By Syndee Barwick
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu
First there’s the over-the-top enthusiasm, like you’ve become drunk on your dream, gulping down scenario after scenario. Oh, the things you’ll do! The lives you’ll change! The book you’ll write! The business you’ll start!
But then doubt creeps in, reality slaps you with its harsh truths, and the voices of naysayers – whether others’ voices in your head or to your face, or your own inner critic – deafen you, drowning those sparks ignited by your soul.
How do you keep going in the face of contrarians and the constant barrage of negative cacophony?
Trepidation for pursuing one’s dream is something to which no one is immune. It’s hard-wired into our psyches, pummeled into us by society: “Get real.” You want to start your own business? Great! But how will you pay the mortgage? Want to write full-time because it’s your passion? Fantastic! But how will you keep the lights on? Oh, those pesky everyday obligations.
How do you get to your dream?
Plan. Just like a road trip, map out your journey – including a myriad of alternate routes (in case of accidents, traffic, or whatever other occurrences that may waylay you), contingency plans, rest stops, site-seeing, opportunities to get gas and food, and what you’ll do once you reach your destination.
Even the best laid plans, the most intricate of schematics, can dissolve into ethers or a detour pops up. But the first step?
Visualize (dream) your perfect situation. What does that look like? How does it feel? How does it MAKE you feel? Why do you want this? Write it all down. It’ll help you map your journey.
Write out your plan/draw that map. Without one, how do you know where you’re going – and how do you know you’ve arrived?
Set up key milestones. Just like any other journey: what are the landmarks? What are the milestones? And how do you celebrate when you attain those?
The most important though? Action. Because all of your planning and map-making can be perfectly designed, but it serves no purpose if you don’t act.
So take that first step – then put one foot in front of the other, with your map in hand.
Because if you don’t take that first step, a year from now you’ll be exactly where you are right now: in the same place, doing the same thing, and not pursuing what it is you so greatly desired and dreamed. And it’ll be that way, year after year. Your dream only a wisp of memory in the dust you’ll be.
Your unique dream, your unique gift will be disappear with you. Only YOU can animate your particular vision and dream. Don’t wait. Take that first step today!