We have this incredible dream. In fact we have had many dreams and aspirations since we were kids which come and go, but some of them just stay with us and become permanent and our “ must Achieve”.
They give us the very purpose that drives our lives, and as Paulo Coelho puts it, “ the possibility of them coming true makes life exciting”
What is that one secret dream that gives you purpose and excitement when you think about it?
Your face lights up and you can see yourself achieving it over and over in your mind. You can hear the applause, the cheering, feel the exhilaration, the likes on Instagram going into millions and bank statements going crazy…
Whether it is the next level in your career, or becoming the next big billionaire… or that start up you keep going into a reverie about, that business which is your ambition, or whether you want to take your existing venture to the next level and beyond. Whether it is a personal goal of finding the perfect partner, or taking your present relationship to the greatest heights… your dreams are valuable and mean everything to you and worth achieving.
However, if realising a dream can be compared to building or a house, do we have a floor plan? And the technical drawing? The location, the budget, the aesthetic plan? The timelines, the actionable daily steps?
Here’s the fact of the matter: Dreams don’t always come true and many times they just die a slow and painful death, never really becoming real, tangible and attainable. The reason you ask?
They were drowned in the depths of assumptions, misconceptions, procrastinations, perfectionisms, and many other such turbid factors.
Here are 7 such dangerous depths we need to safeguard our precious dreams from:
“Obstacles can’t stop you, problems can’t stop you, People can’t stop you. Only you can stop you”.
1. NOT MAKING A CLEAR DEFINITIVE DECISION
What is the first thing we do before we do anything? We DECIDE to do it!
Not having the clear intent and not making a very strong definitive decision will keep you looping into doubts, procrastination, failures, and never really getting there. You can safely consider your dream drowned and gone.
Decision is a very important principle to both personal, and corporate growth. Until you DECIDE to succeed, to take massive action, to turn your life around, you will struggle to breakthrough in life.
I personally believe that the only thing that could hold people back from success and massive breakthrough is their decision to NOT take a decision.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped”. – Tony Robbins
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You can call it The Law of Attraction, or whatever you want, but the fact is that ENERGY FLOWS WHERE ATTENTION GOES.
When you set a clear intention to experience something in the physical world, your thoughts and energy begin to construct that experience, you start figuring out the process, you meet the right people who will help you and your plans will start falling through.
There is no magic or mumbo jumbo in this. There is a deep science which talks about the internal communication between our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Taking a strong decision activates our inner dialogue in a Get set & Go mode.
2. LACK OF LASER SHARP FOCUS
Focus is the life jacket your dream will hold onto when it get’s into deep waters. No Focus, no Dream. It just went under.
The Oxford dictionary defines focus in a very simple and beautiful way. It defined it as the; “The centre of interest or activity”
A great example of LASER SHARP FOCUS:
Mark Zuckerbergh’s wardrobe contains shirts and jeans in one single colour. He does not even want to lose focus over something as mundane as deciding what to wear to work every morning.
It’s not enough to say you want something, it has to be the centre of your attention. If you focus on what you want the path will be clear for you to navigate and sail through. You don’t have to be smarter than everyone else, or better looking, or more connected, or luckier to make it big in life. You just have to focus—really focus—on what you want and how you can get it.
It reminds me of that science experiment we used to do in school. Remember using a magnifying glass to burn paper? You could leave a piece of paper in the sun all day and it would be almost unaffected by the sun’s rays. But concentrate the sun’s rays with a magnifying glass and within a few seconds the paper would be on fire. That’s the power of laser sharp focus.
Dedicating your total focus to your dream will reduce the focus on the unnecessary activities of your day.
Focus is what will eventually bring concentration to the work at hand.
3. LOOKING FOR EXTERNAL APPROVAL OR VALIDATION
The need for validation turns your biggest Ambitions into a paper boat in the ocean. Whatever the wave will throw you, you will go, and if there’s a large wave, then probably never resurface.
“ If you want to kill a Big Dream, tell it to a small minded person”
People are different, their views, perceptions thoughts, and life purpose, are so unbelievably different.
The biggest stumbling block most people face in achieving their dream is thinking that everyone should be as excited about their dream as they are, and should get goosebumps when they hear it and get into this dance of joy just at the bare mention of it. They feel it is mandatory to have each and everyone’s approval before they can pursue such a dream. But the truth is, that hardly ever happens
Chances are, people might not understand you, some might envy you, some will laugh at you, and others won’t even care why you’re in the pursuit of your passion. most likely no one will get what is the driving force behind you dedicating your life to THIS particular cause… and will give you 1000 reasons why you can’t do it.
Even though we are all on the same planet travelling around the sun, let us understand that not everyone is on the same journey as us.
Just as many times we do not understand other people’s reasons and motivations, people don’t understand ours.
Waiting for everyone to give us the go ahead and validate our dreams might keep us from moving forward.
And NO!! Just because someone is very close to us, need not be the reason we expect complete enrolment and understanding, and get upset and break up if we do not get their 100% validation. Most of the times our closest ones get us the least (let us never judge or blame them for this) and are the biggest obstacles we encounter.
We give so much weightage to their points of view and opinions and it’s difficult to have a heart strong enough to understand that it could be their limited capacity or understanding about things that is the real problem. It is not a slur on our capabilities, nor their regard, respect, affections, intentions for us. They just don’t get it!
4. NOT HAVING S.M.A.R.T. GOALS
Do you know where, what, how, by when, and how much of your Dream? If not, then you dream will sink faster than a sack of rocks.
written down with a date becomes a goal
Broken down into small steps becomes a Plan
Followed by action makes your dreams
Goal setting is the exercise which starts in brain and then your whole body move towards to achieve it.
The best way to understand the importance of goals in life is a game of football or hockey. If there is no goal post then players don’t know in which direction to run and where to score goals. Everybody needs goals in their life to make it purposeful.
Every New Years, we all make resolutions about things we want to start or stop doing. If you look back to the first day of this year, can you proudly say that you have achieved even 30% of your goals?
Goals Are Clear and Specific One of the worst mistakes a person can make, which is invariably fatal to success, is to think that they already have goals when all they really have are wishes.
When I ask a room full of workshop attendees “How many people here have goals?” every hand goes up. When I ask people in the audience at random “What are your goals?”
they say things like “I want to be successful,” “I want to make a lot of money,” “I want to be happy,” “I want to have a happy family,” “I want to travel,” “I want to be a billionaire,” and so on. But these are not goals; these are fantasies, wishes, hopes, and day dreams. But they are not goals. THESE ARE WISHES
Goals have to have the following 5 qualities:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Actionable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time-bound
Be specific. What do you want to Have/Do/Become? What is it exactly? If you want to become a billionaire for example, what will you do and how exactly will you do it, to become one.
Write it down. Only 3 percent of adults have written goals, and they earn, on average, ten times as much as other people with the same talents, education, ability, and opportunities.
Set a deadline. A goal has been called a “dream with a deadline.” A deadline acts as a forcing system for your subconscious mind. It gets you out of bed in the morning and drives you all day long to achieve your goals on schedule.
Remember, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines. Make a list. Write down everything you can think of that you can do to achieve your goal.
As Henry Ford said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small little jobs.”
Organize the list. Create a checklist, and write down everything you will have to do in sequence, by time. What will you have to do first, second, third, and so on?
The rule is that every minute spent in planning will save you ten minutes in execution. Once you have a checklist, you work from it every single day. you will be astonished at how much you get accomplished and how fast you accomplish it.
5. BY NOT LOOKING AT MISTAKES AS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
No one gets it right the first time, but making failure the rating system by which you evaluate the value of your vision will crash your dreams even before you start.
As a young girl, Sara Blakely’s ( founder of SPANX,an American inner apparel company) father would ask: what did you fail in today?
Then they would discuss the learning she got from that experience, and how to convert a similar situation into a win next time.
These enthusiastic interactions towards trying new things, regardless of the outcome, helped Sara avoid the paralyzing fear that prevents many young people from reaching beyond their comfort zones due to fear of failure.
What an amazing parenting tool!
In 2012 she was the youngest self-made woman to join the Forbes billionaires list.
Sara Blakely was able to succeed because she never made failure something to avoid or to be scared of. it was only viewed as a stepping stone, she learned from her failures.
“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream, and how you handle Disappointment and failures along the way” – Robert Kiyosaki
( Founder of Rich Global LLC and Rich Dad company )
6. IF YOU’RE NOT OPERATING FROM A GROWTH MINDSET
Your mind is your compass, your steering wheel, your everything on your journey. Watch where it is trying to take you.
“Our core beliefs and Mindsets run our lives in more ways than we can imagine”
Most of the time, the stumbling block people face is their own self sabotaging belief patterns. Imagine if there was a way that almost guaranteed that you would become a success in life, a belief system that the vast majority of “geniuses” shared.Imagine if this attitude was learnable and that when you adopted it, in almost every area of your life.
According to professor of psychology Carol Dweck, it exists, and its called the Growth Mindset. She has spent the last twenty years researching how mindset affects your failure and success rates. She discovered that there are two mindsets that govern a human’s failure rate most powerfully: the Fixed Mindset and the Growth Mindset.
People with a growth mindset are always looking at ways to improve their skills, talents, and abilities, even if just a little bit. Eventually that commitment to incremental improvement leads to enormous gains and massive improvements in life satisfaction.
We always worry about do we look successful enough? Do we impress enough? but we ignore our mind which is the starting point of transformation. Until you shape your thoughts, you will continue playing the same old defeating patterns in your life over and over again.
The richness of your thoughts determines the richness of your life and bank account and the lack in your thoughts determines the lack in your life and bank account.
Those with a growth mindset are not immune to pain, but because they believe they can learn to find a solution to any problem, they persevere and eventually often conquer. No situation is hopeless to the growth mindsetter. They are confident they can overcome hardship—they just need to learn how.
“Are your excuses greater than your Dreams ?”
If yes, then you need to take a good look at your mindset. You probably need a revamp on what your core beliefs are telling you. As per Brian Tracy The Worst Disease, the one that undermines and sabotages most of success, is called excusitis.
This is defined as “an inflammation of the excuse-making brain part.” It is invariably fatal to success.
7. IF YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE SELF IMAGE
What do you keep saying to yourself? Do you know you are listening? If we are letting our inner world be directed by our inner words, they better be about sailing safely, and not about capsizing.
Confidence and a positive self image will push you to move forward despite you face failures.If you don’t have a healthy, strong self-image you can try as hard as you like but you’ll never get the success you hope for.
Why is your self-image so important? Because it determines what actions you’ll take and how you’ll feel each and every day. Those daily actions over time determine your results and success.
Your self-image is like your mental operating software. Everything you do stems from it. It’s like your mental blueprint of what’s possible for you. You can dream mighty dreams, it’s because your self-image says it’s OK to do so. You can approach a person you like and ask him or her out on a date, it’s because your self-image says you have a chance. You can after countless failures persist in trying once again for a goal, it’s because deep down your self-image tells you that you’re capable of making that goal a reality.
The power of self-image is clearly evident with lottery winners. It’s a known fact that many people who win the lottery end up in the same place financially within a few years. Why? Their self-image makes them uncomfortable with having millions of dollars; they don’t feel it’s deserved. So after a while they do things subconsciously that cause them to end up where they started (in fact, plenty of times they end up with even less money than they originally had).
Watch out for these subconscious traps, and no one can separate you from your magnificent dream ever again.