Nine Simple Things to Remember When Following Your Dreams
1. Life is Meant to be Lived With Purpose
Don't fall into the trap of complacency. Now, this doesn't mean that every person with an average life has given up, there is nothing wrong with average; but just be sure you haven't settled for less because things were good enough. Although we all dream that it will, purpose doesn't have to fit into your day job. Just remember that this your life we're talking about! You weren't born to just pay bills and die...and unless you are an extreme existential nihilist, you know this to be true. While the system may be stacked against those of us who don't start out wealthy, it's still completely possible to find a purpose and pursue it. It makes no difference whether yours is to change the world, leave a legacy, find inner peace, or to simply fall in love and make a good life for yourself and your family. If you're not sure if you are living with purpose or not, it helps to ask yourself this question: If I follow the path I'm on for the next 10 years, will I be satisfied with how I spent that time?
2. Have a Clear Idea of What You Want
Make sure you have a clear image in your mind of what you want to accomplish. I recently saw a post on the Secrets2Success Instagram that said "Stop calling it a dream, and start calling it your plan." This is the great description of what I am saying in this section. You can't achieve anything until you know exactly what it is you are aiming for. This is especially true if (like me) you believe in the Law of Attraction as discussed in The Secret, or in Esther Hicks' many books. But even if you don't buy into that kind of thing, this is an indispensable step on the road to success. Once you have done this, you will have something clear to focus on (hopefully something that excites you!) at those times when you experience set backs or any other difficulties. And what better way to stay motivated than to remember why it is you are doing what you are in the first place?
3. Don't Be Afraid to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone!
Don't be afraid to break out of your comfort zone! You don't have to quit your job to start looking for opportunities. Go back to school part time, start writing a book, take a photography class, go to a meetup, volunteer, or maybe just go after the person you really want!
A better life doesn't have to mean more money or a major financial risk. There are many types of success and many roads to it. For you, success may just mean having a normal job that you actually enjoy. Or, if becoming rich is a large part of what you consider a better life, and you feel like you have something special to offer the world, then take a big leap and start a business. Of course, starting a business isn't the only way to make money...but you get what I'm saying; go after the life you want!
While you should be fully aware of the fall-out of any risks you take, financial or otherwise, remember that it's difficult to make it big without taking any risks at all. You may fail, but you will almost certainly learn something in the process. And, even IF you never try again, at least you will know that you tried.
4. Passion Is Key
I'm sure some of you don't need me to tell you this, but passion is key to success of any kind. There are a surprising amount of people who underestimate the importance of enjoying what they do. Even if your main goal is more money...be sure to do something you have a passion for. In other words, don't start a business or offer a service focused on something you aren't that interested in, just because you think it will make you money. Otherwise, it's highly unlikely that you'll have the patience to stick with it. Not only that, but if you are offering something that you are truly passionate about, others WILL pick up on that and be interested too!
Here's an interesting aricle that explains a few reasons why passion is so important to success.
I know from my knowledge of psychology, as well as my own experience in sales, and in the service industry, that customers cannot help but pick up on our own attitude toward what we are doing. Most of the time, I was engaged and happy to be there (I have always refused to stay at a job I couldn't find at least some satisfaction in) and thus, I usually did quite well. However, there was the occasional day when I just did not want to be there, and on those days I always sold or made significantly less!
5. Don't Let the Fear of Failure Stop You
If following our dreams wasn't scary, everyone would do it! About a year ago, I noticed that although I had been taking basic steps to better myself and my life (going to school, trying to eat better etc.), I had repeatedly stopped short of taking any major leaps. Even when there was no major financial risk. The truth was that just the risk of trying and not being good enough was enough to stop me dead in my tracks. I was afraid that if I truly gave my all and poured my heart into my dreams, and then failed, it would not just mean that I had failed but that I, personally, was a failure; that whatever dream I had pursued would then be dead rather than a potential future. It was only through acknowledging this fear that I finally realized how false it was. The only true failure is the failure to try!
6. Remember: Failure Is Part of Success
Many, many famously successful people failed BIG before finally making it. One especially well-known example is Walt Disney. He filed for bankruptcy (some people say as many as seven times, but I couldn't confirm that) before becoming the household name we know today. Others include Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Milton Hershey. And they took real, financial risks. Check out this link to read more about these and other famous people's indirect paths to success.
7. Just Take That First Step
Whatever it is you want, start taking steps toward it. No matter how daunting your ultimate goal is, or how afraid you are to fail, just take that first step. As I said, the fear of failure held me back for far too long. At first, I didn't even realize that this was the problem! Because of this, I always found a reason why it wasn't the right time to start. Until I realized this:
8. There Is No "Right Time."
There is no "right time." There will always be reasons to put following your dreams off. There will always be a thousand other things going on in your life. You just have to take a leap. If you fail, then you learn something; it's that simple.
9. Know You Can Do It
Finally, you have to truly believe that you are on the path to success. Disregard any setbacks as part of the process. Consider learning a little about the Law of Attraction. Read The Secret or look up Esther Hicks on Google or YouTube. Again, even if you aren't into that kind of thinking, believing in yourself is still another vital step if only for the confidence it instills. I guarantee that in order to make it, you must believe that whatever you want is already within your reach.