Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I wish I could...

Do you ever find yourself saying, "I wish I could [insert dream/goal here]"?  

But then you start to think of the reasons why you can't.  Too busy with work/school/something else.  Not sure I really have the talent to do that.  How are others going to view me if I do that?  Don't have the money to do that.

Even if you decide to try it, people around you aren't quite sure how to react to your new endeavor.  Your first attempt doesn't go well, so you're just not sure you should pursue it.  Maybe you really aren't cut out to do it.  If this is something you've experienced, you're not alone.  Many people never realize their true calling because they fail to believe in themselves.  And the truth is...

No one is going to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself.  

If you want to realize a goal, think big.  Look around at role models.  Figure out what they do and start doing it.  What most people don't consider when they see a famous athlete, actor, artist, etc. is that famous people typically weren't always famous.  Most of them worked hard to hone their skills and more than likely, failed many times before they succeeded.  And along the way, you can be sure there were people who told them, "Don't pursue it.  It's too risky.  Very few people ever become big time."

What most people don't realize is that making it to the big time is great, but even if you make it to the "medium" time, you can live comfortably and happily, because you're doing what you love.  And if you're in the medium time, the big time is much closer than it used to be.

At this point, you might be saying, "That's great, Brant, but I just don't have the time to do anything.  I work 12 hours a day to support my family and keep a roof over my head."  I understand that.  I have three kids.  However, my reply to that would be this question:  How important is this goal/dream?  If it's truly important to you, you'd be surprised what your family is willing to sacrifice to let you pursue it.  I'm not saying quit your job and let everyone go hungry.  I'm just saying that often times, it just takes a lifestyle change to free up money (no cable, cheaper car, smaller house, etc.).  When you free up money, you might consider a different job, because you don't need as much money to live.  A different job could free up time.  And free time is what you need to focus on your dream.

Too often, we pursue material objects as a source of happiness.  Since we're always paying for or saving up for material things, we are handcuffed from trying anything new and different.  If you want to go after a dream, you have to remove those handcuffs.

I know it's easy to say I'm going to rearrange my life to pursue my dream, but it's not easy to actually do it.   It typically means changing the way you live and being different than others around you.  This generates internal and social turmoil in your life.  However, in my experience, any major change I've made in my life takes about a month to get used to.  It's going to feel strange and a bit scary at first, but if you can push through the initial shock of the change, you'll become accustomed to it.  And the people around you will too.

Once you've gotten yourself in a postion to follow your dream, you need to remember that it will be an uphill battle that will likely take awhile.   But as the great Babe Ruth once said, "You just can't beat the person who never gives up."  Persistance.  Persistance.  Persistance.  Not just for a month, not just for a year, but in perpetuity.

So the next time you find yourself saying, "I wish I could", remember the three P-words:

  1. Position - You have to be in the position to pursue.  Remove the unnecessary stuff from your life.  It's holding you back.
  2. Pursue - You have to take the steps to go after your goal.  Model the behavior of others that you wish to emulate.  Believe that you can do it.
  3. Persist - Press onward.  Learn from mistakes.  Try again.  Never stop trying to get better.
Decide on a goal/dream you want to pursue, position yourself properly to do so, and go for it.  You'll be happy you did.

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