Happy 2018! Yes, it’s already mid-February… but I’m still looking at this year with a fresh mind and heart. Today I just want to share some encouragement. Lately I’ve had a couple conversations with random people regarding hopes, dreams, and goals. In each one of these conversations I’ve realized that my viewpoint on these future places that we all wish to progress to is different from just a couple years ago. I believe the only thing that’s keeping you from surprising yourself with your own ability to make progress towards your pursuits is your mind.
We all know that change starts from within. We’ve all made that self promise to start saving money or losing weight etc. There’s nothing wrong with setting that goal in front of you from the onset, but I’d like to challenge you to stop doing that.
Why? Because at the end of the day, life isn’t about reaching goals. What happens when you reach that goal? Nothing. Life doesn’t automatically become easier and everything from then on makes sense and you’re all of a sudden a different person. At best.. you go on the vacation or finally fit into those shorts from 3 years ago and you celebrate… which is rad. But what’s next?
And that’s only if you actually reach your goal. If you don’t then you’re most likely disappointed with yourself and fighting the voices in your head telling you that you’ll never be able to reach that which you’ve set before yourself. I’ve been there before. The good news is that this is just a thought pattern. And luckily, thought patterns can be replaced by new patterns.
Now that I’ve set the context, let’s have an honest moment with ourselves…
We have beautiful hopes and dreams!
I doubt that anything in your life that you set as a goal can be attained simply. Whether it’s starting a business or learning how to cook… we all strive for things that are worth having. And the things that are worth having are worth our time and energy. Last time I checked, good wine isn’t made in a day or a month. Exceptional whiskey isn’t made in just a year. Healthy bodies aren’t created with just a month of work, and thriving businesses aren’t built on good ideas alone.
Commit to the long game. This year I challenge you to do something that pushes you towards your goal as often as you can. Because these things take time, and healthy habits make healthy people. My goal this year is to get well acquainted with my home recording setup so I can write and record songs. To reach that goal, I’m trying to read as much as I can and push myself to get hands on and make mistakes and learn through those mistakes as often as possible. And when I feel disappointed in myself because I haven’t approached my project in over a week, I encourage myself to just get on with it.
In the spirt of “getting on with it”, I also challenge you to stop dreaming. Why? Because dreaming can be a drug in itself. I see that I’ve changed in the past couple years mostly because I’m dreaming less and doing more. I’m sure Jimi Hendrix didn’t become prolific on the guitar by sitting at home and dreaming about it. It started with a choice. He picked up the guitar and went to work. Every. Single. Day. That’s what it takes.
Furthermore, learning to manage our emotions while pursuing our dreams is the most important thing we can do. My feelings about myself or my progress sometimes aren’t helpful in making the choice to work on the song I’m trying to record. I need to push those feelings aside and get to work so I can progress. You don’t always feel like going to the gym, and sitting at home dreaming about being more fit doesn’t make you more fit. Also sitting at home waiting to feel ready to hit the weights leads to me eating some Chips Ahoy. Let’s apply these same concepts to our aspirations. The decision to get up and get going despite your feelings is the only thing that matters.
The last thing I want to say is that you can do it. I really mean that. I’m a self-managed DJ, photographer, and musician on the side of my day job. I’ve taught myself how to play the guitar, DJ, produce music, cut my hair, skateboard/longboard, the list goes on. And each one of those skills took years to develop and they’re still developing to this day. Don’t crush the flower stem in frustration before it gets the opportunity to bud. Treat your mind and heart with care when it comes to disappointment. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. The fact that your heart is eager to set goals and reach them shows that you have all that you need to succeed. The only thing stopping you from getting there is your mind.
This year I encourage you to jump in. Let’s stop saying we wish we’d [Insert goal here]. It’s time to start doing what we spend so much time wishing and dreaming that we would.