You can be anything you want to be

While it may sound cliché, once you truly understand and accept you will find it very liberating.

Most people just accept what life gives them. They go through life taking the most comfortable and safe route; working in a comfortable and secure job, being in a comfortable relationship, but when it comes to following your dreams they make up excuses such as "I can't see myself doing that", "I'd probably fail if I tried", or "There's so much competition, I'd never make it".

Imagine that you're reminiscing, a few years before the end of your life. Looking back, are you happy with how it turned out? Do you have any regrets? If you can honestly answer Yes/No respectively to these questions then I admire you. However, for the most of us, life won't have been as good as it could have been.

But that's just the thing; life can be as good as you can dream it to be.

The only person stopping you from having the life you've always dreamed of, is you.

I've created a story to show you this in motion.

Bob is currently working for a software company. The money is good enough to support him throughout the year with a few select luxuries, and there's a fairly good prospect of promotion in the company. However, he doesn't feel like he is living up to his potential and has always dreamed of being a famous actor, but never thought he had the talent.

Let's take a second to address this view.

Do you think Johnny Depp (or insert a movie star you admire here) had the talent when he was first born? Do you think he instantly knew how to captivate and entertain audiences? Of course he didn't. What he did do however, was learn how to do these things.

So Bob decides to start taking acting classes. When he decides to tell his friends he gets disparaging comments such as "You? Acting? You'll never make it" and "It's just a phase, you'll soon be back to normal". Despite this, he continues with the classes.

Through commitment and perseverance, Bob slowly learns and develops a solid acting style, and decides to go for local theatre. On his first show he's obviously nervous as he's never performed to a large audience before. He forgets his lines and doesn't act as well as he knows he can. The performance gets him bad reviews and he isn't called again by the theatre company. Time to give up?

Of course not. Bob identifies that the reason he didn't perform to his potential is because he gets nervous performing in front of large audiences. So how does Bob get over his fear?

He volunteers for other theatres.

The only way to get over a fear of something is by confronting it.

Eventually, after much practise, Bob becomes a confident actor and begins to revive his reputation. He becomes a hit at the local scene but knows to fully realize his dream he has to get himself out there. He's saved up a considerable sum from his job at the software company, and decides to move over to America to pursue his acting dream. He finds another job over there and uses the money to hire an agent.

After 2 years of small acting parts and a seemingly hopeless pursuit of his dream, Bob finally gets called up by his agent for a small movie part. He aces it, and it marks the beginning of Bob's rise to fame.

Unlikely story? Absolutely not. I'm not saying to achieve your dreams you have to move to America, but rather you need to have the commitment to see it through until the end. What I was trying to display in the story was the basic principles of life that can be followed to achieve anything. Let's look at the story again.

Bob works at a software company.

This is an example of what life has handed to him. Bob hasn't taken any risks to get where he wants to be in life, so this is what life has left him with. While Bob may be comfortable with his job, it will never make him truly happy.

Bob dreams of being an actor

This is his dream. Understanding what your dream is, what you truly want to be in life, is very difficult. Sure it would be nice to be a famous actor, but there is a difference between wanting something and passionately dreaming of achieving it. When you think about what you want, it should provoke a deep inner emotional response in you. If not, you'll likely lack the passion to follow it through.

Bob takes acting classes

This is split into two sections.

Firstly, Bob understands the principle that people are not born with skills, but rather they learn them. All the most successful people in their fields, be it sport, music, film, academic studies, or anything else you can think of, are there because of hard work and determination. You can do the same.

Secondly, Bob took small actions towards his dream.

"A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step" - Confucius

Huge goals such as becoming a famous actor may seem incredible daunting. But when split into much smaller chunks, for example actions you can take within the next 24 hours, you will find much more motivation to achieve these goals. You will find that big tasks seem much more manageable when you act little and often, small but constant.

Bob keeps up his acting classes until he becomes a good actor

This is an example of the commitment to your dream that you're going to need.

Bob's first big gig goes horribly wrong, but he doesn't give up

Here is an example of probably the most admirable qualities that you will very much need. Doing badly at his first theatre gig would have been a major blow for Bob. He could have easily fallen into old negative patterns, letting thoughts such as "Who do you think you are, you're certainly not an actor", "Of course you were going to fail what did you expect" become prevalent.

However, not letting these thoughts get the better of you shows the ultimate quality of perseverance (persistent determination) even in the face of failure. But Bob realises that

Failure is an attitude, not an outcome

Bob accepts that his first gig didn't go well. So he takes time to identify what made him do badly, and then worked towards fixing it. Step back, evaluate, and then take action.

Bob realizes that to truly follow his dream, he has to move from where he lives

Up until now Bob is still fairly comfortable. He still has his ordinary job that he can fall back on. Despite he's certainly made good progress, he's yet to take solid action towards his ultimate dream.
Moving to America is an example of Bob truly stepping outside his comfort zone. Fear and doubt can cloud the mind at this point, but being properly prepared and understanding the risks, Bob can successfully move to America.

Remember when stepping into the unknown, you will feel fear. This is perfectly natural and happens to everyone. It's whether you pass through the fear or let it get the better of you that will determine if you succeed or not.

It takes two years for Bob to get his first big acting gig

This is an example of all the qualities you will need to achieve your dreams. Perseverance. Commitment. Determination, and above all, Passion.

If you feel content with your life right now, fair enough. But I urge you; if you have always wanted to do something, then now is the time. It doesn't matter where you are in life or how long you've been like that for; tomorrow's always a new day to try what you've always dreamed of.

To summarize:

1. Find something that ignites the passion inside you

2. Figure out how you might achieve this, and what resources you'll need (this includes people)

3. Truly decide if you're willing to make the commitment; don't worry if the task seems too daunting at the moment.

4. If you decide to go ahead towards your dream, set out small targets for each day.

For example if you wanted to become a successful singer, then your very first goal for tomorrow would be to enquire about singing lessons. That's it. That's your goal for the day. Your daily tasks towards your goal should start as small as this. That way you are much more likely to stay motivated. Plus after you've taken action consistently for a while, you will be more likely to set bigger goals for each day, quickening your path to achieving your dream

5. Stay motivated. A good way is to find a picture of your dream, and place it somewhere where you will see it everyday. Really make sure you have a picture that captures everything about your dream; seeing it everyday alone will motivate you to achieve that day's goal.

If things aren't going exactly the way you want, then step back for a moment, evaluate the situation, and come back with a solution to the problem.

Remember, this method doesn't have to always be for dreams. It can work for any goal. Whether it is to lose weight, move abroad, or even get a promotion; taking consistent action every day toward your goal will always get you there.

If you've learnt or agreed with nothing I've said in this entire article then I'll leave you with this.

You have all the tools necessary to achieve anything in life; it's just how you use them that makes the difference.