Last night I had a dream that took me back to a place I have not physically been in quite a while. A place thousands of miles away, deep in the heart of Afghanistan. I’m lying on the ground and I can smell the odor of the powder-based dirt. The sound of automatic gun fire rings in my ear as well as the impact of nearby rockets hitting their targets. I’ve been laying in this position so many times before, it is if I am numb to what’s going on around me. As I look down the barrel of my gun, my mind begins to drift and suddenly I start to wonder, “Why am I here?”. I don’t mean why am I here physically laying in the dirt, but what is my purpose? What is my life purpose? How will I know what that is, or have I already missed that call?
I think we all have moments of reflection like this. But it is really only in these moments that we experience that we begin to take the time to stop and reconfigure ourselves. The modern world we live makes it so easy to get lost in the everyday norms and let our personal goals, our wants, and our careers drive what we become instead of what we are supposed to be. Jason Silva says it best as he describes Ontological Design, “Everything we are is emerging, is unfolding. It’s being created by the active engagements between mind and world. Everything we design, designs us back.”
How do we open our minds up and get out of that space deep within and actively co-author our own lives?
- You must have the power to inspire yourself.
The Greek root of the word “inspire” literally means to breathe in, to infuse (as life) by breathing. And that is exactly what you have to do. You can’t stand around waiting for someone else to inspire you. You must stop looking at yourself as a victim and start investing time in yourself. If you do not believe in yourself and your abilities then how do you expect anyone else to?
- You have to be willing to deal with failure.
Go talk to someone you know who is successful and ask them if it came easy or if it was just handed to them. Hell no…anyone who has ever become successful has had to fight for it. Sometimes things are just not going to go right and anything that can happen will happen; that’s called life! How about Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks? The first time he tried to startup Starbucks it was a total failure. People closest to him laughed at him and thought he was crazy! He was broke and mentally drained when he decided to go at it again. Well, think they are laughing now? He’s only a BILLIONARE today!
- You must get to know yourself.
It’s human nature to try to get to know others and for us to try and meet the pressures of societal norms. “We watch them, study them, and we even try and emulate them to impress them” (Les Brown). If you truly want to capitalize on your dreams then you have to dive in deep below your own surface and get to know who you really are deep inside, and what “you” really stand for. So stop making excuses…Develop in your mind who you are, who you want to be, and go be that person.
- You have to fight for your dreams.
This means that you have to be willing to give up everything to gain everything. If you want it bad enough to fight to the end, you have to be willing to fight in the moment when you feel most broken. No one says it better then Les Brown:
“If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for it, to give up your time, your peace and your sleep for it…
If all that you dream and scheme is about it, and life seems useless and worthless without it…
If you’d gladly sweat for it and fret for it and plan for it and lose all your terror of the opposition for it…
If you simply go after that thing you want with all of your capacity, strength and sagacity, faith, hope and confidence and stern pertinacity…
If neither cold, poverty, famine, nor gout, sickness nor pain, of body and brain, can keep you away from the thing that you want…
If dogged and grim you beseech and beset it, with the help of God, you will get it!”
A life-long knowledge seeker!
“Live Your Dreams” Les Brown – Published July 1st 1994 by William Morrow Paperbacks