“Follow your heart. It’s wiser than you think. And for God’s sake, don’t be scared.” On any day and on any UK website, it’s likely that you’ll come across someone like Tom Savage imparting such advice.
He has quit his job as a research analyst and found a perfect new start setting up his own social enterprise in Madagascar. He tells readers of the UK newspaper the Guardian that they can do likewise and follow their dream.
Every day dozens of Toms are profiled in newspapers and magazines and on career websites and blogs. Their real-life tales aren’t there to surprise or shock, but many readers are taking on board such advice and following in theirconsidering footsteps.
[注释: take on board 听取、采纳(意见或者新的思想)。注意，如果是be on board则表示“赞成，愿意参加”，如：We’re on board to help with the relief work. Banks need to take on board the views of their customers. 银行应该听取客户的意见。]
Sophie Collins, 23, is a biology graduate from London. But before starting her course at university in Edinburgh, Scotland, she took a year out and enrolled in an Art Foundation course.
“Art is what I love in life and it is my ambition to be an artist one day,” said Collins. “Art makes me happy, even if it won’t pay my bills for a couple of years.”
The idea that you should be free to follow your dream, whether as a young person or as a middle-aged adult with several years of work already under your belt, iswell-established in the West.
[注释: take one’s chance 碰碰运气。后面常接on sth，表示“就某件事碰碰运气”。另外一个常用搭配是take one’s chance in the world，表示“闯荡社会”。 Those orphaned children were left to take their chances in the world. 那些失去父母的孤儿只好自己在社会上闯荡。]
In school, students are taught that they can do whatever they want and can be whoever they choose so long as they work hard enough at that dream. People in the public eye, such as Italian classical singer Andrea Bocelli, have given up positions in prestigious professions to take their chance on fame. Bocelli was a lawyer before he made it as a singer, selling 70 million albums worldwide.
[注释: under one’s belt 字面意思是“在腰带下”，比喻已经掌握了、经历过，或者在以往的经历中已获得了某事物。 I’m not going to play the game until I can get a couple of days of practice under my belt. 打比赛之前我需要训练几天。]
The media and reality TV talent shows have also played their part in encouraging young people to follow their bliss.
In 2006, 18-year-old Ray Quinn, barely out of school, finished second in the British TV talent show The X Factor. He later secured a record deal with Sony.
Each year since then, hundreds of thousands of people have applied to the show, hoping, and expecting, that the chance to realize their ambitions will soon come.
Even if they don’t have a particular dream in mind, many young people are encouraged to take a year or two to find where their interests lie, instead of jumping into a job which they may later resent.
George Evans, 24, is determined to find a job which interests him.
“I think most of us recognize that it is happiness and not money that is the ultimate goal,” said the Cambridge University graduate. “Unless you are passionate about your career, you won’t truly succeed.”