Once upon a time a man had a dream, and the protagonist was a caricature mouse. Today, that mouse is the mascot of one of the biggest empires ever made, and that man is Walt Disney. He once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney’s courage is epitomised by the following Indian millennials who have successfully chased their hearts’ desires. While they have acknowledged the challenges in following one’s dreams, they have also recognised the tragedy in not doing so.

Carve out your own future, one step at a time

27-year-old botanical illustrator, Nirupa Rao, has merged her passion for art and environmental education. She has successfully crafted her own path in illustrating plants for organisations and botanists in a manner that is scientifically accurate, educationally enlightening, but also, aesthetically pleasing.

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About choosing a path that is relatively untrodden, she recalls, “The reality of pursuing this career was much tougher. It often involved making less money than you would from commercial projects, and it takes a lot more time and genuine interest. Additionally, it was hard to figure out what direction to take.” Despite these challenges, the determined creator says, “I didn’t want to ever regret that I didn’t do anything meaningful with my life!”

Today she is an extremely successful illustrator bagging a lot of high profile and consequential work. Her constructive advice to all millennials who are apprehensive about the risk that is involved with a less trodden path, is, “ You can transition; you don’t have to make a drastic career change. I started off as a graphic designer, a more conventional career path, taking illustration projects on the side. When I could eventually support myself through illustration, I made that my primary occupation”.

For those of you who feel forced by people around you to choose ‘safer options’ she says, “If you are going against your parents wishes, then take it seriously and make sure it’s worth it!” and if you’re concerned about society, she says, “Don’t worry about what people think. Seriously, it’s not important.”

Preserve your happiness

Sahar Mansoor, 25, learnt that by preserving the environment she was in turn preserving her happiness, both of which she is infectiously messianic about. She says, “I am super lucky that I get to call the things I am most excited and passionate about – ‘work’.”

Whilst working for an organisation that engages in clean energy solutions, Sahar also runs her very own company called Bare Necessities. Bare Necessities is a Bangalore-based zero waste company creating various personal care articles such as toothpaste, lip balms and bath salts that are all non-toxic, cruelty-free and using only local, organic and fair trade ingredients. The niche company has acquired a passionate market and is moving from strength to strength.

When asked if she has faced any challenges in pursuing this career, Sahar states that “sometimes it is hard to explain to people why I care about ‘waste’ or ‘kachra’ so much!” However, this doesn’t perturb the zealous waste-warrior, as she says, “I wanted to walk to talk and live a life more congruent to my environmental values. I wanted to stop being part of our waste problem, and be part of the solution!”

To all those cautious of taking that leap of faith, she wisely advises, “I think if you are afraid, that is a good sign! That means you are doing something outside of your comfort zone and that you are about to grow in ways you didn’t know were possible. Life is all about acquiring new learning experiences and being happy!”

If it’s music to your ears, go ahead with it!

While at his desk as a consultant at Accenture, 27-year-old Raghav Ghambir had a poignant realisation, “Money was not able to buy me happiness”. That was when he sought guidance and decided to pursue his life-long dream in music, in order to “remain a happy person”. He is now juggling between a more flexible corporate career and learning music production at The True School of Music in Mumbai, aiming to become a full-fledged music composer in the next few years. That is when the resolute musician will quit his corporate career. He is quite certain that he is “done with the insipid lifestyle” and he vehemently states that he has “finally decided with a lot of courage to keep my risk-free future at stake, to get my hands on music and in earning a living out of it.”

For him this decision was a very challenging one; he had a lot of promise in the field of consulting where someday he would’ve risen high in the hierarchical ladder. The business postgraduate admits that “it is always tough to decide between stable money that earns you a good living versus putting your foot down to face the temporary heat when you rejuvenate your career by following your passion”, but he firmly believes that “at some level, you got to really put things right for yourself to make yourself happy than to continuously do what your family thinks is right.”

To millennials who are feeling the burden of earning a living and are at a similar crossroads as he was, he suggests that even if it is your passion, “you have to be a little smart in choosing a career, you have to be determined that you will ace at it” , if you have a flair for it and are willing to give it everything then, “just keep the world aside and get into it!”

So there you have it, from dreamers themselves. Don’t allow the world to choose your career for you. It is your individuality and if you choose to take your passion forward, take it seriously, welcome the impending challenges and don’t let them stop you. Follow your dreams, for they know the way.

Image Credit: Nikhil Mudaliar

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