If you already know what you want to achieve in life – congratulations! Now, how do you start? Here are 3 questions, by answering which you can get moving in the right direction and fulfil this dream. No more waiting!
We can’t control everything in our life, but the most important thing is in our hands – how we move towards what we want to achieve.
A previous post on how to feel successful listed specific questions to help you determine what you want to strive for in life. Today, let’s try to use the same approach to get moving in the chosen direction! The list below will hopefully help everyone who feels stagnant in pursuing their purpose.
If you’ve been waiting too long for things you want to materialise, this post will help. No magical thinking or miracles out of thin air – let’s talk action! What can you DO to achieve what you want? Answer these questions to find out!
Is what you want to pursue important enough?
Many of us have given up on at least one dream simply because we didn’t fulfil it in the time we thought we would. Who could’ve known that writing a bestselling book or making a Nobel prize-worthy discovery takes more than a year?
Well, welcome to the real world! If you are anything like Ray Bradbury, for example – the author of 11 novels and over 400 short stories awarded an Emmy, the Pulitzer Prize and National Medal of Arts – it may take you 10 years to create something worthwhile, plus perhaps another 10 to earn recognition for it. (The journey of how this prominent writer found his genius – and you can, too – is told in a fascinating and inspiring way by Charles Chu on Medium – highly recommend to those interested specifically in writing)
The point is that bringing your dream into reality will take your blood, sweat and, yes, maybe even tears. If you are determined to reach what you want, you will need to keep on it, no matter how hard it gets – even when you don’t see any significant results for a year and more! Knowing that developing real skill in the area you’ve chosen could take decades of effort, do you still want to get going? Is it worth daily labour?
If so, now is time to act – feel free to jump over to the next question! If you’re not fired up by the thought of making your whole life about working on this, no need to spend time on taking it up, just to stop at the first difficulty. Maybe, it’s worth experiencing more in life before making a serious commitment to one thing. Give your current goal a try – work towards it for a month, three months or a full year. Then, review this experience and do some course-correction as needed, until you feel ready to proceed in one direction for however long it takes to reach the destination.
And surely, no journey that long can be enjoyable and fruitful without a roadmap – so, let’s make one!
What is a realistic way to achieve it?
If you deem your goal important enough, it will be helpful to have a clear vision in mind of what exactly will mean you’ve achieved it. The future tangible rewards will naturally be motivational drivers behind your movement. They are a fuel for your engine, but they’re not the most important part of the journey. It’s not about what you get, it’s about how you get it – the journey is the only thing you remember when it’s all said and done, this defines your everyday experience.
To see the road ahead, imagine your goal as the top of the mountain. This advice was given to me by Jamila T Jeffers, a self-management coach. She told that when she first decided to climb Mount Everest, it was a daunting task with a clear goal but a very unclear process of achieving it. At the starting point, she noticed that the top was not seen from the foot of the mountain. However, after using the roadmap to climb all the way up, the path seemed quite clear from the peak.
Having told the story, she suggested doing the same for goals – drawing up a clear roadmap before starting, imagining that you are looking back on your way after having achieved the goal. Not only does it give you the confidence that you can make the most ambitious plan happen by getting you into the winner’s mindset, but also it allows for more clarity. Imagine, you are holding what you want. What did you do right before achieving it? And what led up to that? Work your way from the top to your starting point, step by step.
If you can’t think of anything, watch interviews with someone who has achieved what you want, where they tell how they did it. Your story will be different, but theirs will give you a clear vision of steps you need to take and the likely milestones on the way. As you get moving, look at this roadmap every once in a while to remember why you’re doing this.
Now that you have a realistic plan, it’s time to act!
How are you going to practice?
We’ve all heard that “Practice makes perfect,” and it is true for most endeavours. A small percentage is about luck to have the right opportunities coming your way, but we all have millions of opportunities around each day. So, what ultimately determines if we succeed at achieving what we want is whether we are ready to grab them and show the world what we’ve got. This readiness comes only from continuous practice aimed at self-improvement in the chosen endeavour.
If you want to climb Mount Everest like Jamila, for example, you will need hours of climbing lessons in the gym. So, make a clear decision on the actions you need to take regularly to reach the first milestone. What do you need to practice to get to this level? How often do you need to do it? When will you make time in your busy day or week to move towards the first milestone regularly? Make the answers as specific as you can.
The purpose behind this whole process is not just to get moving towards your goal now, but to make it part of your routine. As said in the article from Medium about Ray Bradbury mentioned above, work towards this achievement must become your partner. You are no slave to it, so don’t neglect your other responsibilities or give up your downtime for this. But you are not master of it either, free to decide when you feel like working and when you don’t.
Make a contract, an unwritten (or even written, if you wish) pact to put effort towards this goal on specific days, for a specific amount of time, to reach specific results. If unsure exactly how much time to devote to your newfound purpose, the rule of thumb is that the bigger your dream, the more effort will be needed on a regular basis to bring it into reality. You can find a good explanation of this principle based on Newton’s 2nd law of motion in an excellent article by Kris Heap about how to accelerate towards success.
Say, if you want to become a renowned speaker and your first milestone is to give a talk to an audience of 50+ people, spend 1 hour a week looking for the opportunity to make this speech in your area, and 4 more to practice the art of oratory so that once you have the chance, you deliver perfect results. Just an hour a day, but a whole lot of progress towards your dream!
Respect this partnership you’ve made, and you will no longer see work as a strain on limited time and energy resources. It is a beneficial commitment, the process and fruit of which will bring you lots of joy.
I’ll leave you today with this wonderful quote, right on point:
“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi
So, enough waiting – take that first step!
What’s the next goal you are shooting for, and what will be your first milestone? Tell us about it in the comments!
Enjoy your journey!
As always, thank you for being here! ❤ If you enjoyed the post, please like & share it, and of course, follow the blog Your Beautiful Journey for more inspiration in your everyday life!