus, we get practical. 

For too many of us, part of this development involves setting limits. Of discounting particular ideas and beliefs about what we can do and what we should do. What others think. Of ignoring our natural talents and capabilities for what is materially acceptable. We're taught (or we teach ourselves?) that idealism isn't practical. Idealism is a sign of immaturity. Idealism is naivete, especially around adult company. Idealism is for kids.

Then, as we settle in to life as we know it, we look around and see people we know making a go of things that are exciting. We see people doing cool things, that are different. We see people taking risks. Risks that don't make sense. Risks that, really, no one in their right minds should take. 

Like that kid who got straight-A's throughout high school and went off to study psychology at college. Who then dropped out and went to music school, because he couldn't take it anymore and had to be who he had to be. Who built a life in music, and a successful one at that.  

Risks that, really, no one in their right minds should take. Should take? Should?

Fuck that. What is should? Who defines should? As Tony Robbins likes to say, we "should" all over ourselves far too often.

When did the noose that is "should" creep into our lives? When we traded our idealism for practicality? When we traded our dreams for a paycheck? When we traded the uncertainty of growth for the safety of conformity?

I get we have constraints in life. Family. Kids. Responsibilities. Obligations. Trust me, I get it.

But don't trade your idealism for a dollar. Don't trade your idealism for the false illusion that is this externally defined, socially conforming, psychologically constraining 'practical reality'. Your practical reality is what you make of it. In small steps or in big jumps. You define it.

Fuck "should". Who's calling the shots anyway? What do you want to do with your life? What's your legacy?

In your own world, go make some art. Be it big or small, go make some art.

What are you afraid of? To paraphrase Mark Twain, you will never regret the chances that you took. The things you did.

You will only regret those things in life, that you didn't do.

(Post-note: That kid with the straight A's? He's still my mate.)

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