Over the years, talking with friends and family, I’ve picked up on some good advice. Life altering advice. Advice that changed my perspective on achieving my dreams and goals. Sometimes, the same advice can be given to you over and over again, and whether it has to do with wording or timing, eventually something clicks. These 5 tips did just that for me.
1. “Edit and let go of scenes that don’t go with the overall movie of your life.”
Easily disappointed, I would often find myself thinking about what didn’t work out. Past relationships, jobs, opportunities. What is so interesting about this is that those people, places, and things that I was afraid to let go of didn’t even come close to what I truly desired for myself. My uncle, a film maker, told me once that life is like a movie. Though we may spend hours trying to film one scene, when it comes to the editing process, we may find that that scene really has nothing to do with the overall big picture. Though you invested your time on this scene, maybe more so than any other, you have to be willing to let it go. In real life, we have realize that though we may have invested our time in people, places, or things, it may not go with the big picture of our life movie, and that is OK.
2. “Don’t focus on what you don’t want to do, do everything that you love instead.”
After attending my best friend’s memorial, I met his son’s mother. Through our grieving we became good friends. Once when she asked how I was doing, I told her I was frustrated. I knew all the things I wasn’t supposed to do, but little about what I should do instead. I knew so little about what I would like to do that i would revert to thinking about what I didn’t. It was a miserable and painful process! She gave me a two week challenge: Do everything you love to do. Think about thoughts that make you feel warm, eat your favorite food, listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite T.V. show. Do all and everything that favors you.
3. “If you were taking a trip, and several miles into it you took a wrong turn, you wouldn’t go all the way back to your house and start over, would you? So why do you have to start over every time you take a wrong turn in life? Just get back on the right track.”
How often is it that we won’t try that last time because of all our failures to arrive to that destination goal? For me, giving my dreams one last shot was close to not happening. I remember telling my uncle ,”I wanted to give up, what was the point of trying? My life has been a repetitive cycle of ‘starting over.'” When he responded with the metaphor about driving, it made sense. Who really would go all the way back to their house and begin driving again after making a wrong turn 10 miles into a trip? That’s when he explained to me the importance of not throwing out the baby with the bath water. It’s not about starting over but getting back on track, building on what you’ve learned in between.
4. “If it was meant to be, nothing that you do will stop it from happening. If it wasn’t meant to be, nothing that you do will change that.”
A bad habit that I’ve struggled with is trying to control the outcome, especially in relationships. When insecure, which if applying the 10/90 rule my insecurities may have absolutely nothing to do with the relationship itself, I begin to act out, creating pressure and spinning my wheels trying to get the outcome I want because I’m afraid it won’t happen. A friend once told me after beating myself up about my behaviors that if it was meant to be, there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. Likewise, if it wasn’t meant to be, there was nothing I can do to manipulate it into existence. Knowing this relieved me of the pressure to take forceful actions when it would be best to go with the flow instead. Everything works out as it should.
5. “Keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart.”
Part of the country rock song “Even if it breaks your heart” by the Eli Young Band, this lyric hits the nail on the head. Because success includes times of failure, the risk in not achieving success has to do with the temptation to give up when it looks like your goal is out of reach. The ability to continue and persevere in spite of those times has a lot to do with whether or not you dare to dream. After years of heartache, it can be painful to dream about what you want out of fear it may not happen and you are letting yourself down by doing so. But the truth is, what you want is important and possible, always. You need to keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart, because the only way your desires can come into existence if if they remain alive. Sometimes, it’s not the right people, places, or things, or that you’re desire is wrong. Be patient for that perfect fit, and don’t give up in between.