People Who 'Followed Their Dreams' Explain How It Worked Out For Them

The long road to the Mountaintop!!

What is a dream? You can't trade your dream in for another one. Those are the immortal words of the glorious Viola Davis. They were part of her speech for her SAG Award win. And Viola is always right.

Dreams are a necessary contribution to life. We can't control them, often they tend to control us. Our hopes for our lives effortlessly without thought meld into what feels like a destiny, so of course we have to chase them to the bitter end, and it can be a very.... bitter end for many. Dreams aren't easy to attain. It seems unfair. When one has a calling, their should be a blueprint on how to get to it. So this makes "the chase" quite a ride.

Redditor u/Un13roken wanted everyone to share about the ups and downs, successes and failures of chasing that elusive life "dream" by asking.... To those who 'followed you dreams', where are you now?

I'm Out

the good wife fight GIF by CBS All AccessGiphy

Dreamed of becoming lawyer, hated it, now in the process of changing careers. Been a lawyer for about 3 years. Prosecuted for the first two before jumping ship and doing 3rd party now. I am kind of lucky and didn't go into debt during undergrad/law school (GI Bill) its just a grind and I'm not happy so figure why not.


Canine Bond

During the day I walk dogs. I get paid money to hang out with dogs. I also get a fair amount of light exercise every day. I get to listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks while getting paid. I'm my own boss all day. I wake up when I want to. Dogs love me because they know I'm the guy coming to play and give treats. And at nighttime I deliver pizza. So I just show up to peoples houses and get cash for driving around listening to more music or podcasts or whatever. It's a great paying gig. And adults and children alike love when I come to the door. Because I'm the guy who gives treats.

It's a cycle of rewarding behaviors.

Edit: I should also note that the pizza gig has gotten me a few dog gigs because I'll meet their dog at the door or know how to handle it when it comes out barking at me and then offer my services. The dog usually loves me immediately because I smell like pizza. It's a win-win.


Walmart came for me....

I started a business, sold it to Walmart, and now I'm 33 and retired.

Started my business with $2k from a scholarship while in college, and at the time my mom said, "don't do it, that's too much money!"

Side note: we've always lived below the poverty line.

Made $869k in the first year, then exponentially grew from there. Then I guess Walmart thought I was encroaching on their space and bought me out.

Bought my mom a house and car and retired her as well. :)


Extreme Success

like a boss win GIFGiphy

I didn't follow anything, but I have a family member who moved out to Hollywood from the Midwest on a whim, with the dream of becoming a stunt man, and is now a highly successful stuntman, and the richest person in our extended family by a massive margin.

So uh, follow your dreams I guess?


"screw it, this is my life not theirs" 

For awhile I tried pursuing a number of career paths my parents deemed appropriate (aka super profitable), including legal and IT but I got burned out very easily and my heart wasn't in it. Was very depressed and uninterested in what I was doing.

Finally said "screw it, this is my life not theirs" and found a job that has more creative freedom. Definitely don't regret it. Doesn't pay as well as the jobs my parents wanted me to have, but I have less stress and more energy these days to pursue my interests and hobbies.

It's not my dream job but I make enough to pay all the bills and save a little each month, plus comes with health benefits.

Best piece of advice I ever got: if you are lucky enough to find a job that you get fulfillment and joy out of, that's great. There's also nothing wrong with getting a job that maybe isn't exciting but gives you enough financial security to be happy and keep following your dreams.


Always Chasing....

I remember being told when I was younger that I wasn't expected to be able to live independently (I have Aspergers). I live to prove that sentiment wrong: living an independent life is one step of my dream, with subsequent steps to become fulfilled.

Had some close calls over the years – almost ended up homeless twice – and suffered with a lot of mental illness. Worked a lot of crap jobs within the food industry, had a few failed relationships.

I've yet to find the fulfillment I am looking for, but for the first time in my adult life it feels reachable and realistic.

Now I'm chasing some sort of job in agriculture or horticulture. I've volunteered at a produce garden for just over a year now and being out in the open, amongst nature, makes me feel great.


Everyday Drag

I went through two tragedies... I lost my sister (she was murdered by her husband in front of me) and two weeks later, I lost my 5 month old son to SIDS; so I decided to pick myself up and follow my dream of wrenching. Went to college for it and everything! First worked on light duty vehicles, in a shop that I barely made any money and hated it.

Went onto being a diesel mechanic and currently am in a position of which everyone hates me (presumably because I'm still new, and I'm a woman in man's world) at my workplace, and I have no respect. Currently looking into finding a new career path to live out my true dream, of a happy, adventurous life with my SO and my dogs! Still employed, but everyday is a drag, because everything I do is scrutinized.


PR Fail

never mind GIF by Scout DurwoodGiphy

My dream was to grow up have a stable marriage and raise kids. While I do enjoy my job and I've successfully moved from one career to the next a few times I wouldn't say it was my "dream".

One of the saddest things to me is seeing people I worked with in advertising being so angry and feeling betrayed that that industry didn't take care of them. It is one of the crappiest most amoral businesses you can conceive of and yet apparently there are people who "dream" of working in it.


Go Seahawks! 

I'm still young and trying to figure out what the hell I wanna do with my life but my cousin tried chasing an NFL contract, and actually landed one. He plays for the Seattle Seahawks now.


Just pick something obtainable and go for it. Don't over-think it. If you're young, you can always change course later.


Truth = Power

Happy Yes It Is GIFGiphy

"Follow your dream!" is not good advice. "Follow your dream by learning as much about the process of becoming a success as you can so you don't become a failure!" is far, far better advice.


and I still play games.....

Living with my gamer wife in my own house with 3 cats and a sweet gaming pc. My dream was always to continue gaming online and working as little as possible. Family always saying to get a job and go out and find a GF but I didn't really enjoy clubs or pubs etc. Few years back I asked someone in my guild if she liked me and she said yes.

This got me to get a job and what was originally just something to get money turned out to be an awesome job and now she is living with me and are 1 year married. My dream wasn't something spectacular but my dream of gaming online turned into something awesome... and I still play games.


Not so Great

Season 5 Whatever GIF by CBS All AccessGiphy

Sister got into her favorite college, moved to her favorite city, working at a job she always talked about growing up.

Honestly, I don't envy her at all. It broke her mentally and financially.


Starting Over

Dreamed of moving to Europe and starting over. I was really shy growing up, and wanted to move to a new country and reinvent myself. To some extent, I did. I moved to Germany, did a year at a Studienkolleg, which was essentially a preparatory course that got me used to the school system and taught me German, and now I'm applying to Uni. I essentially went from incredibly introverted to incredibly extroverted.

I went from the guy that would stay in on a Friday night to study for an upcoming exam to one that would book a joyride to Berlin on a whim and end up waking up in the wrong hostel. It was definitely a good decision, because I can decide things for myself now. I'm actually independent, for better or worse.


be creative

I finally published a number of fiction novels and still working EMS. I love emergency medicine. Being able to help people as well as share my creativity and stories is pretty amazing. I'm glad I chased what I wanted.



Wanted to be a teacher and make a difference. Now 2 years out of teaching, unemployed, getting over a drinking problem and have massive social anxiety. Teaching broke me and now I just want to be left alone. Some dream, huh?


The Stage

daveed diggs hamilton GIFGiphy

I'm currently (well before Covid) performing on cruise ship as a dancer on huge scale shows! It's amazing that I get to do the thing in life that I'm most passionate about and travel across Europe all while getting paid for it. It's also great that I don't have to house in the UK as my contracts are normally 4 months on 2 months off (I stay with my parents or rent when I'm off)! I'm living out my childhood dream and I'm also recording self tapes for west end shows!



My first dream was to be married to someone who challenges me to do better every day.

Married now, and don't need a job now because my husband has a well enough paying job so now I can work on my mental health while getting my crafting business off the ground and not worry about paying bills,



I invested my savings and retirement into starting a company, made a massive deposit with an Indian manufacturer, they developed and produced my product...

Now they won't send it to me because they are mad I got mad they wouldn't send it to me so now they won't send it. They sent a hundred boxes (only) and photos so yes the product exists and is ready to ship. Of course they want more money which I don't owe them.

How can I owe/pay them more money if I can't sell the THOUSANDS OF BOXES of product they refuse to send me?!!? They are being fools out of spite because I got mad they were being uncooperative... because they messed up prior shipments too (samples delayed for months, he ghosted me for two weeks, constant lying...)

Yes. So now everything lays around me in tatters and... WTF am I supposed to do?


Things that Sparkle....

I dreamed of being a jeweler since i was 16... I became One. But i am One of those people, who hate to sell... I love making, creating, sometimes getting peoples dreams come true. But i hate and even physically can't do marketing if selling... For The past 8years i managed to survive in that. I could feed myself and pay my bills. But that was that... Finally Covid hit, I got dumped in two months unpaid holidays with no savings.

And i made up my mind. Į found myself some simple, medium wage computer job from home, working 2 twelve hour days and getting 2 days off. I'm gonna keep jewelry as a hobby, put more time for my other art projects and just survive on a stable salary. Flipped my life in the past month... Panic attacks stopped, so I'm fine now and will see where ill end up. Art is almost never a good carrier plan, but is perfect hobby.


Catching babies....

baby documentary GIF by SundanceNOW DocClubGiphy

I followed my dreams to become a midwife. Now I'm entering my second year of school and I'll be catching babies this winter. It hasn't been easy and the program is tough. I can't believe I made it this far. The hardest part is the school admission. The program is cutthroat and really competitive.



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