Q: What is the main thing that stops us from going for our dreams, from striding out from the crowd?
A: Our mindset, our perceptions about ourselves and our belief as to whether it could be possible.
I recently read a very interesting perspective from Timothy Ferris’s book, ‘The 4 hour work week’ that states ‘It is more difficult to go for the mediocre goals and the ‘average’ salary than it is to shoot for the top. It’s less crowded there- most people are too insecure to go for the big guns’.
As children, we are not insecure. We dream boldly and greatly. We never think that we cannot be the things we want to be, never think that our dreams are ‘too big’ or that we’re not good enough to achieve them.
Slowly, most of us settle for a ‘realistic’ standard of living, a ‘normal’ job and a ‘steady’ income.
But what defines ‘normal’ and ‘realistic’- is it that everyone else is doing it?
If the average salary were £100,000, you can bet that most of us would be aiming for that.
So what of those other people? Those who clung on to their childhood dreams and dared to make them a reality?
Well, their mindset, more often than not, has been to believe in the possibility that they can have what they want.
I’ve quoted this before, but the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow said to his students- ‘which one of you is to be the next Abraham Lincoln?’ They all laughed, and squirmed uncomfortably in their chairs. He then said ‘Well then if not you, then who else?’
Most of us see those ‘winners’ in life (those who are completely fulfilled on a material and spiritual level) as having some kind of predetermined advantage-
‘They knew the right people’ ‘They were from a rich background’ ‘They started young’ ‘They got the qualifications’or quite simply, ‘They got lucky’.
But in truth, neither of the above applies. Read stories of successful people and you’ll find many of them were not equipped with everything they needed- in fact, many of them ‘failed’ several times.
What spurred them on? The fact that they mentally backed themselves to win, they held a firm belief that their dreams were possible, that it could happen, and they’d continue to persist until it did.