Outgrowing Your Dreams

Mornings have now become my favorite time of the day. I enjoy getting up a little early to visit my feed reader and check out all my favorite personal finance blogs. As most of my readers know, one of my favorite blogs in this genre is The Simple Dollar. The other day, Trent posted a thoughtful post in response to a reader comment. The post, “Changing Values, Changing Priorities” was about Trent’s conscious decision to put off his dreams of being a full-time writer to support his family. I just happened to be reading a great book which devotes a chapter to this very subject.

I’m currently reading the book, Your Money or Your Life, which by the way is one of the best financial books I’ve ever read. The book’s author, Joe Dominguez, writes a brilliant chapter on fulfillment. In the beginning of the section he makes a profound statement:

“For many of us…”growing up” has meant outgrowing our dreams.”

Dominguez goes on to explain that most people go through their lives never fulfilling their true passions, because of the “requirement to meet the day-to-day needs” of one’s family. Like Trent, I’ve had to find alternate ways of achieving my dreams outside of a traditional career. I have always enjoyed writing, and this blog provides a forum for me to do so while maintaining a regular, full time job.

So what was your dream growing up? Have you given up on it? Take some time to reflect on what it was you wanted to do when you grew up. If you aren’t fulfilling that dream in your full time job, brainstorm ideas for working toward that goal outside of work. Maybe you wanted to be a teacher, so you could start your own tutoring business. Many people who grew up wanting to be doctors develop successful careers as a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner. At one time I wanted to be a football coach, and I now enjoy coaching youth sports on the weekends.

Some of the most successful [tag]entrepreneurs[/tag] of our time started a part time business in the pursuit of their dreams. So if you have “outgrown” your dream, I encourage you to be a kid again, and use your remaining life energy for that thing you know you were meant to do.

For more information on moving to a more fulfilling career, check out the book 48 Days to the Work You Love.


  1. Hey there Mr. FrugalDad. I think noone should outgrow their dreams. My hubby was a mindless drone for Oracle but he always wanted to get into the game industry so he quit and applied for game companies. Now he has his dream job. I think I do still want to be a writer, but I can’t possibly do it fulltime now. I am getting a lot of satisfaction in blogging, though.

    Oh yeah, thanks for commenting on my article on Wise Bread!

  2. I don’t think anyone should abandon their dreams. I’m a dreamer and a dream follower.

    But I have to say, I do think we sometimes outgrow our dreams. We grow and we change. We dream different dreams, bigger dreams, lovelier dreams. I guess as long as we don’t start dreaming safer dreams, weaker dreams, and dreary dreams, let’s dream on! 😛

    Great post Frugal Dad, and great blog. I am enjoying all of your articles!

  3. I put my dreams into hibernation. I fell off the path that goes through a bachelor’s degree and a good job. No wonder I was so miserable until my early 30’s! I was failing miserably at following someone else’s agenda.

    I’ve known for a long time that I could only be happy contributing to this world in a way that was uniquely my own – a way that only I could contribute. Blogging, graphic design, photography, and being a dad are the gratifying avenues through which I’m doing exactly that.