Rushing after your dream wears you down. Trying to achieve our dream tomorrow leads to nowhere. Focus on your foundation first.
I’m notorious for rushing.
As a kid, I ran around our small one-story California home pretending to be Speedy Gonzalez.
Even now, I speed walk everywhere or drive
5 mph 10 mph over the speed limit.
In my personal life, I rush things. I proposed at the age of 21, married by 22, and became a father at 25.
I need to slow down. And so do you.
I’m in this for the long run. As a Millennial I have another 50-60 years to go, God willing. If I want to be a full-time writer, I’ll get there. But it’s not going to happen tomorrow.
When you think about your life’s plan, do you reflect on the long or short-term? If you are young like me, most likely you say you think long-term when in reality you frantically run around trying to figure out what needs to be done today.
This leads to nothing more than longer days and shorter years.
It’s almost as if we are throwing Hail Mary’s on the first drive of the game (too soon for a football reference?).
Slowing down to focus on the small and intentional steps will lead to a stronger foundation in the long run. Here’s how I do it.
Relax, Set a Pace
Tibetan monks are known to spend weeks intricately creating sand mandalas (if you saw Season 3 of House of Cards you understand).
These elaborate pieces of art are meticulously constructed with a few tools and colored sand. The monks set a pace by chanting in unison. This way they can all work together to complete their project. Granule by granule.
If the monks work any faster, the piece will not exude the same intricate beauty.
Many of us spend our lives focusing on the end result instead of putting our heads down, setting a pace, and getting to work.
Find a pace that works best for you.
On any given day I have about two to three hours each evening after my son goes to bed to work on my dream. After those two to three hours, I pack up my tools and hang up my apron.
If I try to work more, my art suffers and me with it.
There is always tomorrow.
“I don’t think that I could do this work for even one week if I didn’t have four hours of prayer every day,” said Mother Teresa to Time in 1989.
Four hours. That’s how many hours a day Mother Teresa spent away from her work with the poor. Work that won her a Nobel Peace Prize and soon-to-be “Saint” title.
Mother Teresa set limits to achieve her mission.
It seems counter-intuitive, but setting limits is proven to help you to take more effective steps.
There are a few exceptions in life where going all in is okay. But for most of us, we need to set clear limits on how much time we will spend going after our dream and when we will be ready to go all in.
Like I said previously, I give myself two to three hours each day to chase my dream. My wife and I also set a limit for the earliest I can consider quitting my full-time job (answer: once she’s established in her pharmacy career).
Be realistic and don’t kill yourself over the chase.
Focus on the 4 Pillars
Set yourself up to succeed in the long run.
Any dream requires a solid foundation built on four pillars: knowledge, habits, relationships, and community.
These pillars take a while to set in place. Learning new skills, establishing new habits, building meaningful relationships, and finding the right communities aren’t glamorous, they require time, patience and hard work.
Learning new skills, establishing new habits, building meaningful relationships, and finding the right communities require time, patience, and hard work. In other words, they ain’t glamourous.
They are essential if you want to build a better life for yourself. If any of these pillars are shaky, the whole structure falls.
Going after your dream is a romantic idea, but it mainly consists of years and years of laying a solid foundation.
Do yourself a favor and don’t build a roof before a foundation’s been laid.
Let’s build together
I wrote a book. It’s part of my foundation, and I want to build upon it. Will you help me?
Pre-order your copy today and join the community of Millennials who are discontent with the way things are and want to go after a life they want.