Virtually every one of us has dreams and aspirations. For some, it is a long held dream of landing a particular job. Some other person`s dream is to win an Olympics gold medal. For yet another person, it would be a-dream-come-true if he or she earns an MBA. There is of course an under-ground artiste who dreams of becoming a celebrated and award-winning music artiste. Our dreams are myriad and varied. Some dreams are realized with little to no effort. Others require lots of hard work and determination, and would demand that we keep pushing for a prolonged period. While some persons eventually attain their dreams and are currently living their dreams, there are those who exit this life without their dreams ever seeing the light of day. There are those who in the course of time turned their dreams into reality only to make a mess of it. There are however some of us who are dreaming big and still in pursuit of those dreams. Certain factors militate against such pursuits and I have sought to expatriate on a couple of these pitfalls in hope that we would guard against them as much as practicable. Our ability to safely deal with these factors will largely impact on whether or not our dreams will metamorphose into reality.
1. Self doubt
For some of us, the slightest cogitations of our dreams bring to us emotions of inadequacy, hopelessness and pessimism. The very magnitude of our dreams by our estimation seems unattainable. We tend to think that such a dream or aspiration is only attainable by a certain class of people. A low self esteem is at play here and the earlier it is dealt with the better. You will not as much as dare to take a step towards your dreams and even where you have mustered enough courage to take a couple of steps, you back track with a bundle of excuses.
For your information, many inventions and notable accomplishments have been the handiwork of some persons who were hitherto considered unintelligent and unschooled. Talk of Thomas Edison the phenomenal inventor, Isaac Newton the brilliant scientist, Beethoven the enigmatic composer and several others. If only you had a true picture of your capabilities, self doubt will hastily find an exit. You will dream big dreams and work to ensure that those dreams see the light of day.
The fear of failure is crippling in its effects. You have always dreamt from when you were a teenager to be a best-selling novelist and have over time written some scripts but have never dared to approach a publishing house to have your book published. Why is that? Your fear of rejection or failure seems to be holding you back. You fear your manuscript will be rejected or perhaps if even it gets published, the novel will become a total flop. Well, the best antidote to this fear is to take action. Do what you fear to do. Submit your manuscript to a publishing house, in this instance. You may succeed but even if you fail, it may really be to your credit. You learn from your failures and try yet again. Many of the world`s grand high fliers encountered massive initial setbacks and would have been deemed failures if they had not learnt from their mistakes, and kept at it until resounding success became their lot.
Many of us get side-tracked while in hot pursuit of our dreams, goals and aspirations. We sometimes get side-tracked by a temporary setback. We get side-tracked by events and situations that may have nothing to do with our dreams. However, once we focus on these distractions, our energies that could have been channeled towards the pursuit of our dreams are re-directed towards those distractions. For some, such distractions throw them off balance to the point of dashing their dreams while for others these distractions cause avoidable delays and temporary setbacks as it were. The reality is that, we tend to make significant progress while we give our undivided attention to that which we pursue and if only we can maintain such steadfast focus, many of our dreams will be attained, the distractions and challenges notwithstanding. A perceptive mind has aptly noted, “Where focus goes, energy flows” and I perfectly agree with that observation.
Complacency sets in when we feel we have arrived; the dream is well within reach and that we are so close to achieving our dreams. Complacency may also set in when we attain a particular goal, dream or aspiration. This tends to be the case when we are able to chalk some visible successes in the pursuit of our dreams. Here is this up and coming musical talent who dreams of becoming an international sensation; he dreams of winning international musical awards and receiving world acclaim as it were. He has worked so hard honing his talent and branding him self. In the course of time, he wins an award for his phenomenal musical works. The sad reality is that he seems to now think that he has arrived and this gradually begins to take a toll on his work ethic; his cogitations is that he can perform with less discipline, effort and time. Before long, his initial dream of becoming a force to reckon with on the international stage begins to grow deem. He gradually begins to produce inferior musical works and his musical career takes a noose dive.
The point is this, irrespective of your field of endeavor and your peculiar dream, never get too complacent. You should never get complacent even where you are in reality living your dream. Dream bigger dreams and keep doing what you did that inured to your benefit, bringing you thus far. Perhaps it may even be more appropriate do more of what you did that worked so well for you; invest more time and effort into your craft. Complacency will do you no good.
Regrettably, some well-meaning persons never get to the point where they put wheels to their dreams. They are constantly dreaming and yet never bringing themselves to actually begin working towards the attainment of those dreams. Such persons keep shifting the goal post. They tell themselves, “tomorrow I will get registered with a gem and begin exercising to keep fit.” Well, that tomorrow never comes. There is no way your dreams can become realities if you fold your hands as it were and keep procrastinating where it comes to actually working your dreams. With such an attitude your dreams will only remain dreams and nothing more.
It is very easy to get discouraged when in spite of all your best efforts, your dreams, goals and aspirations seem to see the light of day. It is as though the closer you get to your dreams, the further away it gets. You put in lots of work over a prolonged period of time but your dreams remain beyond your reach. Well, you feel discouraged and may have all the reasons at this point to give up in the pursuit of your dreams. Admittedly many give up on their dreams at this point and you would neither be the first nor the last. The point however is that, some persons were so close to achieving their goals (without their knowledge) when they quit principally because they allowed discouragement to set in. When discouraged, encourage yourself some how. Surround yourself with optimists; people who belief in you and will encourage you. Read books, watch videos and listen to tapes that will inspire you to reach for higher heights the odds notwithstanding. If your dream is wholesome, noble and worth-while, keep at it. Many dreams that eventually saw the light of day were that of those who refused to quit even though they felt discouraged sometimes.
Persistence as earlier discussed is vital. However, there are instances where it can become counter-productive and I will show you how. There are times when in spite of all our best efforts, wisdom requires that we give up on certain dreams, goals and aspirations. As much as we would love to believe that every dream is within our reach, this is sometimes not feasible or may not be the right thing to do. And when it becomes quite obvious that a given dream is unattainable, it will be best to give up on that dream and dream yet another dream; adjust your dream.
The sad reality is that some persons simply never want to give up on their dreams even where it becomes apparent that such dreams are simply unattainable or perhaps not the right thing to do. For instance, Kelvin has been your childhood friend. You dreamt of getting married to Kelvin some day. You did all you could within the confines of morality and decency to get him to take you to the altar. Lo and behold, Kelvin chose to marry Priscilla. In this instance, it will be wise to give up on your dream at this point. You may adjust your dream; dream of marrying a man who may perhaps treat you better than Kelvin would have. The obstinate person will hold fast to her dream of getting married to Kelvin to the point where she would be willing to do anything under the sun to see her dream come true; even if it requires ensuring a marital break up and in a worse case scenario, ensuring the murder of Priscilla. This is how deadly obstinacy can be sometimes. What more can I state other than recapitulate: Dream big and work at it. And while you do so, steer clear of the pitfall of obstinacy and the several others discussed in this write-up. You will be the better for it.
Author: Daniel Dela Dunoo (Freelance writer/editor, blogger, published author)
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org