Monday, June 1, 2009

Why People Do Not Often Achieve Their Dreams

As a young girl growing up, I remember I used to have some big dreams of one day doing something significant in life. I would tell my friends back then one day you are going to here my voice on the radio, in my little head I dreamt of becoming a huge star. Even though I started dreaming big at a very young age, I had to develop my talents as I grew older because even if the opportunity had presented itself, I wouldn’t been ready for it.
Every dream begins in our mind; it is birthed on the inside before it reveals itself on the outside. This is one of the reasons why our circumstance doesn’t dictate our dream, but rather what is inside a person that affects our life. According to George Patton, “Successful generals make plans to fit circumstances but do not try to create circumstances to fit plans”.
Almost every dream is outside our comfort zone, the only way to achieve that dream is leaving that zone. Using a personal example, when I first found out that I was passionate about writing I was thinking it was going to be pretty easy to become a good writer without much effort. The first time I realized that writing went beyond a teenager putting her thoughts together in a diary, was when I registered for an English class and then it became clear to me writing is a lot harder than I expected. Every week in my English class I had to turn in a paper and even though my teacher was kind enough to let us choose our own topics his expectations for my paper were a little difficult to reach at the beginning. At the end of the class I learned that in the effort to become a great writer speaking in first person was important, I also learned to be as specific as possible when I write, and of course been able to connect with my readers in a way that they can relate to whatever I was writing about. What I took home from that experience is that even though dreams may be free, the journey is not. If you would like to take your dreams to the next level and truly be good at it, then you should be aware of the price the dream might cost you.
One of the biggest dream killers I believe is “fear”. Fear can be the very thing that holds you back from ever accomplishing your dreams. When anyone is afraid, he/she is constantly thinking of what can’t happen, what he/she is not, and how impossible the dream is. Even though, we can overcome some of our fears no one can completely get rid of fear in their life. Fear is something that we continually have to deal with on a regularly basis, for some of us the fight against fear is like a battle. For me personally, Fear has been a bit of a struggle. I remember how difficult it was for me to admit that being in the sciences wasn’t my thing. I was scared of failing and for me acknowledging my limitation made me feel like a jerk. I was so fearful of facing rejection especially from the most important people in my life. You see my family was rooting for me and they believed in me. When I wasn’t succeeding, I just wanted to run and hide because I felt it would be extremely hard for anyone to understand what I was going through at that time. In addition I was terrified of the unknown, I wasn’t sure if this new path I was heading on would lead me to the right destination. I lived in fear for such a long time, that I became tired of being afraid. Anybody can still succeed even if nobody else believes in them, but what I have found is if I don’t believe in myself I will not succeed.
Another thing that holds people back from accomplishing their dreams is the cost of the dream. What most people are excited about is the rewards of the dream not the process. But you ask why should I be excited about the process? The truth is every successful person has a story, most people encounter setbacks and difficulties before they achieve success. The good news is, it is the struggles that make the destination enjoyable. Success is not a destination but a journey. I love freedom, and I’d like to be able to make my own decisions without answering to anyone. When I first started learning to become independent I was actually thinking it was going to be an easy ride and everything will just fall into place. It took me a long time and I still struggle with it to finally get to a place in life, where I feel like I am ready to be in charge of my life. With freedom comes new responsibilities, I had to make sure I was on-point academically, could manage my time wisely, handle money well and make some really interesting decisions, what courses to enroll for, who my friends were, where I was going to live and so forth. After giving a serious thoughts to each of these concerns and responsibilities, I found having freedom and being independent wasn’t that appealing. I believe many of us have been on that road, where you want something and that’s all you can think about and when you finally get it is not exactly what you expected. Unless we mentally and physically prepare ourselves for anything we desire in life, we shouldn’t be in a hurry in our decisions to get it. Now I have to go on a dark road before I make any decision that will affect my life. The truth is when reality doesn’t meet expectation, there is bound to be some kind of disappointment.
Again another reason people often don’t accomplish their dreams, is they do not have a plan. Having a dream alone is not enough, there has to be a plan in place before the dream can become a reality. Goals without a plan will end becoming a wish. For example I am really passionate about singing and I have an aspiration to pursue my love for music at some point in my life. There is still work to be done though before I can see that dream come to pass, things like practicing relentless every week on my voice, having a voice coach, and learning about different songs, and also being familiar with different genres of music. Until I get going in the right direction and actually writing my goals on paper on how I would like to accomplish this dream, then my vision of becoming a singer would end- up becoming a fantasy.
Each of us needs to examine our actions because the secret to achieving any dream is seen in our everyday activity. It is not too late for anyone to make his/her dream become true, but we have to start from somewhere. There is no magic power in having a dream; we can’t just wait for it we have to work for it.
Once we learn to face what we fear with a level of openness and boldness then we can become fearless. Then the next step is planning and setting clear goals on how we would like to accomplish our dreams. Finally, we need to be aware that every dream will cost us something we have to give-up to go up, and before long we will go from merely dreaming to living in our dreams.