But as you know, success at realizing your dreams comes when you act.
Needless to say, if you’re after achieving something big, you’ll have to put in more time and effort. If you’re after smaller goals, you’ll put in a few hours.
It all depends on what you’re after. But the fact is, not many know the answer to this.
The whole process of ticking off your bucket list, and living the life you want, then boils down into 3 steps:
1. Know what you want
I’m the impatient type. I have several interests and more than one passion. At any time, I am working on a few different projects that keep fueling my intense curiosity toward life.
Of course, this is only possible because I chose to design an un-9-5 lifestyle. But that comes at a price.
When I lack a laser-like focus (which is easy for me to do), I mess things up. I may have a zillion ideas brimming in my mind at once or I’d be distracted by the next shiny object I come across (a new email…ooh).
It’s at times like these when I fail to know what I truly want. There is no focus. My energy is scattered and all over the place. That was a shortcut to failure.
This is also a sign that I am off-track, not doing what I want to be doing. My heart is not into it.
It takes conscious intention to deliberately focus on first finding out what you want. We
get too busy with the meaningless tasks during the day. We think we’re keeping busy, but busy is hardly reaching for the stars.
The key is to first know what you want right now. It could be temporary in the long run, but permanent in this moment.
2. Evaluate the Price
It’s not enough to just know what you want and start working toward it. Evaluate the price you will have to pay for achieving what you want.
If your goal is to start a blog on the side during weekends, find out how many hours it’s going to take. Set aside at least 3 hours in the beginning and you should be OK.
But if your goal is to fly a plane or make a million bucks, you’ll need more hours to do so. Evaluate how much it’s going to cost you in terms of hours and then make a decision whether you’re up for the price to pay.
You got to pay the full price or nothing at all. Don’t go into it half-way. Either commit fully, aware what it takes or don’t get into it yet.
If you’re not ready to invest the hours, you’ll get frustrated because you’re getting no where. It’s OK if you genuinely can’t — you can always course-correct. But get into it with an intention of going full throttle.
3. Expand your comfort zone
You’re always within a certain comfort zone — always. Some people have large comfort zones whereas others have small ones. It’s all OK until it’s serving you well.
But when you start getting sick of the way things are going, it’s time to expand your zone. You’ll still remain in a comfort zone but it’s going to be a bigger, better one this time.
Take up one activity every day that makes you uncomfortable. For me, it was speaking at my own workshops in 2012. The first time I organized a workshop, I was scared to step out of my house. I prayed people would cancel. An airplane would land on the venue. Or on me.
Nothing like that happened and I had to go because I promised I’ll be there. Amazing thing it is, social pressure.
I cannot forget that noon when I presented in front of a small group of five. I was unstoppable. Of course I umm’ed and aah’ed. I had doubts if I was talking sense. I went blank a few times.
BUT — amazingly, whenever I had a dumb moment, someone would share their story and others would chime in. It was organic. It was as if the universe knew perfectly when I needed to pause so it sent people to my “rescue” without their knowledge!
That day, I came home, announced the next three events and booked a place for them. I had expanded my comfort zone three-fold. And I loved every bit of that challenge.
Soon, I became comfortable speaking in front of people while enjoying the experience. I still have butterflies in my stomach when I speak, but it’s a good sign that this still challenges me. Once that stops, I will go back to step#1.
The key is to get comfortable getting uncomfortable.
Think about how you are realizing your dreams. Answer this in three steps in the comments:
- What is your dream?
- What will it cost you?
- How will you expand your comfort zone once you’re ready?
Image by seyed mostafa zamani.