Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than before. –Polybius
‘I take my goals seriously!’ you say defiantly.Â Well, okay, maybe you do.Â But lots of people don’t.Â And it’s a very fine line between thinking you take your goals seriously and knowing you do.Â For almost two years I thought I was serious about writing a novel and getting it published.Â I had an idea for a book and I wrote the first eight pages of the first chapter.
Feeling writers block after those eight pages, I began to refine my book outline.Â That process took the bulk of a year and got me generally nowhere.Â All through this time I told people that I wanted to be a writer, and th at I was writing a first book, but the truth is that I wasn’t doing much of anything.Â I had this idea of being a published author and I had worked a small bit towards it, but it was so far away from becoming a reality that my claims of ‘writing a book’ were ludicrous at best.
The problem was that I never took it seriously.Â I didn’t outline my novel properly, I didn’t look up what I needed to do to get published, I didn’t find any information on agents or publishers, I didn’t find out how a manuscript had to be formatted to send it in.Â I didn’t know how to find agents or how to send in a manuscript, I didn’t know where in the world to market my book, I didn’t even know what a query letter was.Â These are all things you need to know if you’re going to get a book published.Â All I had done was written eight pages, even though I had this dream of being an author.
And that’s what a lot of people do.Â They have this great business idea– for arguments sake let’s say they want to sell an ergonomic computer mouse.Â They look at it and think, ‘Hey, it wouldn’t cost much to produce that, and I could make a big profit if they sold well!Â I could do that!’Â and then they talk about doing it without taking any further steps to realize their goals.
Take yourself seriously.Â Take your dreams seriously.
If you really want to accomplish your dreams, get into your dream profession, establish a successful business, whatever–Â You need to take it seriously.Â What I mean by that is that you need to look at your situation realistically.
For me that meant asking myself ‘If I were going to try and get my finished book published tomorrow, what would I have to do?Â What steps would I have to take?’ and then I actively searched for the information as if that was my intention.
That sounds really easy and straight forward, but it isn’t.Â The truth is that taking your dreams seriously can be absolutely terrifying.Â In looking up all this information I inevitably learned that the great majority of first novels are rejected over and over again when sent to publishers and agents.Â I had to face the fact that I am trying to break into a very competitive and crowded market and that it was possible I would fail.Â Hell, it was probable that I would fail.
That’s the scary part.Â Inevitably, if you have a dream that you really want to become a reality, your dream is probably big.Â It’s very likely that not many succeed in your dream, which is why it’s your dream and not your reality.Â I mean who dreams of becoming a sales rep for a company that produces paper?Â Nobody.Â But there are no shortages of paper product sales reps, because it’s easy to do and it’s easy to keep doing for the rest of your life.
Dreams are difficult to accomplish, but the pay off once they’re achieved is astronomical in comparison to the work that goes into achieving them.Â The hard part about this process is knowing that most people fail, that it will take hard work and dedication to succeed and then deciding to do it anyway.
How to take your dreams seriously
So, to bring this back to hypothetical man and his hypothetical ergnomic computer mouse, he has a lot to think about.
Here’s a short list:
- Production Cost
- Production itself
- The need for sales reps
- Shipping costs
- Asking price
- Competitiveness of the product
- Lifetime of the product
The list could go on and on.Â There’s a huge amount you would need to know before starting to sell your ergonomical computer mice.Â On top of that, you need to decide what you want to accomplish.Â Does hypothetical man want to sell his product in a store like Best Buy?Â Or does he want to sell it himself online?Â How many mice does he want to sell/how much money does he want to make?Â This affects his decisions.Â Taking his plan seriously forces him to look at what he wants to accomplish and how he can realistically make that happen.Â All plans that were not remotely realistic get thrown out the window at this stage, which is the only way he can move forward with the realization of his dream.
Why this helps you achieve what you want
Taking what you want seriously and making a solid plan of action makes your goal very clear in your mind.Â Where once you had a vague, murky idea of what you wanted to do and very little knowledge on how to do it, your new plan tells you exactly when and what you need to do.Â From there, it is a simple matter of following your plan.Â You’ve done all the research and so you’re able to easily follow the path you’ve laid for yourself.
Furthermore, making a solid plan of action helps you decide whether or not you really want what you think you want.Â Want to be a millionaire?Â Think about it seriously.Â How will you make your millions?Â What service will you provide?Â How much will you work?Â What habits do you have now that you will have to give up?
Not willing to make those sacrifices and changes?Â Then junk your idea and come up with a new one.Â That might be hard at first, but know that if you’ve looked at the facts about how to achieve what you want, and you are not willing to do what is required to get what you want (i.e. becoming a millionaire) then believe me when I say, you do not really want it.Â You have just saved yourself a load of time!
In the example of wanting to be a millionaire but not wanting to take the steps to become a millionaire many people will say that they want the money, they just don’t want to work to get it.Â They want to win it in a contest or in the lottery.Â But they’re not thinking of it realistically.
Even if you were to win the lottery, in order to manage over a million dollars, you need to put in the time and the effort to know where to invest, where to put funds, where you’re going to get the best interest rate, how you can access it.Â You’re going to have to track the money so that you don’t overspend with your newfound fortune.Â A lot goes into managing that kind of money, and if you won’t spend the time to do your research, you will find yourself without it very quickly.Â There’s a reason that over 80% of lottery winners have spent all of their winnings within two years.Â They don’t know how to manage it and don’t take the steps to find out.
And with the time you save by finding out you don’t really want something, you can do your research about other things that you think you want and decide which of those things are worth your time and effort.Â Time is the only resource available to you which you cannot ever renew.Â The clock is ticking even as you read this sentence, and you will never get those seconds back.
Don’t squander your time.Â Take yourself and your desires seriously and then go after them!Â There’s only one person who can make your dreams become real and tangible, and that’s you.Â Go to it.