Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Following Your Dreams - How to Avoid Sabotaging Your Goals

English: Follow your dreams, Graffiti on the s...
Follow your dreams, Graffiti on the sidewalk in Urbana, IL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Jack H M Wong

If you are an employee now, have you ever dreamt of becoming a business owner? If you are deriving only one income stream, have you ever dreamt of generating multiple income streams? We all have dreams, my friends.

Here is one common thing among some of my friends - they have been working as employees for years. They have dreams too. However, what they do is to give excuses for not pursuing their dreams. For instance, they would say that they have a lot of work to do. When they reach home, they feel exhausted and do not have any more energy to pursue other interests.

How many of you know what I am talking about? Are you of one those who have been giving excuses to yourself too?

During the famous Stanford's Commencement Speech in 2005, Steve Jobs said the following:
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life ... Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
Here is the question for you - are you going to waste any more time and give excuses for not pursuing your dreams? If not now, then when are you going to do it? Are you prepared to leave this world with regrets?

What I am going to do in this article is to list down a few things which can help you to follow your dreams and avoid sabotaging your goals. They may look obvious to some of you but I still hope you will find my sharing useful.

Suspend judgement when we list down our dreams

When you look at successful people such as Steve Jobs, their goals may look or sound crazy. I could not imagine that a mobile phone like iPhone has only one button on the screen until I have seen it. There is a saying that big ideas are crazy.

What this means is that when we list down our dreams, we have to suspend our judgement and let our heart do the talking. At this point, invite our mind to rest for a while so that there would not be any questions as to whether these ideas are realistic and/or practical. Go with the flow and keep on writing. Treat this moment as a brainstorming session with ourselves.

Translate dreams into actionable steps

Once we have listed down our dreams, it is time to translate them into actionable steps. It is also important at this stage to prioritise these steps. If the steps look too big, break them down into smaller pieces. The reason is that the smaller the steps are, the easier they can be accomplished. And as we have completed a smaller step, we are actually moving closer to a bigger step.

Use empowering and positive actionable verbs

There is another saying that everything is energy. Even an actionable step can generate energy. If we use disempowering and negative words, the actionable step will generate negative energy.
For instance, let's say one of your goals is to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. If you write down your goal as "I don't want to be fat", our mind will negate the word "don't" and see it as "I want to be fat".

This is because our mind cannot take on negative suggestions. Instead, you can consider saying "I must lose 20 pounds in 6 months so that I will become more attractive to men." It may mean the same but the latter is a more empowering and positive way of phrasing our goal.

Take action now

Are you a perfectionist? If not, are you a perfectionist in denial? There is no right time to take action actually and therefore, the best time to take action is now. A good analogy is parenting. I have some friends who chose to wait for their "best" time to become parents because they needed to study how parenting would work and whether there would be any sacrifice to make in order to become parents. In the end, it took them 5 to 10 years to become parents. Thus, if you do not do it now, when are you going to do it?

Have an accountability partner

One of the key reasons why I have achieved certain goals in my life is that I have my accountability partner. He does not need to do a lot. I just need to report to him what I plan to do and by when I will complete the tasks. When the due date arrives, I will report to him my results and any further action to take. The process will repeat itself. Having an accountability partner is a good way to help us to do what we say we will do and move forward.

Do you have any other ideas or comments to share? Please do so in my website as I would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, I trust that you will find my sharing useful to you.

About the Author

After working in the corporate world for 16 years as an international tax lawyer, Jack Wong is now an entrepreneur working from home, allowing him to spend more time with his family. He specialises in coaching his clients to identify their passion in life, and how to make money from home. For more details, check out Jack's Website and Personal Blog.

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