Why Chasing a Dream Doesn’t Work
You want it all. You want it now. You’ve done everything right. Read all the books. Taken all the workshops. Shaken all the right hands. So why hasn’t your dream come true yet?
Your dream could be anything. A better job, a nicer house, a better girlfriend, or that next big client. Dreams are a good thing to have. They give us a reason to get out of bed in the morning. But dreams are difficult to achieve.
When we see other people achieving their dreams, and ours still remain just out of our grasp, we get very frustrated. That woman just bought a beautiful cottage. That guy just sold his startup for ten million bucks. Those two seem so happy together. Other people’s dreams have come true, and you’re left wondering if yours ever will.
The Rollercoaster from Hell. I don’t like rollercoasters. Never have. Having the wits scared out of me is not really my idea of a good time. Neither is cheating death.
I’ve been an entrepreneur full time for almost 3 years now. Every single day of my life is one continuous rollercoaster ride. We reach the highest highs and the lowest lows all at the same time. The loop de loups are unbelievable. I wish that my days could have fewer ups and downs. I wish I could spend all my days celebrating success and that I’d never have to worry about failure. Or do I?
The rollercoaster ride is fundamental to dream achievement. I am truly passionate about what I do. I am completely emotionally invested in my business. It makes me laugh big fat belly laughs. It makes me cry in my pillow. It makes me want to dance with joy. It makes me want to throw things. It doesn’t make me like rollercoasters any more. But now, I just tolerate them and accept them, because they are part of the deal. No dream worth having was ever achieved on a straight road.
Hot Pursuit Never Gets You Anywhere. I remember back in high school I had a HUGE crush on this boy. He was my first love. Man, I really dug this guy. (Oh how I hope he isn’t reading this post, as I realize suddenly we are still Facebook friends.) I chased after this boy in a big way. I went out of my way to call him, to be around him, to talk to him. I was what you would call, in hot pursuit.
I chased and I chased and I chased. He was, after all, my dream guy. I was lucky he was a good person. Even though I “loved” him, the feeling was not mutual. For all my chasing, all we ever became was good friends. I was grateful for that (and still am). That experience I had at the ripe old age of 13, is a metaphor for the pursuit of dreams.
Chasing a dream never works, for a couple of reasons. First, when you chase, it’s obvious. Others notice, and they don’t see the chasing of a dream. They see desperation. And nobody wants to do business with or start dating desperation. It helps if you are a nice person, of course, because then the chasing isn’t as obvious. If you’re fun to be around, people won’t mind. They will like you. But they will always keep you at arms length because they sense your ulterior motive (i.e. I am desperate for you to be my boyfriend/client/wife/boss!) And in the end, like me and dream boy, what you may end up with is a good friend, but you won’t get your dream.
Relax. Go Do It. So what’s the solution? If I don’t actively chase my dreams, how will I ever make them happen? Well first, stop. Take a deep breath. Then stop trying so damn hard.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of dreams coming true. You imagine yourself on that podium getting the big award. You envision bags of money all around you. You see yourself walking down the aisle. But if the actions you are taking are only about achieving that ideal, then you are coming from a place of lack. You are wanting to be somewhere you are not. You will only be happy once you achieve your dream. And that’s the wrong place to be.
This is the downfall of dreamers. They always want to be someplace else, when where they really need to be is right where they are. Ever hear the story of the guy who was an overnight success? Flash forward two years and he’s on the street, having lost all the fame and fortune he wasn’t ready for to a life of depression and drugs.
The reason you haven’t achieved your dream yet is because you need to spend your time preparing to be able to handle it. That means working hard. Making connections. Appreciating what it’s like to be broke, or lonely (or both). Feeling exactly the way you need to feel in the situation you are in right now.
The bottom line is, you need to have dreams. You MUST have them. But until you stop demanding they come true this minute, you will be stuck in a pattern of chasing. Once you let go of your want, and start doing what you need, you’ll suddenly see a shift. And your dreams will seem closer to reality than ever before.