Here is a great saying – ‘If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.’
Many individuals have accomplished great things in their life time because they just got on with accomplishing great things in their life time. They did not necessarily look around (for long) to see if anyone was keeping up with them (they were not afraid of going it alone), they did not necessarily listen to their critics long list of reasons why they would crash and burn if they tried something new and they did not necessarily live for other’s affirmation. What is more, they did not necessarily ask permission from others to pursue their dreams.
In my book, Have a Life Attack, I share the story of renownd South African artist, Duncan Stewart, who gave up a career in graphic design (when already well into his late twenties) to move oversees to further pursue his artistic dreams. To do this he sold all his possessions, many of his art pieces and rallied sponsorships for his great bicycle trek from Johannesburg to Cape Town, a distance of some 1.400 kilometres!
I would imagine that many would have thought Duncan to be quite mad at the time. I suppose he was madly in love with a dream and did not see the need to ask permission from anyone to pursue it. (See pages 36 – 37 of my book for extra details of his story.)
Are you asking for permission from those around you to pursue your own dreams? I am not advocating irresponsibility, or telling your loved ones exactly where they can get off if they challenge the things you want to do in life. I am, however, advocating overcoming a fear of challenging and stretching your abilities and talents. We often ask for permission from others because we want them to believe in us, often more than we do. It is also easy to hide behind their disapproval or lack of confidence in us, instead of having to be brave enough to do a thing.
As the New Year swiftly approaches, think of the daring adventures you can embark on in 2012 and begin to commit to paper these hopes and dreams. And stop asking for permission to do so.