“It is never too late to become what you might have been”
– George Elliot
We all have a vision of what our dream life looks like but the trouble is we believe that it is merely a figment of our imagination. We have lead ourselves to believe in our stories and excuses as to why our ideal life is unattainable (lack of capital, resources, network etc.). Even when we hear of success stories of how others, against all odds, were able to realize their larger than life dreams, we convince ourselves that though they have what it takes, we simply do not.
I believe that every single one of us, no matter what our background, socio-economic status, race etc. certainly have what it takes to turn our dreams into reality. This is only possible, however, if we choose to believe it wholeheartedly and persistently work towards it. Unfortunately, along the way, most of us managed to let our fears get the best of us. Our imagination runs free of the thought of giving it all and yet still fall flat on our face with nothing to show for our efforts. As a result, we find ourselves resorting to stay in our comfort zones and avoiding taking risks at all cost throughout our lives. We find ourselves questioning our abilities and our own worth. Yet simultaneously, we keep yearning for a better life while having envy for those who have achieved what we desperately want for ourselves.
The truth is, practically everyone on Earth have experienced multiple disappointments and failures in life and it is certainly nothing to be ashamed about. This just simply means that at some points in our lives, despite the palpable fear, we decided to work towards something that we believe in or what we believe we deserve. However, most of us view failures as bigger than just mere setbacks or bumps on the path to success. We equate experiencing failure as being not good enough.
In contrast, highly successful people embrace failure and see failures as experiences where they can learn from and fuel them to work even harder towards their goals. They recognize the belief that there is only one way to attain success is a myth because there’s countless ways to get to where we desire to be. More importantly, they have a great understanding that with each failure, they are one step closer to achieving their dream.
Remember that almost no one is great at what they do right off the bat. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that to be successful, one must also believe in and love what he/she does in order to relentlessly persevere when faced with challenges and/or obstacles one would inevitably face along the way. As Pele, one of soccer’s greatest legend, said “Success is no accident, it is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing”.
If you have given up on your dream(s), it’s time to dust yourself off and get back on the bandwagon. Know that your previous attempts were not wasted because if you take the time to look back, you’ll soon realize that you’ve gained priceless lessons from the experience. These valuable insights will enable you to approach your next attempt differently and perhaps, more effectively. For those who have yet to make that attempt, there’s no better time to start doing so than today.
As for me, this year, in order to get closer to living my dream life, I’m making a point to set fear aside and do as many things that frighten me whenever possible – starting with surfing! It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a while yet it had remained ‘untouched’ on my bucket list for years. With that, I invite you to also do the things that you’ve been wanting to do but have been afraid to. Now is good time as any to finally take that leap of faith!