Every morning as I drive to yoga I make it a point to look at people’s faces on their way to work. Some are headed to the train station. Some are walking to local shops and businesses. Still, others are commuting in their cars. They are as diverse and different as their professions, backgrounds and dreams. But, there is one thing that they all have in common. They’re all missing happy looking faces. In fact, some of them are outright frowning and I can’t help but to wonder if it’s because they’re not morning people or because they’re dreading where they have to go. My intuition tells me that it’s the latter and the Mother Teresa in me wants to reach out to them hoping they will find passion and purpose in their lives.
If you’re reading this I’m wondering if you, too, are looking for more out of life. Do you want to achieve something special, on your own terms, with little inconvenience and in a short time? Everyone does.
I’m always curious how the human psyche works. My interests have always been in helping people to see the world at its best. I’ve been called Pollyanna at work, after a 1960 Disney movie character who believes that life’s most challenging problems can be solved by a positive attitude.
One of the questions I ask people who want to improve themselves is: “In a perfect world, if you could do or be anything what would you do?” It’s uncanny how the answer is always the same. “I want to be my own boss and determine when I work.”
That response is as certain as their next step isn’t. As heartfelt as that wish is, for a number of reasons many individuals don’t move towards materializing their dreams. The biggest culprits in the way are a lack of direction and vision. Fear of failure, being scared of the unknown and the inability or unwillingness to work hard towards achievement, follow closely second.
So how can these be overcome? Here are some ways to get past these roadblocks and get on track toward a life of passion and purpose.
DEFINE YOUR MISSION AND VISION
You say you want to be your own boss. So, what kind of business do you want to lead? Once you know this, ask yourself why? The first is your mission and the second is your vision.
Your vision is more important than your mission. It is the fuel that keeps you going. It is the passion behind what you want to do. It is your inner voice leading you. It is what you were put on this earth to do. Listen to it. If you ignore it, you’ll always find yourself peering over the fence looking for greener pastures. Here’s an example of how the two work together.
I founded a non-profit, Volunteers on Call, Inc. with the mission of raising public awareness about the value of volunteerism and to provide domestic and international service opportunities to homeless and underserved populations.
My vision is to mobilize the local community in the common goal of service. The purpose is to immerse volunteers in a fulfilling experience while bringing hope, enhancing the quality of life of both the giver and the recipient, establishing long-term beneficial relationships and exchanging skills that last a lifetime.
Try this exercise. Write down what your mission in life is and what your vision is for getting there. This is the first step of your journey. When you can define it, you’re on your way toward materializing your dream.
FEAR OF FAILURE
Why let false perceptions get in the way of your dream life and career? After all, that’s exactly what fear is. It’s an unachieved expectation. So, don’t allow it to become real. Remember that there is no such thing as failure, only repeated tries that teach you how to find the answer.
I suspect that some people fear being ridiculed for going after their dream. You know what I’ve learned? Until you get it, keep it to yourself. But never stop trying. Not only will you surprise yourself, you may just leave others speechless when you get there. In the movie, The Imitation Game, Alan Touring is told by his friend, “sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” Be that person.
SCARED OF THE UNKNOWN
Being scared of the unknown happens when you walk a lonely path. If you surround yourself with those that have treated where you are, they will give you the support you need to get through.
When going after a goal, whether a new lifestyle or career, make sure you find a community that will help you on your journey. Don’t go it alone. The unknown quickly becomes the familiar when you learn that others have been there before.
Do your homework, research and ask a lot of questions before you tackle your new life or profession. Unknown just means that you need answers to questions. Make search engines your best friends. Find out what others have to say about what you’re trying to do.
When I first started looking into digital marketing, I spent a lot of time googling the subject, watching Youtube videos and getting a hold of any informational material on list building for profit. My days were spent immersed on a boot camp video series, which education gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with my business. Once you make a decision to improve your situation, you can move ahead without being scared having plenty of information under your belt.
WORK TOWARD YOUR DREAM
I don’t believe in working hard because if you love what you’re doing, it really isn’t work. I do, however, believe in focusing your energy to get things accomplished.
When your attention rests on a thought or idea it can’t help but to become a reality. This is because the Universe is made up of energy. When you add more energy to something, by definition, you’re changing its original form. Hence, you have control of the outcome. Take control of your desire to live passionately and purposefully.
If you want to materialize your vision, you must invest energy. The most demanding phase will be in the beginning. Once your dream, lifestyle or business is operating smoothly, the effort to keep it running will be less than at the onset.
If you want to be your own boss and live a life of passion and purpose, invest energy in your idea. Keep your dream alive lest you want to end up as one of those commuters with frowns and unhappy faces. Focus on your vision and don’t stop until you achieve it. That is how the masters do it.