“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” ~Paul Valery
As I am sitting at my desk, looking out the window, I am contemplating if I should fly to Germany or not.
My father has been very sick for the past three years. I spent three months in Germany last year to have some time with him and help him get better. He finally recovered and I flew back home to Miami.
When I talked to my stepmom the other day, she gave me the news though that my father had a relapse and seems to be worse than ever.
My first instinct was to get on the next plane to go see him. My father refuses. He doesn’t want me to come. He doesn’t want me to see him suffer, so he prefers I stay home while he is waiting for a place in the clinic.
Situations like these make you realize how precious life is. Everything we take for granted can be gone in a heartbeat. Knowing that, why do we keep procrastinating? Why do we keep postponing our dreams?
We always think the time is not right, we don’t have the resources we need, we don’t have enough knowledge, we don’t have any support; the list is endless.
I was just like that. I always dreamed of going full-time with my personal training business. But even though I felt depressed, kind of empty inside, and even useless once in a while, and I had a day job I wasn’t passionate about that seemed meaningless to me, I kept making excuses.
I kept telling myself, there are too many trainers out there, I won’t be able to make a living, it’s going to be too hard, I am not skilled enough, I am not fit enough, I am not outgoing enough, and—my all-time favorite—right now is just not the right time to take the leap.
You know what though? The time is never right! We will never feel ready and the conditions will never be perfect.
My father’s illness made me realize that I don’t want to continue living this way. When my time comes I want to be able to say “I tried.” No ifs and buts.
Last year I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and promised myself that I would make it happen. I wouldn’t let doubt, fear, or excuses stop me. I quit my dreaded job at the hotel and jumped head first into my entrepreneurial journey.
It hasn’t been easy; I keep making mistakes, and I keep learning. Believe me when I say, you can’t come up with anything the tiny little voice in my head hasn’t already thrown at me.
You might think you don’t have the resources to make your dreams a reality, but believe me, you do, and if you don’t, you can get them. You know enough to get started, and the rest you will learn while you’re on your way.
Your family and friends don’t support you? Find other support systems! Go online, check out groups, go to seminars, events, meet knew likeminded people. If you don’t have a support system, create one!
We think we have all the time in the world to pursue our dreams, but the reality is we don’t know how much time is left. You might have fifty years, twenty years, or you could be gone tomorrow. Do you really want to look back at the end of your life and ask “what if”?
Now is the time to make your dreams a reality.
You want to build your own company? Make a plan, start networking, and check out financing options.
You want to travel the world? Start selling the stuff you don’t need, make a list of countries you want to visit, start figuring out ways to earn money while you are on the road.
Okay, okay, I know what you’re about to say: This sounds great but it’s not that easy. And you are right. We all have responsibilities; we have monthly bills we have to pay, maybe a mortgage, and some of us have children to care for.
I’m not telling you to drop everything you worked for and throw all security measures out the window. My point is that we need to follow our passions; we need to remember what makes us smile, what makes us laugh, what makes us happy.
Sometimes even small steps in the direction of our dreams are enough to bring us back to the present moment and allow us to enjoy life again.
Maybe on the way you realize that having your own company or traveling the world won’t actually make you fulfilled. Or you come to realize that you are indeed on the right path and that you do want to make drastic changes in your life, and then you accept the sacrifices you have to make.
But in order to find out what it really is that gives you joy, you need to start shooting for the stars.
But people will think I’m crazy! It’s too risky! I’m scared!
This is your life. It doesn’t matter what other people think. You deserve to create a life you don’t need a vacation from. You deserve to be able to look back on your life with a smile on your face instead of regret in your heart.
Yes, it is scary, and yes, it might be risky, but if you don’t try you will never find out what could have been. Take every opportunity you get. You might fall once in a while. That’s okay.
I still struggle. I still get anxious because I have months where I try to figure out how to pay my bills. And sometimes I have this awesome idea for a new program and invest all my time into making it happen, just to find out that I was the only one who thought it was a great idea.
It happens. Let’s take things like this as a lesson learned, get back up, and do it again. Just don’t let these challenges convince you that you should give up.
I pray every single day that my father will recover and I will be able to spend a lot more time with him. But even if he doesn’t, I know he won’t go with a lot of regret. He always enjoyed his life, did what he wanted, said what he wanted, and didn’t care about the opinions of others.
Let’s take that as an example, and let’s keep pushing our dreams forward and make them a reality. We deserve it!
Reaching for the stars image via Shutterstock