Staying focused on the path you need to follow to achieve your dreams is very crucial to be successful. When you stray from the track, your progress becomes slow, and your dreams seem more unachievable than ever. Without focus, the quality of your work suffers. Because you aren’t giving it your all, you are completing the task just for the sake of it.
“Why do you dwell on things that don’t matter when there are so many things that do?”
How productive we are is also dependant upon how focused we are. There are many ways for our mind to be easily distracted, primarily because of our phones. Eventually, the quality of our work starts degrading which again becomes a cause for stress. When you feel mental burn-out, you need to find ways to deal with it.
Having discipline and staying focused is the leading quality to have to keep working without stopping towards our goals and dreams. If you have been losing focus and the drive to continue your work, then these are some excellent ways to stay focused on your dreams.
1. Keep reminding yourself of the big picture
No matter what it is, there is always going to be something we don’t like. Even if you have your dream job or business you are really passionate about, some part of it won’t excite you as much as the other parts of the work. Maybe you love your business, but hate answering emails, and whenever you have to do it, you lose your motivation to get back to other tasks.
“Having the big picture in mind enables us to overcome the day to day routines that attempt to distract us from pursuing our dream.”
These mundane tasks make us lose our patience and focus. We don’t want to do them, but they are an essential part, so we have to. During tasks that make you feel like this, you have to think if you can do anything to change it. If no, then remind yourself of the big picture. Remind yourself that every little thing adds up to your efforts to fulfill your dream.
“If you spend your life over analyzing every encounter you will always see the tree, but never the forest.”
-Shannon L. Alder
If you have the resources to unload those tasks, then do it. Outsourcing is one of the best ways to focus on what you love and get the work that you don’t find interesting done by someone else. You have to figure out how you can get your work done more effectively by automating, outsourcing, and smart planning.
2. Remind yourself the reason why you started
Entrepreneurship needs patience. Any business needs patience. It isn’t easy to build anything from the ground up. When you start out, the reasons for you taking on your journey are fresh and clear in your mind.
“The most important thing is this: to sacrifice what you are now for what you can become tomorrow.”
As the days pass, your mind gets more and more daunted with daily things that need to be done, short-term goals to be achieved, targets to be met, solutions for problems to be found, etc. While you are busy managing and micromanaging your business, it becomes easy to lose sight of the reason you began this thing in the first place.
It is important to keep reminding yourself of your main reasons for whatever you are doing – your vision, your mission statement, your inspiration, anything that made you take the first step. Otherwise, you will easily hit mental roadblocks that will stop you from succeeding, and you will deviate from your path.
This is why it is advised to prepare a document with your mission statement in the beginning and use it to refresh your memory time and time again. Your mission statement doesn’t have to be rigid, you can make changes over the course of time, but remember to keep the core goal same.
When you keep reminding yourself why achieving something is really important to you, it becomes difficult to lose focus. You start looking for ways to achieve your goals effectively.
3. Maintain a routine
One of the reasons for not being consistent and focused in your work is not following a routine. When you just wing your day, it is easier to get distracted and lose your focus. Knowing how much time to invest in doing what is important, and sticking to that schedule is what takes you a step closer to your dream every day.
“A daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separates the most successful among us from everyone else. The routine is exceptionally powerful.”
Consistency is the key to success. Being consistent with your work, doing a little every day, is what helps you preserve your vision towards your goal. Procrastination and laziness can make you spiral down the unproductive path real quick. You have to be careful when a break turns into hours of nothingness. Quickly snap out of it and do something, anything that will make you feel productive.
“Over time, as the daily routines become second nature, discipline morphs into habit.”
Make a to-do list every night for the next day and follow it to the T. When you make a list the night before, it gives you the opportunity to start the next day with a plan. When you know what to do, it becomes difficult to lose track. Every night, recap your day and make notes as to what you did to reach your goal and what you still need to do.
4. Self impose deadlines, restrictions, and incentives
This might not seem effective at first glance, but if you are an entrepreneur and aren’t exactly answerable to anyone, you will soon understand the importance of deadlines. When you work at an organization, there is someone to look over the work you do. You work in teams, are dependent on each other and are answerable for slacking. All of these things, encourage you to work more and get your work done on time.
“Wasted strokes, like missed deadlines, are preventable and costly.”
You have to use that aspect of a day job and apply it to your business and yourself. Set non-negotiable deadlines for the most important tasks. This will help you learn how to manage tasks effectively, how to multitask, and how to get a job done no matter what.
If just setting deadlines is still not helping you focus completely. Set strict restrictions on yourself. Do not allow yourself to deviate from the task at hand. If you have the urge to stop working and check your phone or play a game or listen to one song, stop yourself. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Tell yourself that you will be able to do whatever you want, guilt-free, when you get your work done.
“No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.”
-Booker T. Washington
Incentives or rewards are a great way to motivate yourself to finish the task at hand. When you have something to look forward to, it becomes easier to run the last mile. When you work on your business, the results aren’t often quick. No sight of results can dim your mood, and you can feel demotivated, everything can seem pointless. You have to avoid that feeling, and that can be done by setting rewards for yourself for completing a difficult task or achieving a small milestone.
5. Focus on yourself before you focus on your dreams
With everything mentioned, it is also important to take care of yourself. Self-care is neglected by many people under the pretense of being busy. Being busy is no reason to neglect yourself and your health. You do not have to follow an elaborate self-care routine. A little something every day is enough.
“Focus on you, until the focus is on you.”
Try to incorporate meditation in your morning routine. Meditation has proven to have many benefits. You can also practice yoga every day. Meditation and yoga are both said to relieve stress and help create a positive mindset. Exercise and eat healthy to keep your body in top shape to continue working.
A positive mindset is important for moving forward in your life, no matter what life throws at you. To achieve a positive mindset you need to focus on –
- Developing good habits
- Getting rid of bad habits
- Cutting off negative people from your life
- Getting rid of pessimistic thoughts
- Starting your day on a positive note
- Keeping a tab on what is important
- Finding work-life balance
These are some of the key things to do to surround yourself with positivity. When your mind isn’t stressed and anxious, the weight of working becomes lighter on you. This is the healthy mental state you need to be in to apply yourself completely and maintain undeterred focus.
All of the ways that I have talked about are really important and helpful to stay focused on your dreams. I know these things work because I have tested them myself and have read the same being advised by many successful people.
When you start something, it is scary and difficult, but your dream keeps you going. As you progress, it becomes less scary but you also lose sight of your dream. Your end goal is something that you have to look at as a destination, like a light at the end of a dark tunnel, that will always help you find a path to reach there. Work like you are in the tunnel, only your dream is what you can see, and everything else is pitch black. It will help you remain focused in your most distracting times.
Tips for Surviving Your Twenties
Your 20’s is supposed to be the time when you graduate your school, get introduced to the free wide world, get the freedom of doing what you want, the way you want, and when you want. The power struggle about making your own decisions is supposed to end, your parents can’t stop you anymore, well at least legally. You find love, start planning for vacations, go out drinking, have crazy experiences and so on.
Sadly, a lot of you would have had a confused face halfway through reading this, not if you’re in your teenage if that is the case then stop worrying, I don’t want you to be depressed from now. Well, the reality is that the twenties are not all fun, to be honest, it’s riddled with hard work, coming of age battles and responsibilities.
It’s always more difficult in the beginning. You have to get out of your comfort zone, start ‘acting’ like an adult, and when you see your first paycheck, all those arguments with your mum about not switching off your TV when you’re not watching start making more sense.
As much as a cliche it might sound like, working hard in your twenties does mean lesser problems in the future and finding financial stability in the thirties when you can’t burn the midnight oil as consistently as you can now. If you aren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, the reality is that you have to work hard to make a mark in the world and live a wealthy life. Considering this, it makes the most sense to work your hardest when you are comparatively younger with lesser responsibilities.
How do you survive your twenties? There isn’t a cheat code for this, but some things that might help are what we are going to be talking about today. These are things that I have learned from my experience and things that everyone experiences at some point.
Stop Thinking Too Much
Yes it’s hard, yes you have next to no free time, and yes you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel. When you are feeling low and want changes in your life, chances are you might research about, “what is the fastest way to earn money?”, believe me, we have all been there.
The rabbit hole that we get into throws a lot of choices towards us and we are tempted to do a lot of stuff half-heartedly rather than doing one thing with all our heart. The trick is to not think too much in the future – have a plan, but don’t fixate on the deadlines too much. Allow yourself the time and freedom to test uncharted territories. When you stop thinking too much, you allow yourself to be more inviting of opportunities which would otherwise go past you.
Money is Temporary, Health is Permanent
It’s such a common thing to do. When you are busy, you stop caring about working out or eating healthy. Yes, you are completely engaged in your busy twenties, but it honestly doesn’t take as much time to make small changes for better health.
When you are young, your body has better metabolism and responds to actions faster. Simply put, it is way more difficult to attain a healthy body and brain when you go past your twenties. Not only does a bad lifestyle cause bad health, but it also makes you less productive. Your body without proper care and food is simply not sharp enough to yield the results you are expecting. You don’t need to be busy to be productive is what you need to learn.
Monthly Budget with a Twist, Set Goals Before the Month
Don’t stop after creating a budget for the month. Start analysing your spending habits and categorise them with essential and luxury spendings. After this, you can set goals for the month to come.
Having a budget does not mean you need to be a miser and give up on things that make you happy. A budget simply helps you be transparent with your spendings, it helps you be in control of your financial life.
You Make Your Own Luck
Luck is unsurprisingly one of the most overused words since it is easier to blame your environment and other people rather than doing self-reflection and taking criticisms. If you look at most successful people, they’ll never claim that they knew they were going to be industry giants neither will they claim that there exists some well-kept secret that is only known to the people who succeed.
Successful people do simple things consistently and are not afraid to change and adapt if things are not going according to plans. You need to be hungry to grab any and all opportunities that are thrown at you. You are not owed an opportunity by the world, but if you get one, make sure you make the most of it because you never know when you’ll catch the attention of someone important who was once where you are. You make your own luck. You’re going to go through hardships anyway, make sure you make the most out of it.
Your twenties can feel daunting because you are thrown into a whole new world with very limited knowledge and expected to make the most of it. What you have to remember is that taking one day at a time is the best way to go about things when everything seems out of control. Taking a breather every now and then is the best way to grasp new concepts without getting overwhelmed by everything.
While these are your crucial years, they are also the years when you have the chance to learn and grow. While you need to grow in your career, you also need to grow as a person. Don’t be afraid to take risks or just take some time out for yourself.
Give priority to self-care. That is a concept that is widely under-estimated but holds a lot of power to keep you on your best. No matter how busy you are, take some time out for yourself and your loved ones.
The Importance of Having a Purpose in Life
“Having a purpose is the difference between making a living and making a life.”
At one point or the other, you are sure to come across the term, ‘Life Purpose.’ You will hear people talking about what they think the purpose of their life is, or how they are still looking for the purpose of their life. This question is closely bound to existential crises that many people face from time to time.
Having a purpose in life isn’t always about the greater good, about some spiritual thing, or something bigger than you. It is more about yourself, your calling, something that pushes you to keep moving in the direction of what you desire the most. When we think of anything related to purpose, cause, and effect – Buddha’s teachings are one of the first things that come to mind.
Buddha’s teachings were based on the Law of Cause and Effect- the Theory of Karma. Buddha preached that every good action has positive effects on an individual’s life and every wrong thought, word or dead has negative consequences.
Karma. What goes around comes back around. How many times have you heard this?
Each one of us has come into this world with a purpose is something that you will hear a lot – from people who have actually found it and from people who are pretending to fit it. You will get a lot of advice from all directions.
We are all here to observe, to learn, to grow and then we return home. Every effect has a cause. Being human is an effect. So it must have a cause. Each life has a different cause. We all have different stories and different endings. But the ultimate purpose of each living being on this planet is happiness. We live to be happy.
If you don’t think that, then close your eyes and think about what you truly want. Now, dissect it, think about having what you. Think about how it will make you feel. The underlying reason is satisfaction and happiness for everything. It might come in different forms, but at the end, it is the same.
“Good deeds bring good results. Bad deeds bring bad results. Your own actions bring your own results,” – this is what Karma basically entails. This is what leads you to find your purpose in life. When you know what you are chasing after, deciding the path becomes easier.
You aren’t fishing in the dark with no destination in sight. Knowing what you have to achieve, knowing what your calling is even if it doesn’t fit the mould of the society – is enough to push you to keep moving. It is the encouragement you need to get out of bed every morning to achieve what you want.
“I believe purpose is something for which one is responsible; it’s not just divinely assigned.”
-Michael J. Fox
We are always blaming everyone else for our mistakes and failure. But all these are excuses to hide our own deeds. All of our fate at this moment has been brought on by what we have worked for. It is our own actions not those of others at all times. When one door opens, it doesn’t stop there, it opens multiple others. Every action causes a chain reaction – domino effect if you may.
If we don’t have a person to blame our fate, we blame our bad luck. We say misfortune stuck us down. But the truth is our current situation is a direct or indirect effect of our past actions. We are affected by our own causes, and no one else’s. Our actions and our intentions. We may try to camouflage his intentions in his otherwise noble deeds, but at some point, all this leads back to us.
“If you organize your life around your passion, you can turn your passion into your story and then turn your story into something bigger―something that matters.”
Sometimes you are stuck in miserable situations and wonder if the universe is conspiring to bring you down. There are two ways to go about it – either you sit and complain about it for the rest of your life or you accept your circumstances and work hard to change your conditions.
Live your life to the fullest, but take responsibility for your actions. Improve your lifestyle. Have healthy habits. Developing your self is the first step to learning your purpose in life and doing it justice. People who know how to use time wisely will make it their aim to spend time on activities that help them advance on their purpose in life, and people who know what the purpose is will know not to waste time chasing things that don’t matter.
“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”
Why Chasing Your Dreams is a Scary Concept and Why You Need to Do it Anyway
A few years ago, a steady 9-to-5 job used to be the dream. We were all taught to aim for that, to have a goal to get a good job that can provide you with financial stability. You pursued education with the end goal of getting a job. Took personal loans, studied hard, worked while you studied to get by, got a job, kept working to pay the debt off, then continued working on getting yourself by – maybe get a car, a house – this was all we knew.
Starting your own business was risky, few people attempted it. It took a lot more commitment than just working for someone else. All of us heard this phrase – “Build your own dreams, or else someone else will hire you to build theirs” – it hit us at times, but we didn’t dare to chase our dreams because we had responsibilities and also debts to pay off.
So many people stayed in their jobs telling themselves that they will soon start out with their own venture, they just needed to pay their debt off and save some money as a financial cushion for themselves. But, the problem here is that once you get used to getting a stable paycheck, it becomes difficult to get on a road that is full of uncertainty and doesn’t even guarantee that you are going to get a paycheck in the initial few months.
Bill Gates, the wealthiest man in the world, was a college drop, who has about a million engineers working under him. Stories like his, people like him, are thrown around as examples a lot. What people often don’t see behind all the success is that success doesn’t come easy. You don’t achieve your goals just because you were lucky.
You either have a goal for yourself, or it is someone else’s plan you’ll be a part of. If you don’t work on building your dream, then it is evident that someone will hire you to build theirs, and that is the reality – that is how the world works. Many people who have dreams other than their jobs, try to convince themselves that this is not the case, but this is precisely what is happening. Inaction will get you nowhere even if you have a bucket full of luck showered over you.
You need to have a vision, and you need to have goals to turn your vision into reality. There is no point wearing yourself out in a 9-to-5 job, even if it pays you well enough if you are not happy. You need to find a job which inspires you, helps you grow. You need to focus on something that will add value to your life and vision. There is nothing wrong with helping other people to live their dream – there is a difference in willingly helping someone with their goals – but it should never be at the expense of your own vision.
We may be interested in a lot of things, and we may even do it according to our convenience. But commitment is what is required to pull ourselves out of the comfort zone. The struggle of getting out of the comfort zone is what tangles many people, and you have to detangle yourself, learn to fight the feeling, and do things anyway.
Now is the best time to start; it is as good as any. Leaving behind your unfulfilling life might seem like a distant dream, but it is on you to make it happen. To live the life of abundance, you need to start from the beginning – start from a dream. Before any idea can come true, it must first be imagined – the seed needs to be planted.
Take time to dream. Think about your goals. Consider how your skills can help you and what you are talented in, explore your thoughts. The thinking should go on till you get obsessed with it because liking what you do isn’t enough. Obsession is the main driving force that will make you get up and run toward your goal – that is the fuel that drives people who dare start a venture.
People who have achieved laurels in different fields – regardless of all the obstacles – irrespective of their injuries, disabilities, low-income conditions, marriage bonds, or conservative families issues – become examples to people who dare to walk a path different from others. This is your life. You and only you get to decide what you want to do with it; you can’t rely on someone else for your happiness – this is something that more people are starting to realize.
When you learn that you can’t blame someone else for your failures; you can’t hide behind people as a reason for your inaction – change starts to happen. Society will tell you all kinds of things, force you into decisions, but it’s YOU in the end who makes the decision.
If you have a dream – a dream that excites you, scares you, makes you feel giddy, makes you feel alive – then you have a mission in life. Your mission is to make that dream come true. But if you are letting a bunch of excuses come in your way, you are sabotaging your dream. The only thing standing between you and your dream is ironically YOU.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
– Paulo Coelho
With the start of every new endeavour, there are many obstacles that you have to cross on the way. People are going to shun you, mock you, criticize you for many of your decisions because there is a cultural norm of following the same societal rules and it baffles people when you think outside the box.
Society has always tried to make everyone fit into this one homogeneous frame. Those who manage to be like everyone else are appreciated – which is why we pretend. But sometimes, most times, people don’t fit in, they just can’t fit in no matter how much they try.
People are scared, they don’t know any different, so they will scoff at your ideas, they will tell you it is not worth it, but you have to trust yourself and not be fooled by these judgemental people who try to make you doubt yourself. They might not always be coming from a wrong place, it might be out of concern, but taking risks is not something everyone can wrap their heads around.
People who decide to do something different from others are looked down upon. People, who feel the need to judge and criticize others, have one thing in common: in order to feel better about themselves, they need to knock others that aren’t like them down. They see you doing what they wish they dared to do – something to get out of a life they don’t want to be living. So they will attack you in every possible way until you feel miserable about the path you are walking on, about the need to do something for yourself.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman
You have to stand firm. Don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t capable enough to achieve success, to make your dreams come true. Believe that everything is possible, however impossible it may seem initially. The magic ingredient here is you believing in yourself when everyone refuses to believe you. The universe is continuously testing you to see if you are really serious about pursuing your dreams. Being stubborn, not quitting, and moving forward is what is needed to go after what you want.
“Don’t let small brains convince you that your dreams are too big.”
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