Time: it’s a funny thing isn’t it? When we think about it, we feel like we’ve got loads of the stuff! Everything seems so far away. Yet before we know it, it’s all come around so fast! ‘One day’ become today and if you’re not careful and you don’t take action, all of those dreams that you have- don’t actually ever get to become reality. See on average we have 28,835 days on this earth (thats 79 years)- it varies from year to year, also depending on your country, circumstances, health and actually: how lucky you are. Some of us are blessed with more day, some unfortunately have far less. But that’s the thing- we never actually know how many we’ve got. The video above puts it into perspective in terms of jelly beans. Pretty powerful right? Yet how many of us know these things, watch this kind of stuff, yet don’t actually make any changes? How many of us settle for what’s ‘easy’ or ‘normal’ instead of pushing for what we really want?
This time four years ago I was working 9-5 at a start-up company, 18 miles from my old family home in a small countryside town. I’d wake up at 6.30am every morning, drag my feet out of bed (it really was a struggle- mornings are not my thing!), shower, clean my teeth, scrape whatever makeup I could bother to put on and head out for -what should have been- a 40 minute drive; only to get stuck in traffic for an extra 20 minutes, trapped amongst everyone else doing exactly the same thing as me. I’d then sit at a desk for 8 hours, bobbing out occasionally on my 30 minute break, or sometimes not even managing that, instead: just scrolling through Facebook aimlessly during lunchtime, following what everyone else was doing in their life and longing for mine to be different. I’d then drive the same route back, again getting stuck in the same old traffic, have little time left for myself by the time I got home; then get ready to do it all over again the next day.
Mundane… I guess that’s the best way to describe it. I mean don’t get me wrong, I was lucky to have the job that I had- it was a good position, with great opportunities for progression and the people in the company were absolutely awesome! The problem was: it just wasn’t me. And deep down, I’d always known it.
See, back then- I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life. I’d just finished full time education and jumped straight into work, following the standard route people tend to go down. It was what students were all working towards, and I’d managed to do it years ahead. But inside, I longed for more. I wanted to work for myself, I wanted to be able to do things that really made an impact on others. I had big dreams- so big in fact, I was afraid to even tell anyone, for fear of them laughing at me.
Yet here I am… Just years later, earning triple (often quadruple!) the amount I had done in a full-time marketing role, running my own business, working from anywhere in the world, with huge freedom and flexibility in my lifestyle- AND actually doing things that I’m actually really passionate about! It’s literally a dream. Only it’s not one that’s too good to be true. And I’m not saying it’s always been easy, but even when it gets tough now: I still wouldn’t have it any other way! If you’d have told me I’d be able to get to where I am, and as soon as I have, I’d never have believed you! But it’s real. And you could make it your reality too.
So, What Stops People From Pursuing Their Dreams?
Well, to put it bluntly now, we can have all the excuses we like, justifying them as ‘reasons’ to sooth out own conscience. Ultimately though, the only thing stopping us from following our passion and going after our goals, is ourselves and our fear. Trust me…
- Fear of failing
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of what others will think
- Fear of how it will affect your family, or your friendships
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of financial instability
- Fear of actually: putting yourself first for once
- Fear of working damn flipping hard and not getting anything back!
Because hey: I’m not saying that even if you do start to follow your dreams, you’ll always achieve them. In fact, there’s no guarantee (just like in all things in life!)
But, I promise you– the second you start following the path that feels right for you, going after it with everything you’ve got (because being half-hearted certainly isn’t going to get you there)– only then will it start to take you in the direction you was always meant to go. And don’t scoff, thinking I’m getting all deep, believing in fate and things like that (although I guess do to some degree), but the more you do, the more opportunities it will lead to and the more you will then be able to go on to achieve.
Take Bill Gates for example. The richest person in the WHOLE WORLD. Yet, his first business failed. And it failed bad. It was called the Traf-O-Data… I know- what a name! It was a device that could read traffic tapes and process the data, yet when he went to sell it- the thing didn’t even work! Did Bill give up? Let it knock him down or defeat him? Of course not. In fact, his business partner -Paul Allen- later went on to explain that despite it not being the success they’d hoped for ‘it was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later.’ See, life’s a journey. Every decision we make, every path we take- it’s shaping our destiny and our future.
But how can you expect to go where you really want to be, if you aren’t willing to take those first steps to get there?
I have learnt so so much these past few years, honestly, but to leave you with just a few final lessons, I would say:
- Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone Will Be Scary: That’s why it’s there; it’s trying to test you and put you off. But that’s all the more reason to do it! The hardest step is always the first one, but the more you push yourself to do, the more you can then go on to do and the more you will want to do! Does that make sense?! It’s like a chain reaction. Every time you overcome something new, you grow. And gradually, it starts to shape you into the person you’ve not only always wanted to be, but the person you’re really meant to be. Honestly, it’s true.
- It Won’t Be an Easy Ride: Depending on what you want to do, or how big those dreams are- the chances are, it will not be simple. You’ll experience challenge after challenge, hit roadblocks and sometimes be left questioning “why did I even try?!” But you have to remember: the man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there, and nothing worth having comes easy. It’s all about attitude and mindset; how you deal with things when it ‘all goes wrong’ and whether you’re just going to enjoy the process- to keep pushing on!
- Nothing Is Stopping You, Not Really: For every person who’s said “I can’t”, or “It’s not possible”, there is someone who has gone out there -in similar situations or even more challenging ones- and done all of it and more. Take control of your mind, your reasoning and your beliefs; knowing that only you hold the key to your success & happiness and if you want it bad enough- nothing will stand in your way.
So what are you waiting for? Ready to go after everything you want and more?! Post your thoughts and goals in the comments box below… Make that statement, that commitment, and take some sort of action towards it today.
This life you want: it’s well within reach. The world is yours… You just have to go out there and grab it!
Thanks for reading.
P.S. I’ve partnered with Good Loop, the ethical ads platform. Watch this short video to donate to a charity of your choice for free…