If You Can Deal With This Painful Truth, You Stand a Chance at Turning Your Daydreams Into Reality
If you’re anything like me, which I’m guessing you are because you’re reading a self-improvement article, you probably daydream more than the average person.
You know you have a ton of potential. That’s why you’re so frustrated. You can clearly and easily see that better version of yourself achieving all the goals and dreams in your mind.
Why is it so hard to become that person in real life? Don’t let the other self-improvement writers fool you — it’s difficult.
Literally difficult? No, you could just begin to execute the behaviors needed for success right now in an instant.
But becoming the ideal version of yourself is extremely psychologically difficult.
Well, your daydreams are part of the problem. See, daydreams are almost as good as having the real thing — almost. Fantasizing helps you get by in life. If you had to sit with your true reality one hundred percent of the time and had the inability to dream of a better future, you’d go insane or get depressed.
Why do you think we keep ourselves so distracted at all times? Not just with daydreams, but with entertainment, food, drugs and alcohol, whatever. First, it helps mask that mismatch between the reality we want and the reality we have. Second, it keeps us numb enough to avoid doing the one thing that would actually change our lives.
So what is this thing and why do we avoid it if it’s so beneficial? Well, this thing has as much of a downside as it does an upside.
Let me explain.
Imagine right now you somehow manage to muster the motivation that has been evading you for so long. You spend every single day becoming better at that skill, project, or path you’ve always dreamed of.
You never waiver. When obstacles and challenges come your way, you persist. You know it will take time to pull it off, so you’re patient when things don’t go your way initially.
But then, you keep working, you work harder, you work some more. You work so hard that, objectively, you should’ve achieved the goal by now, but you haven’t. Why? Because you’re simply not good enough, ill-equipped, and don’t have the talent.
You do everything in your power to succeed and you still fail.
Make no mistake about it. This is a real possibility. Even though I’d argue the likelihood of having a below-average life after years of work is slim to none, you can still fall short of what you aimed for.
That’s the secret to a successful life — you have to reconcile yourself with that possibility upfront.
The whole journey isn’t the biggest hurdle, though. The beginning kills off most dreams. When you’re just getting started almost all the evidence will point to you not being good enough. When you’re a beginner you just suck. And you’re supposed to suck.
Logically, you know this to be true but it’s emotionally difficult to let go of ‘potential you.’ Daydreaming is fun because you can convince yourself that if only you tried, things would work out. This strokes your ego just enough to keep you sane and content.
But when you actually have to do the thing — write the post, shoot the video, pitch the client, hit the gym, find the donors — you don’t get to have potential anymore. You have to find out whether or not you are good enough.
And you probably are. If you’ve read my book (which you should if you’re serious about changing your life. Do it now right here because you are smart. ) you know I strongly suggest picking a lane for your life where you have a natural talent and strength. This mitigates the possibility of failure. But still, even if you’re predisposed to being good at said skill, you will not be all that good, to begin with.
There’s no warm and fuzzy dose of motivational novacane coming around the corner my friend. It won’t feel very good to suck in the beginning. It will suck.
It won’t be horrible, though. You will get many quick wins and you’ll notice how much you enjoy what you’re doing regardless of how good you are at it.
If you stick with the process — 90 days, six months, one year plus — you’ll be on your path to mastery.
For those of you who haven’t started or are just at the beginning of a new path in life, let me share some ideas that will help you when you inevitably run into roadblocks.
First — Once you have a new skill, it’s yours forever. I could take a year off from writing. I’d be rusty, but I’d get back on the horse rather quickly. Due to all the skills I’ve built over the year from writing to marketing to online business, I could build myself back up from zero dollars.
You’ll reach a certain threshold where your skills will become second nature. Just make it to that point and the rest of your life will be spent adding little nuanced pieces of information and supplementary tactics to the foundations of what you already know.
Second — If you give up a few years of your life upfront, you can have the rest of it to be successful. Carpe diem isn’t allowed for broke people who don’t have their lives together. Nope. Could you die while sacrificing a few years of your life to achieve a higher purpose? Sure. But at least you wouldn’t have died in vain. You’d die a fighter instead of a bench warmer.
From the ages of 25 to 30 I basically had no life. Granted, I didn’t need to cut out as much ‘fun’ as I did. But looking back? I don’t regret it at all. 99 percent of my peers, who had fun in the short term, they’re locked into whatever life they’re living. Not saying their lives are good or bad, but I’m certain that whatever trajectory they are on will persist for the rest of their lives.
A few years of your life for the rest of your life. That’s the trade you have to be willing to make.
Last — screw it. My attitude continues to grow more carefree by the day. I just keep trying to play the game of life to win without staying too attached to anything — certainly not possessions and definitely not my emotions. The more you do the work, the less you rely on or trust your emotions to guide you in any way. You know your brain is wired for your failure so you just stop trusting it.
You’re never going to totally get rid of your doubts, fears, and irrational mental scripts and worldviews. Don’t even try. Just live the best version of your life as you possibly can.
You’ll fail. You’ll feel dumb. There will be moments where you ask yourself why the hell you’re even trying. But if you keep going, you’ll experience the masochistic joy of trying to build a life few people have the stones to ever give a sincere try.
That’s your reward.
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