October 6, 2012 by Mike Lyles
Dreams. Goals. Ambitions. Everyone has them. Even those who say they do not, are, in essence, setting a goal to not have them. The question, however, is, what are we doing to reach the dreams and goals in life? What is stopping us from achieving the things that we want?
I have spoken to many, listened to their goals, dreams, ambitions, and I have heard the excuses as to why they are not setting the path to achieve them. And this has inspired me to compile a list that I will call “5 Reasons You Should Stop Pursuing Your Dreams”. I’m sure when you saw the title of this article, your first reaction was “Why would anyone suggest reasons to stop pursuing their dreams”. Well…..I want to provide you with something I’d like to call “The 180 Look“. That is, to take a 180 degree turn, and think differently about the roadblocks and obstacles that are continually keeping you from reaching your goals in life.
Who hasn’t heard this excuse? It’s impossible. It’s unattainable. No one has ever done it. Why do you think you can? All of these are examples of the kinda of thoughts and inputs that we have when we are considering something that may have never been accomplished before in our lives.
But I challenge you to rise above this negative thinking. The “180 Look” for this reason is simple. Tell this to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Tell this to Michael Jordan, likely the most famous basketball player of our time – if you want to read all the records he broke, you will need to set aside a long time to read through them. Tell this to Michael Phelps, who singlehandedly broke a 48-year-old Olympic record in 2012 by finishing his career with 22 medals.
2. “You do not have the skills to do it”.
How often has someone shot down your dreams by telling you that, no matter how bad you want to do something, that you don’t have the ability or the skills to accomplish it? Don’t listen to these negative comments. Many times people will disguise their jealousy as concern. Ensure that you are able to differentiate between someone who is jealous and someone who is being genuine and being sincere.
The “180 Look” you should take here is to remember that skills can be learned, but having the heart and the passion to accomplish your goals is the critical key to achieving them. Feeling that nothing can stop you and that obstacles can be overcame is more important than initially having the skills to accomplish the dream. Additionally, you should focus on things which make you happy. Examine your life. Look at your current career, your current job, school, or day-to-day activities. Are you happy doing what you do? Is this really the direction you wanted to take when you think about your dreams, goals, and ambitions? If not, then keep looking, keep experimenting with the world around you – and surely you will find the direction you want to take!
3. “You’re doing fine right where you are – you don’t need a change”.
Albert Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. If you’re stuck in a career where you feel nothing is ever going to improve, then think about change. If you’re taking courses toward an education or degree and you feel it’s not the right path for you, then change. And if you’re sitting where you are, because you feel this is as good as you can get, but you know what you want to do with your life, then consider a change. But be sure that it is something you are willing to dedicate yourself to and not give up. You have to be willing to possibly sacrifice certain things in your life to accomplish your ultimate goal.
I heard someone say once that your Human Resources department is not going to set your career and move you to where you want to go. This, obviously, is not a negative statement to our HR partners, but merely a statement to remind us that your career and your growth depends heavily on the decisions you make and the opportunities you reach out to take. The “180 Look” for you to remember is that it is important to periodically examine where you are in your career. If you are where you feel you need to be, then no changes are needed. However, if you are not where you feel you need to be, then let today be the “First Day of the BEST of Your Life“.
4. “You’re dreaming of a perfect world – you don’t really want to do this”.
To be honest, this is actually good advice. It is important for everyone to examine if they REALLY want to pursuing the goal. Weigh the options and evaluate the pros and cons of where you want to go. If you still feel it’s where you want to be, then set your sights on the accomplishment and get started!
Is there a perfect world? Probably not on this planet. But you surely can find a way to be in a world where you enjoy what you are doing if you search hard enough. The “180 Look” is for you to find things you enjoy doing, things that make you happy and give you satisfaction when you have accomplishments. Evaluate whether you are good at it or whether you need more experience, training, support, or guidance. As mentioned earlier, not having the skills nor experience is not a reason for giving up – it’s merely a reason to try harder and obtain them. And lastly, if your goal is related to your career, it’s always beneficial to seek something in which people will pay you for your work.
5. “No one will ever support you”.“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone you knew gave you their full support for all the things you do in your life? I have bad news for you. It’s never going to happen. Even the most accomplished people on the planet have had to rise above adversity, disbelief, non-support, and criticism. The “180 Look” that I beg you to consider is to never let someone else’s opinion or criticism keep you from doing something you truly cannot stop thinking about accomplishing. Sell yourself to those who don’t believe – show them it can be done – and enjoy the journey.
The purpose of this writing is to share with you how that you can overcome five of the major reasons that many will stop chasing their dreams – today, tomorrow, and in the future. I challenge you to never give up, and if you really want to accomplish something, then set your path, and begin.
It has been said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Start walking!