“Follow Your Dreams” is Good Advice, but Here are 3 Places where Most People get Stuck
We’ve all heard the phrase: “follow your dreams”. It excites us, pulls on something deep within us, and makes us long for something better than our current lot in life. Maybe you long to leave the 9 to 5, and start your own business. Maybe you want to become a writer, or an actor, or a musician, or something else. We all have a dream within us; some are more obvious than others. Most of us would agree, follow your dreams” is not just a motivational phrase. It means something, yes, but that meaning, and the application of it, seem vague. This is especially true of you are still in the dreaming phase.
For that phrase to mean anything more to us, we have to move from dreaming to doing. That can be difficult. The path before us isn’t clear, and we don’t know exactly where we are headed. The key here is to start.
Once you start, you’ll find some roadblocks along the way to discovering and fulfilling your dreams. You are faced with two choices each time: Quit and eave “following your dreams: to another day, or humble yourself enough to push through and grow, moving you another step closer to that elusive goal.
There are many lessons to learn along the way, but there are 3 specific things that, if we recognize them and make the right choice, can give us the biggest push towards reaching our dreams.
When you finally decide to follow your dreams and start the journey to making them a reality, you learn something right away: it won’t happen overnight. It’s going to be a journey – one that will take some time. This might seem discouraging at first. It’s not fun to realize that the thing we want most cannot be attained tomorrow. But with the right perspective we can embrace the process and enjoy the journey.
It’s going to take work, and a lot of it. In fact, it will require a daily effort to improve upon the day before. We must practice daily. We must apply daily. We must build discipline in our lives and work at it each and every day. This is what separates you from the pack. This is where most people give up. Motivation fades quickly. Discipline is what will keep you going. You’ll have to ignore that voice that tells you to give up or start again later.
The beauty of this is that the daily discipline you are building is molding you into the person who can handle the magnitude of the dream when it’s realized. It’s a big thing you’re after and you must become the right person who can handle it.
There something about dreams that we all know, but never consciously think about. Whatever it is you aspire to, for it to a “dream fulfilled”, must stand out. It needs to be something that is not ordinary, but instead remarkable. It is something that you “dream about”, after all. Dreams are not small. So, whatever it is you are reaching for, to get it will require something: you will need to get good.
If you want to stand out as a writer, you need to be good. The same thing goes for anything you dream about. It will require skill that the average person doesn’t have. You have to acquire that skill through disciplined effort and an unwavering desire to learn more and practice more.
When you start out, you’ll realize something right away: you aren’t that good – at least not yet. It’s easy to take this revelation and assume it’s evidence that you are on the wrong path. But that’s not necessarily true. You are simply discovering the gap that separates you from everyone else. You simply need to get good.
This will require time. This will require discipline. This will require confidence to put out work continually and to intentionally learn and apply what’s missing. This is a tough step in the journey. You’ll have to let go of your pride a bit. You’ll have to do work that might not get noticed for a while. The result, however, if you persist, will indeed make you stand out. Your dream will become a reality, and not by accident or luck.
When we first dream about something, we do our best to imagine the outcome. We create a picture of the future to somehow bring clarity to the thing we are after. The problem is that the future you imagine in the beginning of your journey is based on your limited, current vision. You simply don’t know what you don’t know.
Along the way of pursuing your dream, you will change. You will become someone who is different than when you started. You will grow. You will think differently. You will learn things you didn’t know. You’ll see things through a different lens. This means you will make choices you didn’t anticipate. You may go down certain paths that weren’t visible from the starting line.
All in all, the end result will most likely look different that the original vision. Your dream is much bigger, and includes many more people in the end, than you’ll realize right now. This is a really good thing.
So, don’t be so set on everything turning out and looking exactly as you imagined when you begin. Be okay with change, and growth, and new paths. Your dream is bigger than you know. Let it become so.
“Follow your dreams” is good advice. The journey of doing so is much grander than we realize. If you find yourself stuck, just remember, that it’s not just a “dream” you are after, but a realization of who you can become. The dream fulfilled requires a better version of you, and that’s a beautiful thing. Keep pushing forward. Keep learning. Keep growing.