You might recall the famous courtroom scene in A Few Good Men with Jack Nicholson screaming “You can’t handle the truth!”
Why don’t you let us be your personal Jack Nicholson, and deliver you your daily kick in the ass. The very harsh truth is: No one will ever believe in your dreams the same way that you do.
You might be wondering what we mean by this, or why we would say such a mean thing. Simply put, you need to claim responsibility for your wildest dreams, because they’re just that: yours.
The explanation as to why your dreams are your own comes in two parts. The first part has to do with the German ideology of schadenfreude. This is the enjoyment one experiences when someone else experiences failures and/or shortcomings. This doesn’t make every person a sadist, but merely human.
The second part is a nearly unavoidable aspect of the human psyche.
This aspect of us feels lessened by another person’s gain. We have all experienced a time where another’s accomplishments in some way diminished our own self-worth, ego, or accomplishments. If you see another doing better than you, it tends to decrease your perception of yourself proportionally.
It’s an unfortunate knee-jerk reaction, but a knee-jerk reaction nonetheless. As one study put it, “How an individual evaluates the self in certain relationships is critical to his or her overall sense of worth as a person.”
It All Rests With You
A harsh truth, perhaps harsher than the last, exists as a corollary to these ideas. The motivation, discipline, belief, and hard work required to make a personal dream or goal come true lies entirely with and in you. There is a purpose of paramount importance behind telling you that you need to claim responsibility for your wildest dreams.
The long and the short of it is the simple fact that your dreams will never come true if you don’t assume responsibility and take the necessary action.
If this is true for anything else in life—which it most certainly is—why would it not be even more true for accomplishing your goals and dreams? Taking the responsibility and necessary action to accomplish something is how anything gets done. Anything. Regardless of whether that “thing” is in your life or someone else’s.
It’s a universal truth that action requires commitment, just as much as commitment requires action. Another universal truth is that other people’s thoughts on the path you are taking are completely irrelevant. As the saying goes, other people’s opinions don’t pay the bills.
If you want anything in your life to change, you need to take full responsibility for actualizing that result. Not only that, but you need to be grounded within yourself. By being grounded, you will enter a place that transcends your need to have others influence your motivation or self-control. Whereas you can’t rely on others for your own motivation, you can certainly rely on yourself.
It’s common to want more from life. But those of us who are willing to work for it are the exception to the rule. That’s why it’s so important to remember that everyone has their own life to worry about. It’s your responsibility to worry about yours.
No one is going to come and save you. Your family, friends, or others may say “Cool!” about your aspirations, and might even sort of care. But other than that they very likely have damn-near zero interest in whether or not you accomplish your goals. (Consider Implement the exception to the rule—if we didn’t care, we wouldn’t be writing). Just keep in mind it doesn’t mean that they’re terrible or bad people.
A great story centered around this realization comes from Brian Tracy, the famous self-development author.
One night early in his life, he sat shivering in his tiny apartment after an exhausting day of manual labor. He explains that a frightening realization suddenly struck him. “This is my life, not a dress rehearsal,” he writes. “Unless I was going to change, nothing in my life ever would.”
This sent him on a mission to radically change his life, and the results of that are now obvious. He evolved himself from a common worker to now being a household name. And his journey, of course, has helped countless others to similarly change or improve their lives.
Take a Look in the Mirror
So we would ask you, in what areas are you procrastinating, not accepting responsibility, or simply hoping and wishing for change as opposed to actively pursuing it?
Don’t pin your hopes and dreams on the input, advice, or outlook of others.
Instead, take the necessary steps that will move you forward and instill the changes you’re looking for in life. As Roman Price has said, “If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.”