That was the thought going through my mind as I was speaking to Andrew Kozlovski on the phone. Andrew and I have become friends after recently becoming acquainted – he is the owner and founder of Brainz Power and has a strong presence on Instagram.
Both Andrew and I are Millennials – I’m slightly older than he, but we share similar experiences growing up in this ever-changing world of instantaneous news, evolving technology, and scientific discovery. We have also shared the experience of seeing Millennials and Post-Millennials receive blame and critique over issues we have no control over.
Which is preciously what led to us having a phone conversation about why our generation should follow their dreams. It’s easy to quit on yourself when conditions are tough, but with a plethora of opportunities available – it’s key that youth persevere through stress.
“I’m going to write about this conversation,” I said to Andrew before asking him why he thought it was important for our generation to always pursue their dreams. “Sure, chasing your dreams will have hard times, but sometimes you have to get your hands dirty to get to where you want to be. Think about it like this if you ordered a book from Amazon in 1994 Jeff Bezos personally packed that book and shipped it to you, now 23 years later he was the richest man in the world at one point this year,” Andrew began.
“Everyone starts from, zero, so don’t compare someone’s chapter 20 to your chapter 2. The best part about dream chasing is you are happy no matter how much money you are making because you are doing what makes you genuinely happy,” he continued. I articulated my agreement with his sentiment.
While we all need money to pay our bills and immediate expenses; chasing money is not always a path full of happiness. Genuine happiness is something Millennials and post-Millennials have shown to care about deeply according to polls. The two generations want to be apart of a greater cause and not just attempt to grab financial wealth at the expense of their morality or sanity.
“Family, friends, society push you away from your dreams because there is a lot of risks associated with pursuing them, and they say it’s unrealistic – but they only say that because they can’t imagine doing it themselves, you should not let that reflect on you.”
Andrew made that point as we continued to speak. I can personally relate as I left a secure career to follow my dreams of journalism and becoming involved in entertainment. It’s been a long road, however, one of my screenplays is being reviewed by a studio producer and I’m starting to produce higher quality journalism.
If I had quit on my dreams after the first several strenuous months; I would have never accepted an offer to become the Editor-In-Chief at a new media outlet. While they worry about my finances – my parents have given their support; however, society as a whole typically balks at such decisions where risks are involved.
“I also have a personal mission to be a voice for young entrepreneurs and
show them that they can go against their parent’s advice and still be
successful. Everyone young is looking for permission to
act, and if telling my story inspires one person to take action I will
be incredibly humble,” Andrew started his business at 19 and has been building it ever since.
Not only does Andrew have lofty entrepreneurial goals, he wants to get there the ethical way and is willing to work hard in order to do so, “Everything I have done thus far is “unrealistic” it’s hard enough to build a company to the size of mine, it’s even harder when you’re a full-time college student, but when your chasing your dreams it’s not hard or unrealistic it’s exhilarating doing things people say I can’t and proving the doubters wrong.”
Andrew is 21-years-old and is doing good work, he even gives advice on YouTube. What about myself?
I decided that a change was needed in my life – instead of working an unfulfilling job that wasn’t having any effect on the world. While screenwriting and acting may not seem to be the most selfless paths, they could give me a platform to have a positive influence on the lives of others.
Journalism has already allowed me to the stories of the Edopia School in Islamabad, Pakistan and interview Cpt. Chris Duesing (President of Veterans Service Corps). My work also allowed me to embed with military Veterans and Native Americans at Standing Rock, North Dakota in what was a life changing experience.
I conveyed that to Andrew over the course of our conversation and that while there are challenges that I’ve gone too far to quit. The path to success is a difficult one, especially if you want to go against societal norms.
However, I encourage everyone to follow whatever brings them the most joy. Show passion, determination, and bring the willingness to fail – as we will all fail at some point during our journey.
Before we ended the conversation I told Andrew that we should all follow our dreams and attempt to make the world a better place for all.