“Follow your dreams” OR “Follow your delusions”

It’s a minefield out there.

More than ever before talent and success are not necessarily synonymous. Of course there are endless stories from the past about people who were gifted and never ‘made it’ in their lifetime (Van Gough and Nick Drake are my two favourites… oh and Jesus I guess!) 

But seriously, what is going on NOW??!! 

Since I’ve taken music up again and am trying to give it a semi serious crack in the gaps between minding my 4 beautiful little girls there is one comment I’ve received over and over again… 

“Follow your dreams” 

I know most people are just searching for something supportive to say, but what do we actually mean? The phrase is tossed around over and over again and I can’t help wanting to pick it to pieces- there’s something in there I just don’t trust!

We have thousands of hopefuls now ‘following their dreams’ on shows like ‘Australian (American) Idol’ and  ‘The voice’ then we have the more ‘alternative’ version in this country, JJJ unearthed (which happens to have a very distinctive sound musicians must adhere to to get a look in!)


(The Voice… creeeeepy!!!) 

There is something heart wrenching about seeing so many people put their hope, time and money into things like this before they’ve honed their talents, or are perhaps pursuing it when they have little to no talent at all.

Is it going to make them happy to put so much effort into something that is almost guaranteed to end in disappointment?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Maybe its some sort of ‘journey’ (for want of a less Australian Idolesque sounding word) they need to take. They may learn something else about themselves through it all accidentally. On the other hand, life is short, perhaps they should be focusing on their real talents. 

I remember being shocked when I studied music (for a very short period between finished an ARTS degree and ..ah-hem… having my first baby… school of life ever since!) To find that some of the voice students in one of the courses that had to be PAID UP FRONT, could barely sing in tune!!!

BOX HILL INSTITUTE – (yep I decided to go all out and name you!) You cashed in on these people!!! You wasted their time!!! You used them!!! Why??


The thing is, we all have ‘dreams’ but sometimes they are more like ‘fantasies’… or ‘DELUSIONS’ and don’t business’s just love to cash in on those?

There seems to be a new philosophy that the kindest thing to do for people is LET them do what they WANT.

But is this right even if we can see it’s going to end in misery? Even if its sort of living a lie? 


What we want isn’t always what we need. (giving myself a reminder as I write that one down!)

I’m overwhelmed by how many musicians are out there now. Overwhelmed by the level talent for one, but also by the quantity of people who should have given it up years ago but simply won’t- and nobody seems willing to tell them the truth. I know it seems harsh, but isn’t it sort of harsher to let it go on?

Sure, they’re following their dreams… but what does that actually mean? 

It frightens me. On the other hand I see incredibly talented people give up because they don’t feel allowed to give it a go, they feel foolish or aren’t aware of the gift they have.. 

so in an environment where people are often unwilling to tell the truth (usually for fear of being unsupportive or unkind- sadly sometimes because they enjoy watching people humiliate themselves), where people over praise just a little talent, where globally incredibly untalented musicians are help up as huge talents and hugely talented musicians are often ignored… how is a person to gage where they really stand? 

This question haunts me…

How do I know whether I’m wasting my time prancing around in fur jackets? 


PS. My buddy @sarahenticknap did some great work on my with her amazing photographic talent- she’s someone who confuses me further- she has struggled against the odds to ‘follow her dream’ and it’s paying off. She’s a professional photographer, making beautiful art and being appreciated!! Check out her beautiful work.

PPS. Don’t pay too much attention to what’s written on the t-shirt. We only noticed that later! it’s not true! haha! 



8 thoughts on ““Follow your dreams” OR “Follow your delusions”

  1. I reckon follow your dreams, it’s the only way anyone can learn about themselves. Those people on the voice etc are learning about themselves, like you said, tho it’s sad. I think it is all to do with getting into the gestalt of the moment – if it feels right it must be the right thing to do, we have no idea where it will lead. And if it turns out wrong, we get the chance to learn the difference between intuition and ego desires. Hope I’m not being too silly-phophical here 🙂

    • Thanks Robin. I sure hope you’re right!! I guess I worry that I may not onu be wasting my time but my families.. It does feel like something I have to do- but I’m always trying to de-construct it- I’d hate my drive to be an ego thing!

  2. Anna! Couldn’t help reading this 🙂
    I wondered the same thing too… But then I thought – what else are you going to do with yourself if you’re now going to do what you really really REALY want to do? Distract yourself, try and find something else to accomplish – yes – but then there are some things you can’t just NOT do. For me, the end result doesn’t matter. Because you don’t know it. Do something because you love it. Just doing means you’ve succeeded somewhat. Even those people singing off tune on streets – I have full respect for them.

    • Hi Isabel, thanks for your comments! I flip flop on my opinion with this all the time- hense the confusion I get about following what I want to do myself… I guess I think about it a lot because being a mum, I have moments I feel I’m neglecting my kids needs to follow mine.. or to do what needs to be done to get my music out there a bit… I wonder whether ‘following dreams’ has somehow become a virtue in our culture- but is it? are we neglecting other more important things- like caring for other people?
      My example is obvious- I have 4 kids so it’s always going to be a tricky balance! 🙂 I do think everyone should be free to sing though, absolutely!!!! I’m a huge advocate of that!!

      • Lol – I see what you mean…I was one of 4! A very tricky balance. Needless to say – I am so glad you decided to record some of your work on the web – i was scrolling through Facebook waiting for the train after a pretty shitty night shift in intensive care unit – i sometimes wonder if what I’m doing is what I’m meant to be doing. I re listened to that song u wrote in college – and at that particular point in time – that song was about balance between the decisions that we make and what is intended for us – and how neither of those are as important as just being a good person. Love your work dude!

      • Thank you so much for sharing that Isabel!!! You are the sort of person I would love to encourage- there can be nothing wrong with what you are doing. A job that is caring for people like that- you will never regret!! On the other hand – I can’t judge – maybe there is something else you can be giving people with just as much in another way. I struggle to have faith that my music could actually be doing anything good for anyone- it’s not as clear cut as physically caring for people- so Thankyou so much for telling me about it meaning something for you! Good luck with everything, thank you for all you do!

    • Oh wow, thank you so much Isabel!! That is so inspiring for me to hear that!! Yeah, I think it is right that I’m writing again.. I guess I just have to find the balance like we all do. Life challenge! Thank you for such a kind and honest message!!!

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