On ParadeIn life, there is often a driving force that propels us forward, a purpose that defines us. It is the one thing that remains when all else is a shade of grey. For some this purpose/cause/dream reveals itself in a moment of epiphany; for others it is almost as old as they are themselves.

I am not the first person to question why, if our dreams and goals are so important to us, we allow them to remain just that – dreams. Nor have I discovered anything different from those who have queried this before me. Having posed the question of what stands between an individual and their dream, I too have received a set of common, yet startlingly poor, excuses. A lack of time, energy and resources are the prime culprits.

In short, when it comes to bridging the gap between you and your goal you don’t need to wait for a miracle. Rather, the key to your dreams lies in mindfully managing what you already have. Finally, remember “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. JUST KEEP MOVING.”

Such responses are all the more disappointing when I consider the approach, of the very same people, to other spheres of life. Faced with difficulties elsewhere they strive and make the best of what they have. Focused on the importance of resolving the matter, whether it relates to finances or a relationship, they prefer to tweak and adjust what they already have, rather than throw it away altogether. Moreover, they persevere – failure is not an option. The results of such efforts may not be perfect, but more often than, they are pleasantly surprising.

Unfortunately, this approach is too easily abandoned when it comes to pursuing a passion. That plan to travel the world, write a book or make a career change tends to shift sneakily to the back burner, and creeps from there to a place called “some-day”.

This is particularly troubling given the ease with which it’s possible to become “unstuck” from this rut. In fact, a little resolve and a few simple adjustments are probably all you need.

Tweaks to try:
  • If your obstacle is a lack of time begin by working out what’s distracting you. This won’t be genuine down time without which you would burn out. Rather, it’s likely to be time spent incessantly checking your emails, or going for a night out too many. According to a popular shock-statistic, a typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption while it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task. The good news, however, is that a typical office worker has a bank of nearly three hours a day which he can tap into should he want to. The potential is remarkable when you consider that it takes only 20 hours of focused practice to acquire a completely new skill.
  • For those of you who just don’t have the energy once you’ve dealt with the day, try going a little easier on yourself. It’s an established fact that self control is a form of mental work. And work is tiring. The effort you put in to deny yourself a little pleasure here is likely translated into a reduced ability to apply yourself to the next challenge that comes along. If you hold yourself to perfection in every sphere of life, often what will suffer is your motivation to achieve what matters most.

In short, when it comes to bridging the gap between you and your goal you don’t need to wait for a miracle. Rather, the key to your dreams lies in mindfully managing what you already have. Finally, remember “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl. JUST KEEP MOVING.”

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