“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but those dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible”. T.E. Lawrence
Everyone has aspirations of some kind. After all, no one wakes up in the morning and wants to fail. No one drives to work looking to do a bad job. We all wake up with great intentions, and say to ourselves, “today, I want to make a difference.” That’s the easy part. The free part. A dream is just an idea, and great ideas are nothing without action.
One of the interesting things about being human is that we tend to judge ourselves based on our intentions, not our actions. We live in this fictional world that we create in our heads through self-narration. That little voice in the back of our mind is always talking, and always making judgements. We’re seeing other peoples actions, and judging them for it, some conscious, some sub-conscious. It can be what shirt they have on, to how they should be interacting with their own children. But there in lies the main difference; we judge them based on what they did. When we’re passing the same kind of judgement on ourselves, we pass that judgement based on what we thought, or intended to do. That’s why when something goes wrong, a person will rationalize it as not being the outcome they were intending to cause.
Moving intentions to action is where the ultra-successful differ from the rest of the world. It’s a fear thing. People are worried they’ll look bad if they try and fail. What if someone offered to pay you to pursue something you dislike (even LOATH) for years and years? Would you say yes and take the money or take a small risk to go for your dreams? Let me ask that differently; If the pain and frustration of not realizing your dreams after you gave it your all is a 3 out of 10, being as you really don’t risk THAT MUCH to begin with, then what on earth are you doing slugging your way through something that you dislike which is a seemingly-permanent 8 out of 10??? I’m not quite sure why, but it’s for some reason easier for people to do!
If you did go for it…
So let’s say you went all in tomorrow on following your dreams, and you failed. What’s going to happen? So if you have to quit your job to pursue your dream, you’d be without income temporarily. I’m going to make a wild prediction that you could get rehired into the same field, at a competitor, and actually make more money! At the least, you’ll be able to get a job. Now if you happen to enjoy your job, and/or you don’t have to quit your job to get started, what’s holding you back? Right, you don’t have the time. Such a poor excuse that we all just accept. I challenge you to list three things that you did yesterday that didn’t improve your life. Ok now remove those from your day, how much time do you have?
So assume you failed, and had to get a job that you’re not passionate about to pay the bills. Imagine the story you’d get to tell your co-workers of chasing something that you love! You’ll earn some serious respect! I’m also willing to bet that you’re a bit stubborn too, so it wouldn’t be a “fail” as much as a “regrouping”!
Now imagine you retire from your miserable career that you suffered through for 40 years, at the pain level of 8 out of 10 and the whole time you made excuses of why you couldn’t chase your passion. Man that’s a long prison sentence!
Next week I’m going to talk about if you fall into the category of already pursuing your dream, and not making the progress you want.