It happens to a lot of us. We reach that point in life where we realize our dreams. Something we would absolutely LOVE to do. That dream in which you can’t even put into words as to the level of happiness you would feel once that dream happens. It could be something shorter-term, such as losing weight, or a dream you could see doing for the rest of your life, as in that “dream” career or job.
Once we realize these dreams, then comes the time figure out how to work toward them. There are a ton of different ways to get there and many times, that journey is part of the fun as well. On top of that, in most cases, we see someone who is where we’re trying to get to and that person or those people become that inspiration for you to keep pushing. You see that they’ve done it; why can’t you?
Inevitably, once we start working toward these dreams, people around us learn about what we’re doing. Sometimes, they’ll cheer you on…
…other times, not so much.
Reaching goals to achieve your dreams is difficult enough. I’d like to believe we all realize this. Every day is a grind. Some days are better than others. It feels out of reach. You can’t quit your day job as you’re working toward that dream, so the seemingly impossible task is finding time each day to make it happen.
Needless to say, not everyone has the drive to work toward making a dream happen. That’s their choice. However, if you’re someone who does have that dream in you and are ready to roll up your sleeves to make it happen, you may encounter those who, as stated above, will quickly be in your corner.
As for those who don’t care for chasing their dreams, some of these folks could be in your cheering section, but far too often, many of them, due to their lack of motivation, attempt to influence you to take the route that they’ve chosen. In other words, they’ve given up on or don’t have dreams, so they feel it’s appropriate to try and persuade you to be in the same boat. After all, it didn’t work for them, so why should it work for you?
When it comes to people like that, just remember one thing: Those who say “It will never happen” are speaking of their limitations; not YOURS.
One thing I’ve noticed in my life is that pretty much most of the time, when people try to shut down the dreams of others, they are often the people who are the furthest away from whatever the dream is. In other words, let’s say someone wants to be a professional football player. I would notice that most of those who say it will never happen are those who aren’t even aware of what it would take to get there. They have no idea that that person is training hard every single day along with studying game film and consulting with coaches, other players and so on to learn. They just see someone who “doesn’t look the part” and figures that it obviously won’t happen.
Speaking of myself, I am an aspiring screenwriter. That is my absolute dream right now. There is nothing more I would love to do at the conclusion of my Army career in a few years than to write for movies and/or television. I love to write. Now anyone who says that this will never happen for me couldn’t have the slightest clue as to the reason it won’t. Here’s why.
Unless you are reading this or are someone who I’ve talked at length about with this, you don’t know what my work ethic is. You have no idea what kind of writer I am. You don’t know the work and effort I put into this every single day and many times, several hours a day AND night. You don’t know what education I have or what research I’ve done to become a screenwriter. You don’t know as to the people I’ve consulted to help me along the way. You don’t know how long I’ve been a writer. You don’t know how much I absolutely LOVE this. No…all you know is that it’s something that would be insanely difficult and because you wouldn’t have the drive or determination to do it, then it means others should be there as well. I’ve even noticed that some who claim to be writers (they talk about it but don’t actually DO much of it) would also be the type to try and shut this down. There are even those who haven’t succeeded at it and rather than going back to the drawing board and giving it another go, they not only give up, but they influence others with the mindset of, “Well, it was too hard for me to accomplish…so it’ll probably be too difficult for you, too.”
Don’t listen to any of that. In pretty much every case, there is someone else out there doing or have done what you are trying to accomplish. So it CAN be done. The difficulty, for the most part will vary, but the effort to get there is all on you. THAT will determine your success…NOT those who didn’t make it, who gave up, or don’t have dreams of their own.
I know, I know…”But Robert, statistics show that…” Forget statistics. The hell with odds. My mantra has always been that odds are for those people looking for an excuse to quit. Odds are also used as a weapon for those who have not succeeded to try and influence you to believe you won’t, either. But as I stated above, you don’t know if you and that person trying to get you to quit went about it the same exact way. Their lack of success has absolutely NO bearing on yours, no matter what they try to tell you.
Think about people running a race. Do you honestly think that they all put the exact same amount of effort into training? Do you think all their mindsets are the same? Do they all run the same speed? Have they all been training for the same number of months or years? Are they all the same age? There are so many variables involved that again, one person’s success or lack thereof means nothing as far as you are concerned.
For me, I’m beaten to death with my odds of screenwriting success just about every day, both by those who have succeeded to some degree, by those who haven’t and by those who don’t even know what screenwriting is. But what these people don’t know is that as far as those statistics are concerned, just as with my running example, everyone is not on the same page as I am. Some people have worked harder than others. Some have better connections. Some believe that writing isn’t a craft that needs to be worked on each and every day. Many are NOT openminded to suggestions and improvements. There are LOT of reasons a person isn’t successful at this and there is absolutely nothing to say that all or even ANY of it is what I do (or don’t do) each day.
Whenever you’re working toward something, that daily grind will be enough of a beatdown, but the encouraging fact is that for those you admire and look up to who are doing the same thing you’re reaching for, they have gone through much of the same thing. So it’s not something that shouldn’t be expected. You’re NOT struggling because you’re doing something wrong. It’s the nature of the beast. With all dreams and lofty goals come those intense struggles.
These struggles are enough to make it easy to want to give up, but add that to the people who try and discourage you or talk you out of it and it’s compounded. It really wears you down. After all, you’re already struggling or having a tough time. If the naysayers hang around for too long, eventually, what they’re saying will start to make sense…right?
But it doesn’t have to. Remember, most people out there have no clue what you’re doing to reach your goals and achieve your dreams and in a lot of cases, sadly, many simply don’t care. Back to me and screenwriting; now I know that quite a few people would love to see my name as a writer on a television show or movie. However, if I were to talk about all the hard work it’s taking me to get there and all the ins and outs of what I do every single day, it wouldn’t take long before the snoring comes.
That’s exactly the point. A lot of people say you can’t do something because their minds are on the end result. They’re looking at the prize itself and how hard it is to achieve. They don’t realize that you’re not going to just walk up to someone and your dream will happen. Of course, to think of it that way, it’s not coming to pass. But all the hard work, the dedication, the sacrifice, the commitment, the passion, the work ethic…most of that is what folks don’t care about. So they don’t even see the journey. How could they possibly know it won’t happen for you?
I do most of my writing in the middle of the night. As I said above, I’m an active duty Army soldier. So it’s not as if I’m sitting around with nothing better to do. I just love writing so much. I also know that I will need to put a LOT of effort and work into becoming a screenwriter. I have such a passion for it that sleep is sometimes just not an option for me. Even my wife gives me a crazy look between snores as I get up at 2 a.m. to take my laptop downstairs to write. Many mornings, she’ll ask, “Did you even sleep?”
Much of the hard work you put into whatever you’re doing won’t be seen by others. In many cases, I believe it shouldn’t be. If you’re waiting for everyone to see it, then I honestly feel you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. But again, much of the effort will have to be put in at times that it can’t be put on display for everyone else.
Keeping that in mind, understand that a lot of people simply won’t be interested in the journey. Don’t beat yourself up too much about that. Remember, it is your journey, not theirs. When you go into work, do people immediately come up to you and ask, “So how did you get here? What roads did you take? How many stop lights did you hit? What was your average speed?”
How about this…if they did NOT ask those questions, would it bother you? Probably not. Most of the time, you probably wouldn’t even notice, nor care to run up to tell anyone about the drive unless something wild happened.
So please keep that in mind. Don’t allow others to tell you that you can’t make your dreams happen. They’re not inside your head every day. They couldn’t possibly know. Even if you asked why they think you wouldn’t make it, most of the time, they will tell you why they didn’t make it or why others didn’t. They won’t often say why YOU won’t get there.
And that’s the biggest thing to remember, just as the title suggests: When people say that achieving your dreams is impossible or that they will “never happen,” they are speaking about their limitations or the limitations of others…