We all have dreams, visions of the future for ourselves, our families, and our organizations. What really makes or breaks us though is how we deal with challenge, difficulty, and stress to push forward with our dreams. How can we make real these words of Civil Rights Activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund? How can we not allow anything to discourage us? I’ve thought of 3 ways to stick with the dream.
“Make up your mind that you are not going to allow anything to discourage you.”
Three Ways to Stick With the Dream
1.) Reconnect with your purpose
When you have a dream you’re trying to bring to reality, it’s so easy to get stuck in the details. For every dream that’s passion-filled, there’s a hundred annoying details that need to be done. Imagine being so passionate about cooking that your dream is to open a restaurant. You love cooking so much but then realize everything else that comes with the dream of opening a restaurant (permits from the city, advertising, hiring, training, and on and on). It would be easy to get stuck in any one of those details. Add them up and they may make you want to tear your hair out.
The antidote is to be really clear about your purpose. When you begin, write down your dream and your passion. When you get lost in the details and want to throw your hands up, go back to that dream and purpose. Remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and reconnect with your purpose.
What’s your dream and purpose? Write it down to remind yourself.
2.) Form community
No matter what the goal, working toward it in community makes things seem easier and go faster. It doesn’t matter if the community is directly working with you or one that is just offering support through the dream, having someone to cheer you on and share your experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) makes sticking with the dream all the easier.
My personal example comes from trying to fast for various periods. In one experience, I fasted with some really great youth as part of a 30 Hour Famine at Wilmington UMC in Wilmington, MA to raise money and awareness about the issue of hunger, especially child hunger, around the world. It was a great experience. My stomach growled, as did everyone else’s, but I didn’t give into the temptation to break my fast. In another experience, I decided to fast during Lent one day a week for breakfast and lunch. Sounds simple right? On the first day my stomach growled and there was no one to share the experience with. When I saw the Wendy’s drive-thru all I could do was get a hamburger. #fastingfail because I had no community of presence or support.
What’s your community of presence or support for your dream? Need one – come visit us at Connexion!
3.) Celebrate small victories
The really big dreams, the kind that define our life purpose take a lot of time and effort. If we focus too much on the end goal, ignoring the incremental progress, we can get lost in how daunting the goal is. It may seem silly to celebrate the smaller victories that seem insignificant when compared to the whole dream, but it’s important to remember that those smaller victories aren’t insignificant when you look at them as important steps toward the dream.
What victories have you already had in the pursuit of your dream? Remember just taking the first step is a victory itself.
Those are my three tips for being able to stick with your dream, even when the going gets tough. What tips have you found helpful?