This is something I’ve thought about and learned a lot about since starting my novel. How much do you want to make your dreams a reality?
How much do you really want to make your dreams a reality? When we were little, our parents, teachers, and guardians told us to fight for our dreams. They told us to do everything we can to make our dreams a reality and that it was possible for us to accomplish whatever we put our minds to.
Then we entered high school and, for the most part, those encouragements stopped. They told us to be realistic. They told us to plan for college. They told us to let go of silly pipe dreams that would never work out.
Well, you know what? I didn’t listen.
I may not have known what my dream was when I graduated high school early, but I knew that I wanted to be my own person. I wanted to make my own choices and follow my own path. Fast forward a couple years and I fell back in love with writing.
When I made the decision to someday be an author, it was not just a dream to me.
It was my new reality.
I made a conscious decision to work. Because that’s the only way you can ever make your dreams a reality. You can’t expect to have these big dreams and then have them handed to you on a silver platter.
You know what that “silver platter” looks like? Hard work. Every single day. No excuses.
If you think you have a dream that means everything to you, something that you talk about all the time, that you want to make happen more than anything else in the world, do you really want it or do you just want to have the “label” of whatever it is? Ask yourself these questions if you think you really want it.
1. Are you doing something every day– no matter how small – to get a step closer?
Working toward anything takes time and hard work. Even if you’re ridiculously busy with life and work and even school, there’s time to work toward your goal. Even doing something 5 minutes before you fall asleep is enough to get you there someday. The point is, if you really want something, you should be working toward it daily. Every single day. No excuses. You may work harder on some days than you do others, and that’s okay! So long as you’re putting in the work, that’s all that matters.
2. Do you talk about it more than you’re actually working toward it?
I think a lot of people love the idea of being able to say they want to be something someday. Take being an author, for example. There are tons of people who say they want to be an author someday. They talk about the book they’re going to write and how they’re going to “make it big” like JK Rowling. But when you ask them about their progress or for details, they shrug, mumble something about not having time, and move on to the next person who will listen to their ramblings about eventually becoming an author.
If you really want something, and I mean you want it more than anything in the world, you do more than you say. You put in the work, then tell people about it. You can back up your dreams with concrete evidence of work and effort.
3. Are people able to dissuade you from doing it?
Now, I understand when you’re young and have parents or guardians who thwart your progress because they want you to be “realistic”, but if you don’t have that and other people are able to change your mind about it, do you really want it? Assuming your dreams are moral and don’t harm you or anyone else, a few people chattering in your ear about how hard it’ll be or how much time it’ll take should never be enough to make you stop trying. If it is, then you don’t want it. If you truly want something, nothing can stand in your way.
4. Do you make a lot of excuses for your lack of progress?
There are hundreds of excuses you can make every day as to why you haven’t done anything that’ll help you reach your goals. You can be tired, sick, busy, and a lot more. But how many of those excuses are legitimate? Probably not a lot. If you’re in the hospital because you’re sick or you’re caring for someone who’s injured or ill, that’s obviously fine. But if you just pick a lame excuse to justify your lack of work (and let’s be real, laziness), you don’t really want to make your dreams a reality.
Stop making excuses and start making progress. Even if you know you’re tired and being lazy, don’t sugar coat it. Don’t make the excuse that you’re busy when you’re not. Admit to yourself that you’re being lazy in your pursuit to make your dreams come true. Doing this may actually give you the kick in the ass you need to see clearly about how you’ll reach your goals.
5. How far are you willing to push yourself to get there?
Let’s just take Simone Biles, Olympic Gymnastics Gold Medalist, and use her as an example. Do you think she didn’t contemplate how much work it would take to get to the Olympics? She had to think hard about that decision. The moment she made the choice to put in the work to make it to the Olympics, she realized how far she would be willing to push herself.
And you need to start thinking about that if you really want to make your dreams a reality. I guarantee, no matter what it is you want to do, that it’ll be hard. You will have to work and work hard to make it happen. Are you willing to be tired and busy and not have the extra free time you have now? Because that’s what it’ll take. But if you really want it, you should be willing to do whatever it takes.
To me, it’s not a matter of if I’ll be an author someday. To me, it’s a matter of when. If you want to make your dreams a reality and accomplish something that means the world to you, you have to put in the work to make it happen. You have to want it more than anything.