“I guess it wasn’t meant to be.”
If I could remove one saying from all human languages, this would be the one.
These words mean giving up. They mean pushing your responsibility to
someone else. Not taking responsibility for your own life.
Reaching your dream doesn’t happen without setbacks. It takes patience.
Sometimes your dreams are far away, but the only way you can move towards
them is one step at a time.
Here are some ideas for cultivating patience and getting that saying out
of your vocabulary:
- Start by making sure the dream really is important to you. If the
dream doesn’t matter, then maybe it really isn’t meant to be. Leave it
aside and think about your next dream.
- Think about the outcomes: What is your life going to be like if you
don’t reach this goal? What about if you do? If the outcome of making
this dream into reality outweighs the one of not doing anything, this
dream is a good candidate for keeping.
- Enjoy the ride as long as it goes smoothly.
- From time to time, remind yourself about why you’re doing all this
work. For example this morning when I woke up at five AM to write this
blog post I had to push myself a bit to remember that this is helping me
reach my goal of becoming a professional writer.
- At times of setbacks, look back at the failure to see what you could
do differently in the future. Recover from the failure and keep going.
One of my wife’s biggest dreams has been to be a psychologist. Getting
accepted to study psychology is not easy (at least here in Finland the
entrance exams for psychology are among the hardest ones) but she was
determined to get in. After each failed attempt she cried for a while,
took a break for a few days and then started thinking about the next
year’s exams. Now she is one of the top students in he class.
- Find friends who support your dream and want to see you succeed. When
others start saying things like “what if it’s not meant to be?” you need
someone who says the opposite: “Don’t listen to that. Think about how
much effort you have already put into this. If you give up now, it will
all go to waste.”
If you apply to a school and get a few points too little, study more and
try again next year. If you still don’t get admitted, study still more.
And while studying keep your mind open to see if there could be some other
way of getting admitted than through entrance exams.
If you start a business and your first customer decides not to pay you,
learn new ways to make sure the next one pays and move on.
When someone says that maybe your dream wasn’t meant to be after all,
don’t give in.
It’s your dream. It’s important to you.
Be patient. Work hard. And one day when your dream becomes reality they
will have to take their words back.