The rule is simple, and we’ve heard it million times.. “FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS”
So how the heck is following your dreams going to lead to doing big things? I only have one explanation to that, the moment you follow your dream you will be surprise of how you as an individual will evolve, it’s like entering a new realm revealing secrets about your self, secrets that even you’re not aware of. Been reading a lot lately on how one discovers his dream and how to pursuit it, I read books, came across lots of blogs, sat down with people and start a conversation with them about this, reviewed my own life and reflect on my past. And I noticed one thing in all of these observations, to live your dream starts with one thing…the mindset of deciding to do them.
Have the mindset to do it – There’s a very thin line between knowing what your dreams are versus having the mindset of deciding to do them. For me this is how I will put it, knowing your dream is like standing at the train platform arriving for that train to stop infront of you before you hop in, it’s as if you’re hoping that by nature of events, your dream will eventually materialize…. on the other hand having the mindset of deciding to do them is like chasing this train, you don’t wait for it to stop and alight infront of you, you move, you walk, you chase it… the moment you have that mindset of deciding to do them you will notice certain changes to yourself, you will actually do something about it. As for me, my evolution started with simple things like writing by dream on a piece of paper, then i started pasting this dream at the wall of my room, (let’s just say it’s the first thing I see the moment I open my eyes in the morning). I started talking about it more and more to my friends and other people, and the most noticeable change that happened to me after I had the mindset to do it is my spending habit. For example, whenever I’ll eat in a fancy restaurant I started calculating my expense by cross-checking it with my travel expenditure.. my bubbles thought will be like this: “The cost of this pasta is equivalent to my 3 days meal allowance when I was in Vietnam, that means I’m burning my 3 days allowance in this single meal, so for my Burma trip I won’t spend this much on a pasta”. Simple thought like this, there’s pros and cons thou, I always ended up walking away from the fancy restaurant and just doing my own-cook meal…but I’ll ask my self, what’s my dream really, to try good food or travel the world? and yes I walk away from that amazingly expensive resto. In other words, you always consider your dreams in almost everything that you do… this is when you know you already acquired the mindset to follow your dream, the changes in you will reveal it.
Do not model your definition of big things on what other people have done – Doing Big Things is highly dependent on YOUR mindset to do it, yes capital Y-O-U-R because you don’t need to model your definition of big things on what other people have done. Yes it’s nice to seek advice and pick things up from successful people who made it to following their dreams, but this fact is subjective to every person. It’s you dream, so who else will know it better but you. Quoting Muriel Strode “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
I’ve came across this quote several times already, but it never occured to me that one day it will resonate to me so much that I’m pasting it in my wall together with my dream map. Yes, I have a dream map, I’m not good in drawings but I can certainly draw lines and curves atleast.. 😉
So, how do you know it’s a big thing for you, you already know it, you just haven’t realize it yet. An old-but-good method of determining if it’s a Big Thing for you is this; ask yourself, “will I have a long-term regret if I don’t do this ______________ ?” and if your answer is a whopping YES or even “I think so”! then congratulations you just discovered your Big Thing! So what are you still doing reading this blog, get that piece of paper and write it down! or whatever is convenient for you, just proceed in doing something about it. 😉
Decide on your Big Thing first and don’t worry about the feasibility yet – the moment you start with this entertaining this thought is the moment you start shaking your mindset of deciding to do it. Here’s what I suggest you can do, spare sometime everyday to think of that Big Thing, let it get into your system and stick onto your head, just that thought, nothing else. The moment the “bad bacteria” pops into your head (I call it bad bacteria for it pollutes your Big Thing thought) shoo it away or smash it. Don’t entertain the feasibility thought until you feel like you already have a full grasp of your Big Thing. Have a strong commitment with your Big Thing first then once you’re done with this stage, we can talk about feasibility…
When I decided to take that trip in Vietnam, I don’t know how I’ll survive 5 weeks out there with only USD200 in my pocket when I board the plane, but soonest I got there I found ways to keep going, looked for simple jobs to get by my day, learned to eat only bread and water for weeks and humbled myself to ask help from friends who believe that what I’m doing is something so meaningful to me. True enough these people believed and trusted in me and helped me in my toughest times out there. And for that I will always credit them for discovering my dreams.
The more big things you do, the easier it becomes to do other big things. – Now this is my favorite part of this entry, accomplishing one big thing will give you confidence for other attempts. Yes, accomplishing Big Things can and will be addicting. Once you proved to yourself you can make it, you start doing the entire process of deciding to do Big Things again and this just make things more exciting, you continuously create Big Things you want to accomplish, thinking about your dreams is not what makes life meaningful, achieving them is…
Plan and pin down your desired result – Know your Big Thing and have a reverse site map for achieving it. Three years ago I dreamed of visiting 1 country per year, I went down the memory lane and realized I’ve already been into 6 countries after that. Having the chance to do something and turning it down out of fear is risky.
Lastly, be ready to accept that some people will never understand that your Big Things are Big Things for you – some might think you’re just being crazy for having those Big Things, some might even think they are not Big Things but just normal or worse, non-sense. I’ve had those comments already that what I’m doing are non-sense and leading to nowhere, I tried to remember who these people are, and I realized that these people are the ones that doesn’t know me well nor haven’t been to the “follow your dream path”, so might as well listen to the voice inside me rather than theirs. 🙂
So you might ask me, what’s my Big Thing as of the moment? Simple, it’s all in this life map. 🙂