Walter and Mimi gave it another go today, and got remarkably close before giving in to their fears. It’s only a matter of time before curiosity is the stronger force. For their part, pups Lulu and Allie are, in canine terms, being gracious hosts.
You have your goals, you have your dreams, you are even taking steps to achieve them. Yet due to circumstances beyond your control, whatever they may be, you are currently in limbo. Someone or something else has power in your life right now, and you cannot move forward in the way you wish because of it.
What do you do when your dreams have to wait?
- Keep the dreams alive in a concrete way. Maybe you save all your pennies, literally, toward a class you can take someday. (I get it, that’s all you can afford, and even that’s stretching it. I mean, you need new underwear, and you’re saving for a dream? Yes.)
- Read a book, take an online class or webinar (there is so much out there!), find a website that specializes in what you’re seeking and keep up on the latest. A lot of what’s free has a bias or may be trying to sell you something, so keep your wits about you. But build your expertise by keeping up-to-date on the world you dream of, maintaining and growing skills, and learning about related subjects.
- Find those who support your dreams and keep in regular touch with them. Whether it’s a college friend, a clergyman, or your grocery store clerk, maintain contact. That doesn’t mean you gripe about your present circumstances with them, rather, you dare to voice the dream is alive while you’re waiting for circumstances to change.
- Look for other fulfilling options. Unless your dream is incredibly specific, there may be multiple ways to make it come true. If you have a particular talent, look at all the ways you could use it. You don’t have to seriously consider all opportunities, but don’t cut yourself short due to a limited focus.
- Consider what your dream really is. I want to write, but what do I want to write? Not poetry, I determined that a long time ago. Probably not the Great American Novel. Do I want to use this skill to further a message? If so, what’s the message?
- Build supplemental skills. Any person who wants to live on his or her creative talent had better have a bit of business sense, or be closely related to someone else who does. Generally creative people need someone more pragmatic by their side, but learn enough to know who can fill that role adequately.
- Cry a little. Some days, it’s okay to wallow. Just set the timer.
If you’re in limbo, rest easy. I trust it will end someday in my life, and yours as well. In the meantime, one step forward is better than standing still.
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
— Babe Ruth
It isn’t always easy to keep going in the face of adversity, and there are times when you do need to acknowledge failure. Not that doing so means you give up, mind you. Sometimes all that’s required is a fresh view or approach, or a more detailed understanding of what’s required for success.
I recently met a man, an artist, who makes a living selling his paintings. Since I know a lot of people with talent who would like to do something like that, but have no idea how, I told him I respect those who can make a living with their art. He laughed and gave credit to a team of people supporting him, such as his marketing person and probably a lot of individuals who work hard and stay silently behind the scenes.
Now he’s talented, no doubt about it, his work merits success. Still, without knowing scoot about him, I imagine along the way he had to figure out a few things. Maybe someone gave him a copy of “Dummies Guide to Success as a Painter.” Maybe he had all the right people every step of the way guiding him to success. It’s more likely he had to sort through a lot of well-intended advice and suffer a few failures.
I have my dreams, but they’re vague and poorly defined right now. I believe there is a way for me to successfully use my talents, one I’d find rewarding, and I’m seeking that way. There are barriers for me, and I’m not certain how they’ll factor in.
If you believe in the value of your dreams, it is worth the fight to pursue them. Some of my fellow bloggers show great talent in various areas and I know are seeking a way to bring that talent in the broadest way possible to the rest of the world. I hope they do, and I can brag I “knew them when.”
Success as a practical goal requires knowing what you want and knowing what it takes to make it yours. There’s plenty of advice out there for many endeavors, but some leave out basic information.
For example, if you want success as a writer, you need to be a good writer. That includes having a grasp on basic grammar and punctuation, something I am forever learning and re-learning. I’ve read a multitude of articles about writing, and surprisingly, none address that simple fact. Yet editors everywhere will tell you their job is to catch mistakes (the assumption being you do know the correct way to do it) and polish writing. Not overhaul it.
The practical skills, the step-by-step actions required, the commitment to keep going when giving up seems the better option. Perseverance is hard, and dreams can be challenging.
“Never, never, never quit.”
— Winston Churchill
Churchill was a man who faced unending obstacles, yet he did remarkable things. I do think upbringing and family values play into our success; I don’t feel well-versed enough on that subject to elaborate here, but advantages help breed success. Still, those with less have a lot if they seek it, and in today’s world, there are resources for most.
I fully recognize the challenges some of you are facing today, and I don’t want to minimize the pain and frustration you’re facing. I have been in situations when all hope seemed lost, yet little by little I was able to rebuild my life. It has taken me some time to get back to a point where pursuing dreams was a possibility. Survival was the issue for so long.
How you define success will shape what you achieve as well. If you believe you must win the Nobel prize for literature to be considered a successful author, you will almost certainly fail. Not that I would discourage anyone from striving to make their writing fit a standard that would make it acceptable to the jury for that prize. That is a more reasonable goal, although even it is a challenging one for most writers.
If your goal is to make a living from your craft, look at the multiple ways that can be achieved. Some of those ways will not be an option for you, but you may find a door opens you didn’t expect.
If you find yourself discouraged, frustrated or overwhelmed by your dreams, take a deep breath and look for a simple next step. Or re-visit old steps. Give yourself a break when you need to, but never quit. Never.
On occasion well-meaning friends will say, “I just don’t understand why you’ve never gotten married. You’re so blahdadeblah and blahblah!” Come to think of it, it’s almost always my newer friends who say this…hmmm…
Well, yes, I am all those things, but I’m also something else: really slow on the uptake. Always have been. I do not pick up on clues from or about men, and since I don’t, I’ve never had any experience in responding to them. My imagination doesn’t even go there.
I need a good wing man, but typically those who might fill that role are so stunned or amused by my oblivion they don’t step up.
I’ve been chatting with a really nice man at my church lately. Nice, good looking, successful. (You don’t know how remarkable it is I’m aware of all those things and their “value.”) Today, it’s quite possible he threw out the hook for going out to lunch after the service. I just stared at it. In all fairness, it’s been a long dry spell.
As he was walking away, I cried out inside. Bad enough I missed my chance, but it probably stung for him, and looked like rejection.
It wasn’t. It was sheer stupidity on my part.
This comes close on the heels of meeting a man who, as it happens, was also introduced to a friend of mine several months before (not for a set-up or anything, just in the course of the day). I mentioned to her I’d talked to him for a little while (it actually was a long while), and her eyes lit up.
“What?” I asked.
“He’s a good-looking man,” she said, with a raised eyebrow and knowing nod.
He is? I thought about it, and darn if she wasn’t right. Now, we all know the relative value of looks in a relationship, so it’s important to note this guy is pretty nice, too. Charming. I did notice that, although it had taken some time to register.
I had had plenty of time to flirt with him, but it’s just as well THAT didn’t happen. Like I said, those skills are not highly refined. I might end up looking like a sad character on a popular sitcom.
I have before. I know, we all have. But for most it ends up alright and another stage of relationship mortification begins.
It’s more likely than not I’ll never see that second man again, and I have no idea if the first man can be convinced it was me, not him. Sounds like a line.
So Cupid, a little extra help here. You’ve been doing pretty good, is it too much to ask for another chance with someone of the same ilk?
Hey, you little fat-cheeked pixie, don’t just fly away! Get back here! NOW! DAMMIT CUPID! Okay. Be that way.
Uh, yes, oblivion perhaps isn’t the only thing keeping the men away.
Normally, I don’t do these challenges…and I’m a little late in responding, my apologies. But the blogger who nominated me has touched me lately, so I want to honor her with what is, for me, a full-throated response.
She has a fun, honest, straightforward approach, so if you like that style, check out her blog at Stealing Quiet Time in Noisy Disorder.
Of course the problem for me is leaving it at the quote. I want to expound…I think a future post is germinating…
I imagine several of you, knowing what today is, have been thinking as you go about your day, I wonder how Belinda is doing with her new laptop? You probably pictured me tearing open the box, pulling out the slim new piece of equipment, opening it up for the first time…
Oh, get over myself. If any of you remembered, thank you. One or two of you maybe had a nagging thought today was important for some reason, and rolled your eyes when you remembered why.
But if you’re wondering, yes, it’s exciting! After I get this posted I plan to download a few things I rely on, connect to Google Drive, and a few other “fun” things. I still have to figure out how to get some things done, but I am certain I have the option to do them.
One thing that is disappointing. The space bar on this keyboard is a bit sticky. Let’s hope that’s a minor adjustment.
This post was almost subtitled Get It Over With, and part if the reason why is the frustration of learning a new keyboard. It’s inefficient. That’s the nice way to put it.
Also, it is a bit troublesome that I keep getting a message to sign up for Office 365. I am signed up for Office 365. Shouldn’t that automatically be recognized with my Outlook account? Hmm…
But the screen resolution is good, which I’m very pleased about, and it isn’t as disconcerting working with the much smaller screen as I thought it might be.
I was lucky when my computer crashed, and I know it. I was able to replace it rather quickly. I’m grateful for the timing of this situation, the extra work I’ve been getting, and my brother’s help.
And the support of the blogging community. Back to blogging as I know and love it!
The first time my cats met any dogs. The dog, you’ll see, had nominal interest.