Everyone wants their parents to support their dreams and passions, but what if they don’t? Should you still do what you love?
Readers often ask me: “Should I do what I love or do what my parents want?” They are curious about how I had the courage to pursue my passion. They want to know how supportive my parents were.
So I thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post on this and share it with many others who are in the same situation.
Were My Parents Supportive of What I Do?
For the most part, especially in the beginning, no. My parents want me to have a stable job, a stable life and a stable family. They want me to be an accountant. If not, get a government job. Going to Malaysia to be an animator is crazy. Being a full-time author is unrealistic.
Parents might disagree with what you do, but they will still stand by you… no matter what.
Parents are like this. Even though your parents don’t agree with what you do, they will still find ways to support you. For example, my parents accompanied me to Malaysia on my first day as an animator. They took the initiative to help me sell my books.
Sure, they still nag at me. But because of love, most parents will still support their kids. And you need to know that.
Parents Have Your Best Interests (But That Might Not Be a Good Thing)
Most parents want their kids to be happy and safe. However, they might have beliefs about happiness and safety that aren’t necessarily true.
In my case, my parents believe that having a stable job would make me happy. But their assumption is wrong. Having a stable job doesn’t make me happy. I need to be challenged and grow. I need to be creative and execute my ideas. Doing something meaningful that helps people is what I love. But my parents don’t understand that I need these things to feel fulfilled in life.
It’s not that your parents want to make you miserable or force you to do something you don’t like. They have the obligation to keep you safe. It’s their job. You can’t blame them for that.
But playing it too safe is dangerous.
Successful people take risks. If everyone is comfortable with the status quo and want to be safe, there will be no airplane, no electricity, and no internet etc. Everything you enjoy now is a result of someone else taking risks. Don’t let your parents’ obligation to keep you safe limits your potential of doing something great.
The world you live in now is very different from the world you parents used to live in. There are more opportunities out there. You just need to know how to navigate and leverage on these opportunities.
Why I Have the Courage to Do What I Love
The answer is simple.
I don’t want to die with regrets.
If I only have one more day to live and I have not made any effort towards my dreams, I would die with regrets. And who do I blame? My parents for not supporting my dreams? Or myself for not having the courage to stand up for my dreams?
It’s my life. I have to choose my own path. At the end of the day, who is the one working for 8 hours a day? Who is responsible for my happiness? It’s not my parents. I’m the one responsible for my happiness.
Moreover, I already knew that I won’t feel fulfilled being an accountant in the long run. If I still follow my parents’ request, aren’t I’m doing injustice to myself and more so to my parents? Since then, they will fail to satisfy their obligation of making me happy.
Take Responsibility and Make Your Own Decision
You might think that I am encouraging you to risk everything you have and do what you love. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is:
You have to make your own decision. No one can make it for you.
Being an adult means taking responsibility. If you make a mistake or a wrong decision like me, learn from your mistake.
Your parents will not be the only discouraging voices you will hear. Your friends will give you different suggestions and pieces of advice. Critics will always be there no matter if you are doing good or bad. There will be many other unsupportive voices along the way and that includes yourself. When you are afraid, you will be the first one to tell you to give up.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide who you are going to listen to!
Your thoughts on this?
Featured Photo Credit: lonely girl 14? / Tom Woodward
Find the courage to do what you love despite discouraging voices
For more inspiration, check out my book Fearless Passion.