When looking at your life, do you see great things? Do you see steps forward, progress of goals, and feel a sense of wonder at what great things will be next in your life? Or are you like many, wondering how the dreams that you have could ever become real? How what you want in life could be made into reality, or how to even start to move towards those ideas that you once thought were brilliant, but now wonder if you could make them happen?
On my journey to become an author, a journey that I did not know I was taking, I was faced with some difficult decisions in my life. I had to decide if I was going to truly open my introvert mind and allow myself to be vulnerable enough to expose the raw, tough, frazzled world that lived in my soul – a very different perspective from the calm, cool person that I present on the outside.
As I grew as a writer, I was given opportunities to take steps forward into that space, and work with different teams and groups, like those at Readers Magnet and their Authors Lounge team, which encouraged me to step away from what I thought I knew, and into a different way of seeing myself, and to put my on the path to find my next great thing.
Anatole France said, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Living in a world that is full of harsh realities, dreams can seem frivolous, a waste of time, or a waste of energy.
But what I believe, and what I have learned, is that those that give into their dreams, and add dashes of hope and persistence to that recipe, those individuals can achieve great things. How do you find your next great thing?
How indeed! Who does not want to achieve greatness in their life? How often do we think “If only I could _______” That blank space is your hope, your dreams. The hard part is, how do you turn your dreams into reality?
There is no perfect formula to create your vision, but there are ways to put yourself on the right path to finding the life that you are reaching for. Dream What does your great thing look like? What is it? If you could tell your bestie what you desire in three minutes or less, what would you say? Can you define it? Can you see it? What does it mean? Your goal can be as simple as making the cheerleading team, or as complex as starting your own company – it doesn’t matter what you want, but only you can envision what you are reaching for.
When you can see that goal fully formed in your mind, when it is almost so perfectly created that you feel you can touch it, then you have achieved the first step in meeting your goal.
You know what you want.
Create steps to the goal Not everyone relished the times in school when we had to put together the steps that are needed to get to the result of something. For me, I will never forget when I was asked by my third-grade teacher to write out the steps needed to make something, anything, so that if someone else read it, they would know exactly how to make what we described. The example that she used was the steps that were needed to make a peanut butter sandwich.
While initially thinking this would not be a difficult task, I quickly realized that just getting bread, peanut butter and jelly, and saying “make a sandwich” would not get me the results I wanted. In fact, looking back now, some of the instructions that were used by that class of ten-year-old’s were quite amusing. How easy it was to forget to about the knife in the equation or spreading the jelly and not just dumping it on the bread.
All in all, it was a great lesson in understanding that we often need to look at the pieces or path to something before we can see the result. We need the steps, the pieces of the puzzle, to find our way to greatness. Very few achievements occur developed out of thin air.
In the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Find your list of the small things.
Execute Although this seems simple enough, the execution of these goals may be harder than you think. Sometimes those first few steps to the path of our great desires can be scary. We can be plagued by doubt; self-preservation that allows us to feel a part of failure before it happens. But doubt can also be a catalyst for movement. Are you doubting your ability? Your plan? Of the dream itself?
I find that when I focus on my dream, I believe I can do it! But when I look at all the steps to get there, my goal can seem too much, too big.
So instead of focusing on the big picture, I break it down into small steps. Like Vincent Van Gogh said, when you look at the small steps you make towards a goal, suddenly that goal does not feel so far away. Each step brings you that much closer to the goal. To the dream.
To the next great thing.
In my mind, it seemed impossible that I would ever write a book. How does anyone get that many words down on paper, let along put them together in a way that someone else would want to read what was written there? For me, the journey towards that first publication, 27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home, happened because I looked at it in small pieces. First, I took all the blog articles I had written, which were in the hundreds, and put them together. Then, I worked with others to bring together my writing into a format that made sense, that told a story. After that, I connected with a self-publishing company to put it into production.
Suddenly, I was an author. Today, I am lucky to have found a partner in Reader’s Magnet, and the Author’s Lounge, that allows me to write more, publish my second book, Dying to Live Your Life, and also encourages me to continue to reach for new goals, new writing opportunities, and new ways to be what I never knew I would be.
An author. My next great thing.
Strive for your dreams – as humans, we were given the innate ability to think and wonder. That wonderment and exploration in our minds leads to great discoveries. You can be whatever you want to be, to reach for goals that seem far away. Give yourself permission to reach for your next great thing.