Every dream starts with an intense passion and a natural aptitude. That intense passion and natural aptitude, for me, was performing and presenting something, whether on stage, or doing a corporate presentation or even being a host (I once worked as an air hostess!). I’ve had this passion for years now, and when I followed it, it made me super happy and fulfilled, and when I ignored it I felt awful.  That’s why I had no choice if I was to be true to myself to give up a corporate career that was draining the life out of me and do what I truly desired. Because of that i have always believed that doing something I loved could only lead to amazing things and it absolutely has. The story definitely isn’t over yet, but I know today I have done the right thing for me.  Do people tell me otherwise? Of course. They can’t fathom how I could leave a stable banking career to act in movies and present on television.  Gosh, even writing that confirms my decision!

However, the natural aptitude part is also very important. One of my closest friends, when she was a child, wanted to be a famous singer when she grew up. Thank God her dad told her you have to have talent to be a famous singer, because she might have wasted years of her life on voice lessons and Britain’s Got Talent auditions and still have had no natural aptitude. My point is, don’t waste your life following a dream you think you should have, or a dream you have no skill for. Follow the one where your heart and your head and your God-given talents lead you. But here’s a wonderful little secret – when your head and heart are in sync and you follow them, it will always involve what you are most naturally talented in.

But as you walk the path of your dreams, it’s important to be flexible because very rarely will your path be a direct bee-line from where you are now to where you want to be. Sometimes one dream leads you to another. Taking that first step of blind faith can be hard. In my case, I was in a corporate career that I wanted to get out of and I had already acted in a Marathi film in India so I knew that the entertainment industry is where I wanted to go. But,  how? Film projects were few and far between and I knew nothing about how the industry worked. Instead of trying to figure it all out in my head, one day I just decided to write a list of all the things about my current job and situation that I liked, for example, my beautiful apartment, the lovely vacations I took, the financial freedom to buy almost anything I wanted, the delicious restaurants i would frequent and suddenly a voice in my head said “Look up film school in Los Angeles!” I immediately obeyed and within two months I was in LA living the dream, learning about acting and producing and performing on stage! Following my passion and my aptitude paid off and now, within quite a short period of time, I am being paid to present on television full time.  Taking steps in a positive direction, following a glimmer of hope and the glimpse of a dream, opens the doors for things you never even knew you loved or were good at.

It’s not all sunshine, lollipops and roses though. Following a dream is accomplished in the day-in and day-out, getting your hands dirty, doing the hard things other people won’t. It is accomplished in the present moment, not in the future. It is accomplished in the decisions you make right now, for example, taking a huge pay cut for a satisfaction bonus, listening to and correcting any criticisms instead of being a know-it-all, networking and securing future work  instead of spending hours surfing the internet or watching TV, sacrificing lunch or dinner dates to pay for your showreel! Yes, often they are decisions that are hard work. But that’s what separates the successes from the failures – the willingness to do what others won’t or can’t. I can’t imagine living any other way J