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3 Steps To Help You Stop Chasing The Wrong Dream

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3 Steps To Help You Stop Chasing The Wrong Dream

From a young age, others dream for us. Usually it’s well-meaning parents calling out future potential. Then teachers, coaches, pastors, and others in authority, cast their hopes for us. It becomes harder and harder to tell the difference between others dreams for us and our own dreams. Their dreams become ours.

The problem with others dreams is that to see our dreams come to reality they must come from within. It must be authentically you and no one else. If we do actually achieve others dreams, it is empty and stale because it is not our true dream but a counterfeit. Others have predicted and decided our future and we have wasted years of our life.

When you are chasing someone else’s dreams disguised as our own, you don’t have time to dig, search and find your unique dream. It becomes a distraction from the life you truly desire. Most of the time we have a small feeling it’s not a true dream but we keep on pressing in the same direction. We have been led astray and don’t fully know the extent.

If you think you may have been chasing the wrong dream or need more clarity follow these 3 steps to dig out your dream:

 

1. Be alone with yourself

We must be alone with ourselves to turn off all of the voices except the one that is internal. In this busy society we must be intentional to make this happen. Technology is unrelenting and a constant distraction. The noise makes it impossible to see the bread crumbs of your passion, talents, and abilities. The other reason alone time is important is because we often bring others in too early in the process of evaluating our dreams. Alone time must be a constant to help refocus and reevaluate.

“We all have two choices; We can make a living or we can design a life.” – Jim Rohn

2. Write it down

Writing down and putting on paper our dreams, is a necessity. When a dream is written it reminds us of what is non-negotiable. There will be aspects of your dream that you will need to let go or change but there must be things that you won’t budge on no matter what. Writing helps us to distill the difference. Writing also serves as a place to go for hope. We will get discouraged along the journey and we will need to put fuel in our tank. Fuel comes to us be reconnecting with our vision. Put your dream in writing so that you will have an anchor to come back to.

 

3. Feedback

Feedback is a crucial step but a few words of caution. First, we shouldn’t get feedback too early in the process. Make sure that you are firm in where you stand. Second, be cautious of who gives you feedback and who you listen to. Many times we are excited about our dreams and share them with the wrong people. Find others that have been where you want to go and get their feedback. Find out what it takes to get there. They will prepare you for roadblocks, hurdles, and challenges along your journey. They will help you tweak your dream but remember certain parts of your dream must be concrete.

“This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.” – Scott Reed

As you realign and recalibrate your preferred future, you will find a new found energy and passion. The road is long but it is worth it. Stay true to you and that inner cry. Skill can be learned, but the inner fire is what you want to cultivate. Be blessed on your journey.

Are you chasing your dreams or someone else’s? Please leave your comments below!

Zechariah Newman builds businesses, runs marathons, and lives life with my wonderful family in southern Oregon. You can see my writing in places like Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Mind Body Green, and the Good Men Project. My goal is to help you build your business while keeping a balanced and fulfilled life. You can visit his website: zechariahnewman.com and follow him on his Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZechariahNewman

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. mehdyy

    Sep 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Thank You posting this article, i love the clarity of it!

  2. James

    Sep 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    I’ve worked at my job for 5 years now. I joined when it was a “micro” business and now we’re at a tipping point of becoming a medium size company. Working for a small business is not for everyone but the main reason I stuck it through the thick and thin the past few years is I believed my dreams and vision were in line with the owners. I have “grown” in the company, but as we continue to grow, I realize that our vision for each other and the company are not the same.

    I really have been building someone else’s dream and have made their vision of me in the company to be my own dreams. This article has reinforced what I have been thinking and feeling the last few months and helped me realize I need to break out of this pattern and direction to a place that is not for me.

    Thanks.

    • zechariah

      Sep 6, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      That’s a hard reality but I am glad you figured it out James! Focus on the adventure ahead and not the past and it will be an unforgettable ride!

  3. Usman Mahmood

    Sep 6, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Great points…I like the point about being alone with yourself. This has truly helped me focus really well. A lot of peope want to dictate how you should live your dream and make assumptions for you. I stay away from all the negativity and naysayers. Have belief in yourself that you chase your dream to find new meaning; a path of discovery and not for other people. WORK HARD in SILENCE, LET SUCCESS MAKE THE NOISE.

    • Zechariah

      Sep 6, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Usman so true! Silence and solitude are the foundation to our true dream. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Lawrence Berry

    Sep 5, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Being a lone with yourself is a great way to find out who you really are what you want out of life. It can be hard to be yourself in a world that is constantly criticizing the way people are, if they are different than the social paradigm. Society shapes so many people;’s dreams and they don’t even realize it until they are 40 years old and depressed.

    • Zechariah

      Sep 5, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Totally agree Lawrence. I woke up early but I was chasing someone else’s dream for my life. Couldn’t figure it out until I was alone in the wilderness for a week.

  5. Zechariah

    Sep 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Sorry you hated the article Mike. I actually agree with everything else you said… For me I chased a false dream effected by others for years. My true dream took a while to uncover and that dream I never gave up on. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Have a great day pursuing your dream!

  6. Marquita Herald

    Sep 5, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Great advice, and I’m glad to see that you included a cautionary note about seeking feedback. I worked as a life and small business coach for over a decade and so many people allow themselves to be influenced by what others think they should be doing with their lives instead of doing the work to find their own path.

    • Zechariah

      Sep 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Thanks Marquita! I hope people don’t miss that caution. It stopped me from chasing what I really wanted for a long time. Have a great weekend!

  7. mark

    Sep 4, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I hate it!
    When people will only provide “Lip Service” to themselves and to follow through on their dreams.

    If you really want it bad enough!
    There is nothing that will stop you!

    Peopleare way more than willing!
    To get a tattoo!
    Then to go after their dreams!

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Life

8 Things You Can Do to Rise Above Failure and Attain Success

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Highly successful people have tasted failure more than success. Whether its Nikola Tesla or Michael Jordan, everyone had his/her fair share of failures before rising to the pinnacle of success. Yet, most people I know are averse to the idea of failure.

When ambition fuels your desires, you become so conscious about avoiding failure that you forget to learn how to cope with it when you actually experience it. So, when you come face-to-face with adversity, it often overwhelms you.

This brings us to the question, how can you train yourself to overcome these difficulties and use them to your advantage? Here’s how:

1. Acceptance is important to overcome failure

When the going gets tough, one of the most frustrating things you may get to hear is “stay positive.” The idea of positive thinking has been misconstrued, misused, and abused continuously. Contrary to popular belief, positive thinking has nothing to do with smiling and being happy with everything that happens to you all the time. Anyone who preaches that is either lying or crazy.

Use positive thinking to learn, grow, and evolve from the experiences we gather in life. Positive thinking simply means that if you are faced with a setback, you work hard to overcome the challenges. When you experience hardships, it is alright to feel upset and disappointed. Our objective, however, is not to stay down.

2. Be honest with yourself

The most crucial part of dealing with a failure involves pausing for a couple of minutes and pondering over what happened. You need to be completely honest with yourself on why it happened.

It is easy to pull out the Smartphone, turn on the laptop or find other forms of distraction. Most people would do anything to distract themselves and keep their eyes shut to the mistakes they have made.

However, if you don’t confront, you don’t learn. And if you don’t learn, then you are setting yourself up for failure again. Albert Einstein famously stated that it was insane to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. If you don’t derive a lesson out of mistakes and failures in life, then you are doomed to keep repeating them, whether you realise it or not.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

3. Don’t beat yourself up over a temporary setback

When you have experienced a setback, many of you may succumb to the feeling that you’ll always keep failing. It is easy to convince yourself that you are indeed a failure. Don’t let such destructive ideas or thoughts creep into your head. Instead, keep reminding yourself that just because you failed today, it doesn’t mean you’d fail the next time as well.

It is also important that you treat your failure as a passing phase. When you keep moving forward, focus on the right things, and keep learning. Perceiving the setback as a temporary phase rather than something permanent is vital to developing an optimistic attitude in life.

4. Focus on nurturing and improving yourself

Failures don’t discriminate, and it comes to everyone at some point. The trick lies in learning to deal with it and what you do about it that makes all the difference. In many cases, failure happens because a person wasn’t prepared, didn’t invest time on planning or was ill-equipped. It can also be because Lady Luck decided not to shower her favours.

Except for the last one, the rest of the issues can be fixed. Prepare a list of all the things that you think resulted in your failure. Start working on them one at a time. Do everything in your capacity to rectify, improve, resolve, and develop.

5. Find inspiration and support in abundance

Interacting with someone close can be more helpful than you think. You can also learn from people who have been through similar situations and have achieved what you hope to. Gain insights on how they managed to sail through the setbacks or low-points before and during the moment of success.

Or you can gain the motivation or enthusiasm by listening to someone else from an audiobook or podcast for maybe 30-60 minutes. It doesn’t have to be focused on your current setbacks.  Change your mood and mindset back towards optimism again.

6. Adopt a constructive approach and learn from the adverse situation

Consider it as valuable feedback and take home something you can implement in the process of overcoming your failure. The following are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What is the lesson for me?
  • How can I rectify myself to avoid making the same mistake and do better next time?
  • What can I do to enjoy guaranteed success?

You don’t need to rush through the process. Some of the answers may be immediate, while others might take an hour, a day or even a week to pop up. The significant thing is to start thinking about the situation from this perspective. Also, you need to be constructive about things rather than getting stuck with denial, negativity and apathy.

7. Stop mulling over and move on

Processing the situation and accepting it is the ideal way to deal with failures. Any individual who has experienced failures will know that it is quite easy to stay stuck in the loop of similar thoughts. In fact, this may go around and around for weeks or even months.

Now, in order to be free from this trap, the one habit that might help you is the set of questions like the ones shared above. You can also create a rough plan for how you wish to move forward from here. So, take some time to sit down and write them down.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

8. Purge out all the negativity

Another impactful way to handle the emotional meltdown and the thoughts that emerge from experiencing failure is to purge out all the negativity. In order to let everything out, you need to confide in someone close to you. There are two ways to go about it: Engaging in a conversation with someone will allow you to see it from a different perspective. The person you talk to can assist you in grounding yourself in reality again and motivate you to look for a way forward.

Or you can simply vent about it while the other person who is listening can sort things out for you. He/she can help you accept what happened and boost your spirit by instilling a sense of hope.

The significant thing to remember is that while you can’t stop obstacles from appearing in life, you can devise smart ways to handle them. If you persevere, you can easily discover opportunities that have been waiting for you on the other side. Now, as you become more efficient at dealing with the failures, you will allow yourself to see the positive side in even the toughest of scenarios.

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Life

How Stress Can Actually Improve the Quality of Your Life

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Naturally, those of us who experience less stress in our lives are more likely to succeed. So, it’s important that you learn how to reduce your daily level of stress, right? Maybe not. Recent research has shown the common wisdom about stress might be dangerously inaccurate. Psychologists tracked the health of 30,000 adults in the United States over an 8-year period. Participants were asked two important questions:

1.    “How much stress have you experienced in the last year?”
2.    “Do you believe stress is harmful to your health?” (more…)

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Life

The Truth About the Law of Attraction

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When we want something, we generally imagine the form it will take when it manifests. If we’re not careful, however, we can find ourselves attached more to the imagined form than the actual desired outcome. This is like placing an online order and expecting it to come in a blue box shipped by UPS. If we then receive a red box delivered by FedEx, we might not realize that it’s what we ordered, and never even open it!

For example, most of us say that we want money, but when money comes in the form of a free coffee or a gift or a discount, we don’t see it for what it is. We overlook it, and maybe we even say “No, thanks” and decline the gift which is, in one way or another, still money. In doing so, we fail to appreciate the value of the discount, the gift, or the freebie. If it isn’t cash being handed to us, we don’t see it as a manifestation of our desire.

The law of attraction is a funny thing.

It is much more complex and much more intricate than what it seems to be and yet, at the same time, it’s so very simple: We always get what we want. We always receive more of the energy at which we vibrate. Always.

However, if we’re acting from the energy of “I don’t deserve it” or “I don’t think I’m worthy,” then whatever it is that we receive will be negated and essentially unseen. On the other hand, if we are open, observant, and maintaining an abundance mindset, we will receive our request on numerous levels and from plentiful sources!

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

This is because we “place our order” not only through our words, but through our actions, our beliefs, and our thoughts.

Last month, I was open to receiving a new client. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I’d set my intention: I was going to get a new client. That night, out of nowhere, I got a message from an old student of mine. She was looking to hire me again as her coach for the upcoming college entrance exams in the U.S. But wait! I didn’t want an entrance exam client.

What I actually wanted was to get life and business coaching clients. This student was my “red box from Fed Ex.” I wanted to decline at first, but as I was about to reply, something made me stop. I asked myself, “Why am I rejecting this?”

This student is an amazing client. She pays on time. She’s not needy. She does her part. Best of all? She doesn’t short-change me. So I said yes, because I realized that the Universe was simply responding to the essence of my desire.

You see, my “Big Why” in everything I do has always been to facilitate an accelerated personal and business growth for my clients, and this student fit the bill in every way. She wanted the personal growth, she was ready to go all in and she reached out to me.

It didn’t look like the package I was expecting so I didn’t recognize it at first—and I nearly turned it away—but she was the perfect answer to my request.

Serving people like her has always been a driving force in my life.

The Universe knows that. It also knew that I wanted a client asap so that I could re-invest the money into my business, so it responded in the most ideal way… but in an unexpected form. And I came so close to missing it!

How many times have I missed other opportunities like this? How many times have I dismissed a “red box” because it wasn’t “blue?” I’ll never know. But I do know that, had I not stopped myself from sending a “No, thanks,” I would have felt as though the Universe wasn’t listening.

That’s the thing: the Universe is always listening.

The more open we are in receiving, the more we thrive. The more open our energy is, the greater the possibilities. Don’t just return that red box to the post office and keep waiting on a blue one. Ask yourself, first and foremost, if what you’re receiving at the moment matches up with your underlying desire.

See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it.” – Rhonda Byrne

The key is to be willing to receive anything and everything. How? Keep on reading1

1. Get clear on your “underlying desire.”

Identify exactly what it is that you really want—in my case, it was an ideal client (underlying) as opposed to a coaching client (surface)—and focus on that. Clear out all the mental noise and static that clouds your awareness.

2. Be flexible

Keep your eyes and mind open for anything that fits the description. When you ask for money, recognize that free coffee for what it is: $3 you were going to spend anyway, that can now remain in your pocket. Every penny on the ground, every coupon, it’s all money.

3. Keep an attitude of gratitude.

The more you appreciate what you have, the more that comes your way. Your grateful mindset opens the energetic door for more to flow your way, because “where attention goes, energy flows.” The more you focus on the things you want, the more you will draw them into your experience.

Remember, that the Universe responds to our requests in whatever way fits best within the big picture.

It’s a picture so big that we couldn’t possibly begin to see how it comes together. Trust it. Know that when you ask, you will receive. It may not come in the form you anticipate, but always in a form that responds to your underlying desire. You just have to be ready to see it.

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Life

7 Simple Ways to Master Your Emotions When Making Decisions

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A lot of people have big regrets when lying on their deathbed. These regrets are often related to bad decisions or decisions not taken. Thus, as it turns out, decision-making is dependent on great self-confidence. A person who has confidence in their decisions has an easier time making them.

Emotions also play a big role in all of this. This is a debate that has confronted two great thinkers. According to Descartes, “decisions are the product of the rational mind.” In other words, decision-making is essentially based on facts and mathematics.

But this thesis was refuted and proven to be wrong by Antonio Damasio in one of his works called “The Error of Descartes”. This was partly based on the story of Elliott, a kid that was very smart, who had above average rational capabilities, but incapable of making a decision, after a surgery to remove a brain tumor on the surface of his frontal lobes. After all his work in that matter, he concludes that a person who is incapable of emotion is incapable of making the most rational decisions.

The management of emotions is therefore completely inherent to good decision making, especially when making the most important decisions. To this end, here are 7 tips to put into practice to really master your emotions thus making the best decisions possible and never regreting them.

1. Take a step back

You must learn to take the time to identify and understand your emotions. Since physical reactions are emotionally related, also take the time to detect the reactions you have to some of your emotions. To be able to take the distance necessary to make decisions, it’s important to refer to your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of ​​the brain responsible for reasoning. To do so you need to put yourself in a stress-free environment for a few minutes.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent and committed decision.” – Tony Robbins

2. Breathe

The best way to do this is to learn to breathe deeply. This will allow activating your prefrontal cortex again, therefore, to have better control of your emotions so you do not react to them, let alone to the event that causes these emotions. Do this exercise for at least 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can train yourself never to react, no matter what the situation. Ideally, let at least 24 hours go by before responding to a situation that would normally cause tension.

3. Pay attention

Once you are in the prefrontal cortex, put one hand on your abdomen, at the level of your intestines, and the other hand on your heart, and take the time to listen. These two parts of the body are the two major centers of vibrations and emotions. This is why it’s important to listen and pay attention to them.

The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of your gut and heart. What you need to remember is that the only person you need to trust is yourself. By practicing this exercise, one thing will become very clear: what the emotion you feel seeks to convey to you about the decision you have to make.

Since everything is energy, first make sure that the vibration of the decision you are about to make and that of your heart and gut are in sync. You will then know whether to go ahead with your decision or reject it based on whether you feel serenity or heaviness.

4. Discern untruths

It is important to know whether your nervousness is the result of an untruth you’ve told yourself. These can corrupt the vibrations that should help you make the right decision. You have to throw out all of these untruths and come to the decision-making without any filter. Stop thinking that you’re unlucky, that you’re in a bad situation, that your life is a failure, or that you are a victim.

5. Become aware of your emotions instead of avoiding them

To become aware of your emotions, you must learn to coach yourself. Ask yourself questions: How did you feel the last time you had to ask these types of questions? What did you get in return? Rename what you felt and the result you obtained from what you decided to do. You will thus be much better at assimilating, understanding, and welcoming your emotions.

6. Be as present as possible

There is no point in focusing on the big events surrounding the decision you want to make. Concentrate instead on the present moment, without analyzing the events. Judge based on emotions rather than the event. By being more present, you will be better able to listen to your emotions and feel them.

Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell

7. Make your emotions your allies

Each of your emotions speaks to you through the physical and physiological reactions that they generate in you. Look to the weight of their impact on you as an indicator. Only by listening to them, using them, and managing them can you manage your emotions.

Habit comes with practice. With time, these 7 points will become much more natural and will become automatic. You will make better decisions for yourself.  This is one of the best ways to not end up with one of the big regrets.

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