It’s often not easy. Most of the time it is very difficult. There will be obstacles, but the final success will make you forget them.
Learning life lessons is essential if you are to grow as a person. In a continuation of my I’ve Learned Series, today’s post offers motivation for you to keep pursuing your dreams.
Some life lessons will help you cope with tragedy and discouragement. Many will help you live peaceably while being more empathic and compassionate. Still others, the ones you will read about today, will give you the push you need to get started and keep going.
Whether you are dreaming of being a published author, a renowned stage actor or just a few pounds lighter, these quotes will help get you moving.
It is easy to put off a dream or goal because we are not where we think we should be. Have you ever said any of these things?
· I will do it when I get a little older and have more time.
· I will start when my kids are grown.
· I will start exercising on January 1st.
· I will start when the weather gets warmer.
· I will start when I’m in a better position financially.
There are lots of reasons to put off your dreams. The truth is, there will never be the perfect time or circumstances. Start here. Start now.
Success never happens overnight. Start today in the direction you want to go. Tomorrow, you will wake up one step closer to your goal.
You already have your dream. The final prize is clearly in your mind. Setting goals is about more than just setting the ultimate destination. Success is achieved through reaching many smaller goals. These small goals serve as footholds and milestones that are an important part of your journey.
Even small goals are important.
Suppose your ultimate goal is to write a novel. Most novels are in the range of 80,000-100,000 words. Very few people could pump out that many words in a day. Most can’t even do it in a week.
That’s why you start with smaller goals.
If you want to write a 100,000-word novel in a year, that means you need to write 275 words per day. Writing 275 words isn’t nearly as daunting as 100,000. Up to this point in this post you have already read 350 words. It’s not that much to commit to writing each day. It’s a realistic and achievable goal.
The same is true for every goal. Break your goal down into its smallest parts. Then set each of those parts as a goal that you can knock off one by one.
Look for Opportunity
A few lucky people are born into wealth and privilege. Due to their family legacy, they have all the tools they need to work towards virtually any goal. Or at least the means to buy the tools.
The rest of us usually like to wait for opportunity to find us. Stop waiting and start actively looking for opportunities.
I got started in the financial services field completely by chance. One day, while visiting one of my neighbors at his office, I noticed an abundance of files scattered around in piles on the floor.
Often not the most tactful person, I made a comment about them and how unprofessional they looked.
My friend explained that he desperately needed a new filing system, but his entire staff was so busy that no one had time to work on it. I had some free time in my schedule, so I offered to spend a few hours a week putting things in order.
That simple act led to a twenty-year career in financial services.
The point here is that opportunity is all around us. Rarely does it come and knock on our door, but if we keep our eyes and minds open, we will see opportunity all around us.
Look around your life for the opportunities you need that will help you achieve your dreams.
Forget Your Age
A lie that people like to tell themselves, especially as they get older, is that they aren’t the right age to pursue their dream. That lie is complete garbage.
In my life I have had the pleasure of watching friends achieve their goals, even starting late in life. One friend started taking piano lessons when she was nearly 60. She is a very accomplished pianist today. Another friend about the same age started taking art classes. His paintings now garner more attention than those from painters with decades of experience.
Browse the internet and you will find stories of many octogenarians that have started running marathons, taken up sky diving or gone back to school.
You are not too young or too old to start a new goal. Get that thought out of your head.
Walt Disney was famous for saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Forget your age. It’s only a number.
Leave the Past in the Past
Another obstacle people put in the way of their dreams is the past. Maybe you tried to lose weight before but then gained it all back. Perhaps you started a business and it didn’t succeed. You might have started writing a book that you never finished.
All those things are okay. There is nothing you can do to change them. Stop letting them halt your future progress.
Tomorrow is a blank page. Nothing from yesterday needs to color it. Choose for tomorrow to be the day that gets you closer to your goal.
Now that the past is behind you, and you have your goal broken down into more manageable parts, it’s time for action.
Do at least one thing every day to move you forward. It doesn’t have to be a huge task. But do something every day.
Sometimes it might be just making a decision.
For instance, if you are starting a blog, one of the things most bloggers struggle with is picking a domain name. Your goal for today could be to make a list of possible names. If you already have a list, today’s assignment could be to pick one and sign up with a hosting company.
Reaching a goal isn’t about making big strides every day. Doing so might get you there faster, but any forward movement is just that – forward movement.
Do one thing today that moves you forward and count today as a win.
Leave Fear Behind
It’s a crazy truth, but many people never achieve their dreams because they are afraid of success. Singer song-writers may fear that fame will change their lives in negative ways. Actors may fear that they won’t be able to keep the momentum after one big success. Authors fear that they might not have another good book in them.
Fear also rears its ugly head from the other direction. An author might fear publishing a book that no one reads or likes. I venture that every author feels that way, at least with their very first book.
An artist may fear that no one will understand or like their art. A musician might fear that no one will connect with their songs.
Don’t let fear stop you. Most things we fear will never happen.
There are more than 7-billion people on the planet. 7 billion! Many of them are going to like what you do no matter how good or bad it is.
Think of some of the worst films you have ever seen. Probably they all have some sort of cult following that love the film.
And if you don’t succeed? That’s not even an option. If you reach your goal, whatever that goal is, you have already succeeded. That success will change everything else in a good way.
Imagine that your dream is to build a boat and sail across the ocean. You work hard for months or years in crafting an excellent vessel. If you never put that boat in the water and actually set sail, your dream will never reach its true fulfillment.
Many writers do this with books. They write books, sometimes dozens of them, but then they never pursue publication. One writer share on Twitter recently that she has a whole wall of books she wrote and never pursued.
Most likely fear comes back into play here, but I cannot say that for sure. I myself have written at least five books, but only one is published. Getting that one published with a struggle that I stopped many time. You can read my experience here.
Reaching a milestone is not the place to stop. Keep your goal in front of you always. Then keep moving forward.
If you already have the boat finished, now is the time to get in the water.
The brutal truth is that failure is an integral part of success. But failure never has to be the end. Just because something doesn’t succeed the first time, or even the second or hundredth time, doesn’t mean that it never will.
Nearly all the biggest achievements in the world arrived with a past littered with numerous failures. Thomas Edison is a famous example. For each of his world-changing successes were thousands of ideas that had not worked.
To read more about Thomas Edison and perseverance, read my post 7 Reasons to Never Give Up.
What’s necessary is to change your mindset. Expect you will have at least some failures during your journey. Then, when they happen, meditate on what you can learn from the failure and move on.
Your dream is still achievable.
Perhaps the biggest barrier to success is procrastination. Continually putting off the steps that need to be completed to reach your goal keeps your prize forever out of arm’s reach.
The good news is procrastination is another thing that is in your control. There is a great post about how to beat procrastination. 4 Ways to Beat Procrastination – With Frogs gives you four easy things you can do to change your procrastinating habit .
Resolve that you will keep moving forward. Set deadlines for yourself and do everything in your power to achieve them.
It’s Up to You
Only you can do what needs to be done. No matter how many online courses you pay for, how many classes your take or how many personal trainers you see, at the end of the day you are the only one that can do what needs to be done. You are the one that needs to write, exercise or eat better.
You have the ability to reach your goal. Remind yourself of that daily. Hourly if you have to. It is possible. You can do it.
No matter what happens along the pathway to achieving your dream, don’t give up. There will be bad days. There might be bad weeks and months. I’ve even had bad years. But don’t let anything stop you from moving forward.
Even if circumstances cause your project to stall for a while, as soon as possible, get moving again.
Remember that the small things count.
If your goal was to fill a bucket with rocks, big rocks would get the job done quicker. But even the smallest rocks tossed into the bucket add to the whole.
Acknowledge the small successes as well as the big ones. Each one is moving you toward reaching your dream.
You got this.
This post contains just a few of the quotes that have helped to reaffirm this life lesson in my mind. Are there quotes that keep you motivated? Please share them in the comments below.