Hello! Hope you all are having a great week so far. Ours has been pretty busy and a little bit crazy because we are moving this weekend – just down the road from our current place, but still, everything has to be packed into boxes all the same! Fun times. Luckily by now I’ve become a pro when it comes to packing and moving, so it’s been pretty easy so far. I saved all the boxes from our last move [exactly one year ago this month] so all we had to do was rebuild them and start packing. Needless to say, we’ve been making progress. But, I do want to give you a heads-up that I may not be posting again until next week sometime. Apart from moving, the screen on my MacBook broke unexpectedly, making it really difficult to read or type anything [please excuse any grammatical errors – it is a bit difficult to proofread anything at this time]. Not sure exactly when I will be able to get it fixed, or how long that will take – bare with me here! So, with moving and a broken Mac, it might be a few days before I am back up and running again. Just wanted to let you know, so you didn’t think I just disappeared on y’all 🙂
I talked a few days ago about how it’s important to go after your dreams and passions now instead of putting things off for a better or more convenient time. While I realize this is much easier said than done, and I am still in the process of turning this concept into a reality in my own life, I thought I would give you a few pointers that I have learned throughout my journey with this blog/pursuing writing in general:
1. People aren’t always going to agree with everything you do, or how you do it. Everyone is on their own journey, and is in the process of pursuing their own unique dreams and passions. Just because someone doesn’t necessarily agree with or understand your dream, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it. In the end, you and God are the only ones who really understand your unique passions and dreams, so be true to those dreams and passions, regardless of how others might feel.
2. Nothing happens overnight. You may feel really fired up and passionate about pursuing and accomplishing your dream, but no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to see instantaneous results. You’re not going to write a novel overnight, nor are you going to be able to finish running a marathon with no training. Your start-up company won’t instantly make millions, and neither will your blog’s Facebook fan page reach 500,000 like within the first day of its existence. It takes time, patience, personal investment, and often sacrifice, but the end result will be worth all the initial struggles. Nothing that’s worth having comes easily, and nothing that comes easily is worth having. Something like that.
3. Don’t get discouraged. Going along with my last point, it’s easy to become discouraged or beat yourself up when you’re not seeing the results you would like. But allowing discouragement to creep in only makes things more difficult in the long run, and often leads to giving up entirely. Be confident in the fact that you are doing something that matters. You are pursuing your dream, and that in its self should be worth it, regardless of how long it takes to finally reach the finish line.
4. Devise a plan for dealing with distractions. Ever find it really hard, nay, impossible to focus on what you should be doing? It seems like distractions are all around, and it would be so much easier to watch T.V. or read a magazine than it would be to work on increasing traffic to your blog, write a rough outline for your novel, or read an article on Search Engine Optimization. But, you gotta do what you gotta do! You’re not going to succeed if you don’t put in the effort. Don’t allow yourself to indulge in distractions if you have real work to do – you’ll be upset later that you spent your time watching T.V. instead of creating that start-up business that would have allowed you to work from home with financial freedom. Prioritize the things you want most above the things that are convenient in the moment.
5. That being said, you need to take a break every once in a while. You’ve worked really hard all weekend on building up your clientele or creating a great website – take a break! Do something active, or something that will give your mind a break for a little while. You can’t just work on something constantly without taking a break and expect to not experience burnout. Taking breaks is healthy, and will allow you to be more productive in the long run. One of my favorite mental breaks is exercise, especially running. Well, right now I mainly walk because my shin is recovering, but that’s another story. Or, if it’s been a really long day, and we’ve gotten a lot done, James and I will go out and get FroYo or watch a movie, or go downtown for a little bit to walk around. Setting goals and rewarding yourself after achieving them is crucial to lasting success.
6. Don’t be afraid of success. This might sound strange, but it really is a real fear! People can definitely be afraid of succeeding, just as much as they are afraid of failing. What will I do when I become successful? How am I going to manage my new business? How am I going to deal with the pressure? Wouldn’t it just be easier to keep doing what I’m doing instead? Easier maybe, but the feeling you’ll get after accomplishing your dream will far surpass any easiness you may be experiencing in the present. When it comes down to it, the fear of success is really just the fear of the unknown. It’s just like starting a new job or moving to a new city. It’s scary at first because you don’t know how it will be, or how you will fit in. But, in order to get anywhere in life, you’re going to have to take the plunge and dive into the unknown. Not trying at all, or settling for your current circumstance, is much scarier than success.
7. Network. Do lots of networking. I’ll admit this is something I’m not all that good at. James is much better at it than I am. I’d much rather just sit at my computer and type away. However, if all I ever do is type, no one will ever read it! I have to get out there, do some networking, do some marketing, and get over that initial introverted-ness that I so often experience. So far in my attempts at networking, I’ve discovered that people really are nice individuals, they too are looking for networking opportunities, and, like you, might be a little shy at first in asking for help. If you’re good at networking, then you are one step ahead of me here. I’m getting better at it, but I definitely need to work on it in order to see this blog grow.
So there you have it. Seven tips for going after your dreams NOW. Don’t wait until you no longer feel any motivation to start. Take the passion that is burning inside of you and choose to do something about it today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Today. You can do it!