Ever wondered how successful people make it happen? What makes them different from everyone else?
It’s not as complicated as it seems. In fact the knowledge for how to chase your dreams is surprisingly straight forward . So let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
The First Step is Always the Hardest
For some reason (unbeknownst to me) there appears to be a stigma attached to having high expectations of oneself and going after such standards of achievement with full force. Now that I come to think of it, I believe they call it competitiveness. The truth is that those who shut you down, criticise you or call you out for being overly ambitious are essentially nothing more than fearful. Fearful of others’ success – moreover, your success. That’s okay. They will spend more energy hating on your dreams than creating your own, leaving you all the time and effort in the world to pursue positivism in your own life.
Recognising this is not always easy – but once achieved, you’re halfway there. It isn’t easy to say what you want in life and go after it – for fear of failure or for fear of criticism – but once you’ve been honest with yourself and others about what you want in your life, you allow yourself to go after it.
A Plan of Action
The next step is a logical one. Having a goal is one thing, but having a detailed outline of how you will achieve it is like putting down a hefty downpayment and saying “now I’m gonna do it… & here’s how”. An intricately designed POA (plan of action) should take time, consideration and planning in itself. Yes, that’s right, you’re planning to make plans. But this detailed vision will drive you to success every step of the way because after all —
It takes 20 years to create an overnight success
– Eddie Cantor
The Attack Phase
So you’re declared it to the world (and yourself), so now its time for world domination. So what next? Let’s call this “The Attack Phase”. Characteristics of TAP include: sleepless nights, 15 hour workdays, waking up one morning to realise you haven’t had a day off in 3 months, endless research on the interwebs, mindmaps, mood boards, pin boards, to-do lists, networking…. and all round madness. But the attack phase is where it all comes together and takes place before your eyes. You don’t get to the good stuff until you put in the hard yards… so how badly do you want it?
While many will tell you “all good things come with time”, they are only partially right. If you do the attack phase right you wont’ have a spare minute your day to step back and monitor your progress. You’ll see how far you have come when one day someone makes a passing comment on your overnight success and you grin to yourself modestly, disregard the naivety and graciously thank them for the compliment of sorts.
Don’t lose momentum
One of the most important things to remember during and immediately after the attack phase (when you’ve received some recognition for your work) is to never lose momentum. Without being overly competitive, its important to remember that anything you can do, someone else can do better. That thought should terrify and motivate you.
Goals, Goals, Higher Goals
Steve Jobs had it right with the following quote –
Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.
It should never be about the hurdles you face or even those you have overcome, it should always be about the future – aiming higher, achieving more, being brighter and being better.
Never Give Up
There will of course be days where you don’t believe in your dreams, question them, rethink them, lose sight in them or even deem them a failure. But failure is good – it makes the next attempt better. Try it again and fail better. Fail until you succeed. Fail for the sake of failing. Don’t be afraid of failing – it is undeniably the biggest drawback to success because if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Never give up on your dreams. If you don’t chase them, someone else will.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.