Having a dream is easy, but to achieve it, you need to change yourself. You need to become a better person and a more capable human being. Are you willing to take on this challenge?
The following is a list of changes I had to make to achieve my dreams. They may also be necessary to achieve yours.
1. Take full responsibility for yourself
"We are not the victims of life. Our lives were created by us."
It's not my fault, it's his/her/the government's/cat's/dog's/rain's/sidewalk's/ fate's/policeman's/robber's/hamster's fault.
We're such helpless creatures, aren't we? How can we ever reach our fullest potential when the whole world conspires against us? Of course, that's all in your head.
During your lifetime, you will encounter three types of events: events over which you have complete control, events over which you have some control, and unforeseen calamities.
Unforeseen calamities include earth quakes, tidal waves, spontaneous volcanic eruptions, and car accidents in which you were sober and paying attention while the man/woman smashing into you was not. They do not include catching a cold, the rise of government taxes, or getting pregnant.
You caught a cold because you didn't take care of your health. You should always have some money put aside in case of emergencies, and you must use a condom.
90% of the bad things happening to us could have been prevented by us and/or can be fixed by us. Your life is your fault.
So, stop complaining, learn whatever lessons you can, and start working on your problems. Once they're fixed, take measures, so they don't come up again.
Whining and complaining doesn't do squat. All that matters are results.
2. Prepare for the future, focus on the present, and forget the past
"Your past was decent, your present is great, and your future will be even greater." ~
This has been my philosophy for a very long time. You have no control over your past whatsoever, so don't beat yourself up for past mistakes.
Let history be your teacher, not your jailor. Remember: you are not your past. You are your present, and presently, you can be better.
Were you shy in the past? Do something outgoing in the present. Were you a coward in the past? Do something brave today.
The past you may have been weak, but you can be stronger now if you just take action!
3. Know yourself
Misunderstanding others will bring you a lot of pain. Misunderstanding yourself will ruin your life.
You are not your parents, your teachers, your friends, or your heroes. You are you. You are unique. You have qualities others dream of having, of which you are not even aware of. You have faults people don't even believe exist, faults whose existence you deny.
By looking within, you will discover traits that will lift you above the clouds and traits that threaten to throw you underground.
Only by knowing yourself, can you change the parts of you that are ruining your life.
Only by knowing yourself, can you take full advantage of your unique abilities and skills.
Only by knowing yourself, can you tap into your full potential, and only by knowing yourself, can you be happy, fulfilled and great.
Take a moment and answer the most important question there is: "Who am I?"
Remember: a person who knows the answer to this question can write a hundred page essay on it with relative ease. Can you get past the first page?
4. Find your purpose
If you know who you are, you'll know what makes you happy and what you can be successful at.
But even if you don't know squat, you still need a purpose.
A purpose is nothing more than a direction in which you are aiming your efforts.
Without direction, you are a leaf in the wind. You move chaotically between relationships, jobs, friends, careers, ideas, and plans, most of which are influenced by others.
Those who lack a definite purpose are not accomplishing their goals, but the goals of others. They choose the career their parents always wanted for them. They make friends with whomever tolerates their presence. They marry the first girl/guy who did not dump them, and they are many.
Ask a random friend or family member what their life's purpose is. If they're honest, they will simply say "I don't know". If they believe you will judge them for it, they will pause a second and then lie to you. Your parents might say their life's purpose is raising you. Your guy friends might say it's to be badass and rich.
But most of them don't have the slightest clue. They just blurt out whatever comes through their minds in order to maintain their image.
Purposes or dreams come in two kinds: lifelong purposes and big projects.
A lifelong purpose is the single cause you dedicate your existence to. For example, my lifelong purpose is to grow and develop as much as I can and to bring as many people up with me as possible.
I can do this today, and I can do this at eighty (through writing, speaking, giving to charity, etc.). However, I do have other dreams with a definite end.
These dreams are great motivators and are tied in with the big one. However, they will eventually be completed.
Finding your lifelong purpose is a difficult, sometimes impossible task.
But you still need direction.
If you haven't found your lifelong purpose yet, decide to take on a big project that will take you several years to accomplish. It can be anything you find worthy, such as starting a business, finding your ideal spouse, making a breakthrough in physics, or becoming a world renowned violin player. If one project is not enough for you, take on several.
Be warned: before the project is finished, you must find the next one as to not lose your direction.
Your direction/purpose/dream is the reason you give yourself each morning to get out of bed. Those who lack a reason to wake up die early (literally).
5. Work as if your life depends on it
Starting now, you have no more "spare time." Remove these words from your vocabulary for they no longer apply to you and your life. They no longer exist in your reality. From now on, you will work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until the day you die.
"But what about sleep?"
That's work too.
"But what about food?"
That's work too.
"But what about watching the news?"
You no longer have time for that.
"I don't get it."
Allow me to explain:
First of all, when I refer to work, I am talking about your life's work.
Work is not doing the same task eight hours a day so you may get a paycheck at the end of the month. Your work represents all the actions you must take in order to reach your dreams/purpose.
These include taking care of your bills, but also sleeping, eating and drinking water (in order to stay healthy), going on vacations (to recharge your batteries), socializing (to maintain your sanity, learn to deal with people and gather allies), etc.
Going out a few times a week is a necessity. Watching television is not.
Working 24/7 does not mean doing stressful tasks 24/7; it means doing important tasks 24/7.
Taking the time to relax each day is important. But you'll be much better off doing it by socializing with your friends, meditating, playing an instrument, or painting than you would be by watching television.
If you want optimal results out of life, you must optimally manage your time.
So, do not waste another second.
Make a plan and start working!