Crushing Your Dreams By Following His Own
Children never consider the grueling work that goes into accomplishing the glamorized professions of their dreams. And nor should they. After all, childhood dreams play a more distinct role in developing passions, imagination, and ambition. So they dream of floating in space, competing as professional athletes, or saving people (and animals) from fires, poor health, or aliens.
But sometimes this glamorization gets carried into our adulthood through the detriment of unrealized dreams. Professional sports seem to be the best example of this, although certainly there are others.
Players and coaches are held to unreal expectations to win, paid exorbitant money to do so, and maligned by us bitter adults if they fail. Toss in relentless media, both professional and troll-like, hectic schedules, and little-to-no privacy; we can see how the pressure builds from all angles. But fortunately these athletes retain the one comfort zone they’ve always loved: their sport. They can escape in the act and release pressures through competing. They relate to their teammates who share their struggles and their passions. They can confide in this second family.
But what if you can’t share those passions?
What if that competition wasn’t an escape?
What if this was never your comfort zone?
You do what Larry Sanders did and you walk away.
And that glamorization we mentioned earlier? That goes into full effect here: No one could understand how a young, promising talent could walk away from his “dream.” I mean, this is the NBA - c’mon! It’s the chance of a lifetime! But who’s dream are we talking about here? Who’s lifetime?
Anyone can recognize they’re on the wrong path; courage is doing something about it to better yourself. You’ll face scrutiny like no other because society has developed an adverse reaction to quitting, and there is a good chance you’ll feel worse before you feel better. It’s tough, and a lot of people resist making those changes in order to avoid upsetting others. Respecting others is important, but respecting yourself is vital and that’s why we’re so inspired by Larry’s decision to walk away from it all.
What is “it,” anyway? Many would call it an opportunity or a dream, but to Larry it was a detriment, a burden, and an unnecessary pressure. And that’s what he walked away from. He didn’t walk away from your childhood dream. Larry has made a point to discuss his thoughts on the traditional definitions of happiness and how they can often mislead others in their true discovery of what happiness can be. He understands that the pursuit of happiness is not a linear path and often you have to redefine your own concepts in order to take the next step in the right direction. That direction can be anywhere your compass is pointing. It’s up to you, and you’re never wrong if you follow your heart. To Larry, and the rest of us, that traditional ideology of college, job, marriage, house, kids, promotion, then retirement, is long gone. The economy crumbles, divorce rates skyrocket, everything is expensive, social media reminds you every hour how far behind you are, everyone else seems happy, what gives?
Now kids are skipping college and learning a trade, marriage gets pushed back, people rent instead of own, freelance work is growing at a rapid pace, and we’re learning to define our own parameters of happiness. That’s exactly what Larry did and we think he is better off for it. Bold moves sometimes create the biggest reward. The US Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, but it does provide the right to pursue it. It’s up to you whether you’ll take advantage.
Many balked at the buy-out attempt on Larry’s end. But sometimes it isn’t about the money. Besides, Larry put it best himself when he said “you can’t buy peace."