Everyday you must sell your dream to yourself. Never let a day go by that you don’t remind yourself why your dream is important. Never let go of that constant nagging in your mind nudging you to press on. Move forward. Be persistent.
Life has a funny way of making you believe you are unworthy—worthless—useless—unloved—unwanted—and unwelcome. It can make you feel as if it’s you against the world and only the lucky ones are worthy of its secrets. But life rewards the courageous—the bold—and persistent. It rewards the caretakers and gift givers—and those who listen with their entire self.
It’s the hands of an ever ticking clock—unable to be stopped or wound back. It’s the mistakes you’ve made—the goals you set—the obstacles you fight through. It’s the tears you’ve cried—the depression you’re battling—the stress on your back and shoulders–the love you’ve found. It’s the emotional turmoil—the daily struggle—the constant hustle of day-to-day living.
It’s many things—but mostly one: It’s what you make it.
All situations whether good or bad are nothing more than stepping stones to the next level. While everyone is different, how you choose to deal with a situation is the same. Either you let it consume you or you fight it out and eventually get to a place where you’re no longer in it. There will always be another fight, another struggle, another situation that will call you away from your purpose. These are growing pains. You must learn to be flexible and not let situations rule you.
Sometimes you have to put yourself in a position where there are no other options and you’re forced to deal with it. You have a solid foundation of what you’re trying to accomplish, a decent skill set and the only way you’re going to do better is to dive, eyes closed into the lake. You’ll have to trust that your background, education and experience is enough to bring you to the surface. What you’ll often find is that you have amazing swimming skills and just needed the confidence to begin your journey. Trust yourself and dive in. It doesn’t begin until you do.
You build a house from the ground up. You check the soil, pour the slab, mix the mortar, place the beams, and lay brick by brick until you have a wall, and eventually a place you can call home. While you may not physically be making a house, what you do today is laying a foundation for your future.
Taking into consideration all of what a task requires can be overwhelming…long hours, late nights, extra time, having to give up your girl’s night to work on your business, etc. But when you break down the project into smaller parts, you give your mind and body a breather. You don’t have to do everything in one day. Break it down into manageable parts that you can work on daily or even weekly. And when you’re working on something, consider the result it will have on your progress. Will it help or hinder you? Even on a personal level, you lay a foundation in how you speak, treat and give to others.
Want to increase your vocabulary? Learn one word and use it until you master it, then move on. Trying to eat healthier? Replace one of your meals with a healthier alternative. Trying to change your negativity? Interrupt the conversation in your mind with a positive comment. Have a low self-esteem? Find one thing you like about yourself and praise yourself regularly about it. Trying to start a business? Find a book in your field read it from cover to cover, takes notes and implement.
Folks, it’s about doing the small things well and moving on to the next small thing and the next, until you’ve built a collection of small things that have poured the cement slab, formed your walls, built your beams and put a roof on that house. From there, you can decorate it however you like.
If you feel as though you’ve fallen behind, remember why you started this journey. Keep those reasons close, you’ll need them when the road feels lonely. Use them to overcome feelings of depression and self-doubt. Use them to fuel your purpose and strengthen your character. Use them to smother your fears and replenish your faith. Use them to manifest your dreams. Use them to stay focused and build your courage. Use them to reprogram your mind and develop a better vision of yourself. Be persistent and stay focused. Your reasons will take you there.
“Want shows up in conversation, EXPECTATION shows up in behavior.” ~Les Brown
Everyone wants to be successful. But if you ask them if they expect to be, most people can’t answer. Talk is talk, but your behavior ultimately determines the type of person you are. You can dream all day about starting a business, but what are you going to do about it? Are you going to sit and pine about something you could have, should have done? Or are you going to take those steps necessary to secure your success? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be one of those people in my later years dreaming about something I could have done something about now. Take the first step and stop making excuses. Nothing happens until you make a commitment and a decision to act.
“The impulse to dream has been beaten out of us by the experiences of life.”
How very true this statement is. Do not neglect the child in you full of wonder and curiosity. Allow time for your mind to wander. I’ve always said that we dream because we have to. Not the middle of the night crazy and unsolicited dreams we have in our sleep, but the ones we have when we’re supposed to be working, supposed to be doing something fairly important but would rather think about to get our minds off of the task at hand. It’s almost always the same thing every time, if not similar. We always dream of better, because underneath it all, despite our outer pessimistic shells, believe we deserve better. Why have you stopped dreaming? More importantly, why have you stopped believing? There’s not too many excuses that will hold water.
Saying no is healthy. Being able to say no without having to explain why and not feel guilty about it is even healthier. Knowing when and how to say no is one of the most valuable skills you will ever learn. At first, people won’t understand, will give you incredulous looks and expect you to change your mind. But don’t waver. Eventually, mature people will understand and life will become less dramatic. You’ll start seeing and hearing the truth in people’s words and actions. It’s OK to ask for help from time to time, but people shouldn’t be dependent on you for everything. You can’t save everyone, but you can keep your sanity just a little while longer while you work on developing a better you.
If you can’t define your dreams, you don’t know where you’re going. Write them down, give them meaning, give them definition and then act on them. There’s no point in letting your goals and dreams linger within in you. Your dreams were given to you for a reason and only you can give them life. A man once said, “this world was created by people that were no smarter than you.” They decided to act on their dreams. Why shouldn’t you?
Earlier this week, a co-worker asked me about poetry. He wanted to know the “basics” of writing it. He wanted to know how it should be written, in what form and in what way it should be read. I simply told him to write. It wasn’t about form or how many meters it carried. It was simply about writing what you wanted to express…about transferring your ideas, your thoughts into something that means something to you. It doesn’t need anyone’s approval but your own.
It’s not always about form or structure. Sometimes, it’s about taking the risk of expression and believing in yourself enough to simply be you. We’ve grown accustomed to being constantly judged and reviewed that we’ve become self-conscious about our work, our manner, our dress, our speech and the way we express ourselves. We’re not robots. If you haven’t found a way to express yourself, haven’t found something that expresses a part of who you are, there will always be a void.
Expression is a form of freedom. It will always be there subconsciously and once brought to the forefront of your mind, you will always seek it. There’s no greater feeling in the world.
Sometimes, it’s not about setting goals…but about doing what needs to be done;
Sometimes, it’s not about heavy planning, but about jumping in and testing your swimming skills; and
Sometimes, it’s not about over thinking, but reacting.
2015 is around the corner and many of you are thinking about setting New Year’s goals and resolutions. But what happened to last years goals and resolutions? Did you go the gym more like you planned? Did you work on repairing that broken relationship like you promised? Did you go back to school like you wanted to? Did you start that business? Did you write that song? Did you write that book? Or did you come up with excuse after excuse about why these things couldn’t be done? Did you blame your family? The economy? Your job? Or the lack of money and resources?
Here’s my tip for you. Stop it. Stop making excuses and just do it. Whatever idea you have, whatever goal you want, it won’t happen unless you get started. People may laugh at you, but that’s their problem, not yours. Your family may not agree, but you have to live your life, they don’t. There’s an unending number of resources out there…search for them and keep looking until you find it. Can you read? Of course you can, you’re reading this post! There’s plenty of books out there on a variety of topics, I’m sure you can find something on what you’re looking for.
People…it’s not about what you can do in 2015, but about making a move now on the things you want instead of waiting for it to come to you. Be persistent. Be formidable. Be relentless in your vision. Otherwise…what’s the point?