I’m a big believer in one step at a time…and that’s what this post is all about.
A little over a year ago, I published my first book. Over the past 18 months, I’ve slowly built my public speaker platform, one tiny step at a time. I was invited by major literary festivals both in India and Australia to speak about my writing journey, the creative process and how I went from being a self-published author to a traditionally published one, whose debut novel was picked up within 4 weeks to be re-published by a major publishing house. Today, I’m a motivational speaker and I travel around the country encouraging others to find their life purpose, follow their dreams and live an inspired life.
I did this while working full-time in sales and managing a family.
This isn’t a brag post. This is to show that by changing our attitude towards how we want to shape our lives, we CAN all find our real purpose, make a difference and leave behind a personal legacy.
Many people have asked me how I did it, where I found the inspiration to keep going and how I managed my time effectively to get it all done.
Having a supportive spouse who believes in your dreams always helps, and yes, my husband is my biggest cheerleader. But until he saw how passionate I was about becoming a published author some day, he hadn’t really taken my dream seriously. Why would he? Dreams are a dime a dozen. What guarantee that I would persist and put in the hard yards?
Today I want to talk about what YOU can do to take your dream just a little further, one step at a time, so that one day your family and friends believe in it just as strongly as you do.
1) Stop talking about it….Instead, ‘do’ it Your dream will not be the same as mine. What a boring world it would be if we all had the same dreams. Mine was to be a published author and motivational speaker. What’s yours? Okay, great. You answered that in about 30 seconds, after a bit of quick soul-searching. Fantastic! Ask yourself how long you’ve been talking about it with your family and friends. 6 months? 1 year? Five years? A decade? How long have you been saying ‘One day I’d like to start my hand-made jewellery business?’ or ‘Someday I’d love to travel overseas and do voluntary work in an ashram’ or ‘When my children are older, I’d love to give something back to society in the form of my time and services’. Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a charity, work for the under-privileged or start a small school in a little impoverished village. Maybe you wanted to go bungy jumping, travel to Antarctica or backpack around the world. Maybe you wanted to give up your high-flying corporate job and follow your passion. I’m super excited for you. I bet you are too. But hey, let’s do something about it. First step? Stop talking about it.
2) Waiting for inspiration? Uh-oh! Newsflash – Inspiration never arrives. If you’ve been thinking that some day you’ll wake up inspired and absolutely raring to go,then I’m afraid it’s time to do a bit of a reality check. Inspiration is quite fickle and rarely turns up when you really want it to. I’m rarely inspired to write and that’s the honest truth. Every time I open my laptop to write the next chapter, I feel overwhelming doubt. The blank page is my biggest enemy. Contrary to popular opinion, writers don’t write only when they’re inspired. There wouldn’t be many books around if that were the case. Similarly, you’re not going to wake up one day with oodles of inspiration that’ll last through the entire week, let alone the rest of your life. YOU’ll just have to grit your teeth and take the next step…and then the next…and next….
3) Imagine yourself looking back one year down the track. The best way to motivate yourself to do something, however small, to take your dream one step forward is to imagine yourself looking back at your life one year later. Wouldn’t you be glad that you were proactive today? Wouldn’t you be grateful that you took that leap of faith even though you were filled with self-doubt? Of course you would. I guarantee you’d be filled with gratitude that you didn’t listen to that rude little voice in your head that kept saying it was impossible.
4) One small step, not a giant leap Many people make the mistake of thinking it’s either all or nothing where following their dreams is concerned. They think that giving up their corporate job is the only way for them to be able to pursue their real passion (whatever that may be). Nothing could be further from the truth. I didn’t give up my full time job to write my book. So many of my friends started a part-time home business WHILE doing a 9-5 job. Yes, they have children, spouses and elderly parents like many of us do. But that didn’t stop them. So, here’s what you can do, your first homework task if I may call it that. Just take one SMALL step towards your dream TODAY. No more waiting for the perfect time. Do something small. Read up an article about ‘how to follow my dream’ (just google it and a million results will turn up). Speak to an influencer in the field you wish to pursue. If starting a business is your dream, pick up the phone and call someone who’s been there, done that. Grab some advice. Ask them questions. The first step towards making your dream come true is always the most important and therefore the most difficult. But if you take the effort to switch off the tv, or get off facebook or whatever it is that you really enjoy doing in your spare time, and invest JUST 5 MINUTES in your dream, you’ll be one step ahead of all your competitors who are still watching TV or checking Twitter.
So, if you’ve been a dreamer until today, I’ll say ‘well done’. We need more dreamers in this drab world.
But you need to take a few more steps. You need to take that dream further. You deserve to live the life you were born for.
The universe is waiting for you.
So, what are YOU waiting for?