One of the things free-spirited people have in common (which is very tiring) is dealing with narrow-minded people. People who limit their perception exclusively to what they know (or to what they think they know), without ever questioning and enlarging their point of view. For example, it might be comforting to them to know that their life is more or less outlined in advance and will include a minimal amount of bumps and surprises. That's totally fine, there's nothing wrong with choosing this type of life. Very often though, their mindset is accompanied by an extremely accentuated capacity to judge anyone deviating from their squarish way of seeing things. Typically the same type of people will carry the idea that the only road to success looks something like this: University → Internships → Stable full-time job → And then “maybe one day” you'll reach your dream IF you still remember what it was to have your own goals after working for so long on someone else's...
I didn't have the immediate opportunity to go to university, which was a bitter feeling for my younger self but also a fact that I now consider lucky when looking back. Not having had the comfort of a university; where every bit of knowledge is basically served to you directly (lessons are already organised and packaged for you to assimilate, at your own will), forced me to learn adaptation and innovation which are both very valuable skills to have. The time that I didn't spend on campus was not any less valuable. Just the opposite, in fact, it was instead spent on my very own, tailored, self-taught education, and focused on all the skills and aspirations that truly define who I am as a person. I feel connected to my skills as if I was them and they were me, which to me shows that this is the ideal way of learning. What's the point of forcing your soul into becoming what it's not? Forcing it into the “appropriate” format, and for the pleasure of whom? Probably a boss who wouldn't hesitate to hire someone else if they were as good but more affordable. We are the luckiest generation in terms of free access to knowledge, and crazily enough, that's something that not everyone seems to notice! The Internet is the most valuable tool for anyone willing to take charge of their own life and education.
The moral of this short story is that even though I did want to conform to the socially accepted road because that's what society tells you “will work”. Not being able to at the time didn't stop me one bit from following my goals by adapting to my situation and taking conscious control. This last point is what most people who give up or fail to achieve their goals forget the most.
So how exactly do you start building your dream?
1- Know What You Want, Know What It's Made Of, And Make It Your Goal
I know this can feel so obvious to many but a lot of the time, what makes you fail at following your goal or achieving your dream is simply connected to the fact that you don't really know what your goal actually IS! Of course, if you don't know what you really want, this isn't going to help you much, but what I mean is that if you only look at the destination without looking at the road you're most likely never going to get there. It is not enough to want and picture yourself at the finish line you need to start figuring out how to reach it and establish the knowledge of each aspect and difficulty composing that goal.
- Write down your ultimate goal.
- Dismantle it! = Brainstorm and make a list of all the things you think you need to achieve to get there.
- Don't be scared to add your fears to the list. Knowing what those fears are is an asset which can help you see your problems from different perspectives and therefore help you find solutions and unexpected approaches towards your goal.
- Once your list is done you will have a rough idea of what your plan is.
- You should regularly be perfecting this list. Get a notebook specifically for this goal or a few of them. Erase, add, combine, etc. Organise all the steps into a logical queue if that helps you. Add more steps as you discover them. Make this list your assistant.
2- Let Go Of The Excuses! These Are Poison
If you think this point is not for you, yet haven't made one move towards your goal or just gave up (again) for whatever reason, stop lying to yourself! If you made a list (on paper, phone, or..mentally?) and still find yourself not getting anything done towards your goal after a few months. You might need to give yourself a kick in the whatever you need to, to make you react. You might also consider writing another list titled: E-X-C-U-S-E-S.
“I don't have enough...”, “I'm not...”, “I know, but...”, “I'll do it later”, “They are better...”, “They have it better...”, “...the right moment...”, etc...
If I decided to give up on my dream every time I didn't have enough money, or whatever, I would NOT have a brand today and I would still be sitting with my friends talking about ifs and shoulds. You can ask anybody who is currently striving towards or has already reached their goal about this specific point. I can guarantee you, not all of them had it all handed to them. You need to create your own opportunities. Don't wait for the right moment, or the right anything. Just do, now, what you can do with what you already have! You will be surprised by how much you were limiting yourself. The things that were missing at the beginning will come your way eventually and you might even find that you didn't even really need those things in the first place! Ironic isn't it? Fear can make you think things are impossible and screw you over while it's at it.
3- Clean Up Your “Friend” List
So, this one can be a tough one if you just decided to take your dreams seriously or if you happen to believe all of the people around you, in your circle of friends or family, have genuinely nice intentions. We all want to surround ourselves with people who make us feel good in some way, have a really good relationship with or just a person we fancy or respect; but often we'll keep surrounding ourselves with people who used to make us feel good or we hope will make us feel good in the future. Again, they might be genuinely good people who don't even know they're bad for you. It doesn't matter either way. What you need to ask yourself is: how does this person affect me? What energy is shared in this relationship? Could the time spent trying to be their friend be used in any better way that would make me feel happier longterm?
If you're constantly trying to make someone else happy before you, and that person is letting you do so: This person is toxic to you. The end.
Is it a mutually beneficial and healthy relationship? If the person is equally giving you energy, love, care or whatever it is you're giving them: Yes. If not: What are they still doing in your circle??
Are they in any way limiting your aspirations? It can be morally, with the use of negativity, remarks, jokes... It can be by being a naturally pessimistic person around you. “This only happens to others...”, “Stop dreaming...”, “Be more realistic...”, “You're taking yourself too seriously”, etc...
If you have the type of friends who love to go out, to abuse the party life, drink and/or use other fun substances, and find that whenever you feel like distancing yourself slightly, you get a wave of complaints or attempts to convince you to give up on the idea. You'll probably know what I'm about to say; these friends are toxic for you. It IS a fun lifestyle to have for sure, but like WTF does it help YOU with??
People who are not capable of supporting you in your choices and passions are simply not worth your time, love or energy! No matter if they are family, lovers or long-time friends.
Toxic people are toxic = Don't expose yourself any longer!
If for any reason you can't completely avoid having this person or people in your life: Distance yourself as much as possible. Put boundaries between you even it if means clearly letting them know what you are not willing to do or hear from them.
If that sounds too selfish to you, you need to start loving yourself more.I used to think this way and only ended up losing myself trying to be like others, feeling ashamed of my aspirations and even of who I actually am. I still get weak sometimes and let it drag my mood down but never for very long anymore. This was such a ridiculous way of thinking because being me makes me so much happier. What's waiting for you at the end of the ride with toxic people is Loneliness, Depression, Self-Hatred, Regret, and just plain NEGATIVITY. When you start seeing people and behaviors around you for what they are, you will quickly be able to tell the toxic from the non-toxic. It's up to you to stop it from consuming you entirely and take control now and start growing, glowing, being successful and all that good stuff.
4- Be Consistent
Ok, now that we've cleaned up our social lives we still need to keep the laziness under control because let's be honest, we're all humans, and we all procrastinate sometimes. The only problem is when procrastination takes control and brings you back to step 2 with a whole new list of toxic reasons why you shouldn't move your ass. Of course, I still do get lazy days and in those moments I found some tricks that work for me and might work for you too (let me know in the comments if you have more to add!):
Write your to-do list the night before or just before you start working.
On a lazy day, consider putting an easy task on your list first and then alternate with hard, easy and medium ones.
Don't forget to sprinkle the day with fun Insta breaks or whatever it is you like to do in your break time.
Have a nice snack and/or a drink on your desk as moral support (at all times).
Read or watch something inspiring or related to your dream/goals. This will passively and effortlessly bring your mood up and generate a boost of motivation.
Ultimately, the best way I found to prevent the laziness from getting out of control was by actively and actually starting to build my dream. Seeing it slowly grow and shape into something real, the amount of responsibility, and how much this whole project means to me, has enough strength to prevent the motivation from breaking. That's why step 1 is so important! Once you start building and stay consistent with your productivity, the right people will get attracted to what you're creating. They will share positive energy with you which will start adding to your fuel and give even more strength to your project which WILL simply motivate you enough not to give up.
Overall, this is how I made my life feel much more enjoyable, positive and productive. I feel connected with myself, and the stress that I still have isn't a bad type of stress, it's the healthy type that gives you adrenaline because you know your effort is all going towards your goals and dreams, not anyone else's who you didn't choose to work with.
Let me know what you think of all this and if you have any tips you'd like to share. I'd love to read your opinions and ideas!
As usual, I'm sending lots of positive vibes your way.