Chase Your Dream and Face Adversity Head-on

Ryan Porter

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Adopt these three words and your mindset will change dramatically

Do you ever have one of those days? I’m talking about the type of day where everything seems to upset you.

Well, I had one of those days last week. I didn’t sleep well and I had to go to work instead of write. I don’t have much to complain about, but that day, every single minor inconvenience seemed to bend me the wrong way

Then, something happened that officially grinded my gears. As I was driving to work, I realized I had forgotten my chapstick. What a dilemma! Chapped lips are my kryptonite.

All the fumes that had built up during the day finally reached the brim. I was about to burst with frustration. Then, the universe sent me a reality check.

I heard a clunk at my side. I knew it was my chapstick. I didn’t have to look to know. I felt stupid. I felt remorse for getting so worked up over something so small.

Trust the process

There are things that we do not want to do, though we know we have to do them. This is a part of the process, and we need to trust it. For me, working full time during a pandemic is the antithesis of adversity.

I admit, I haven’t faced much true adversity in my life. I’m just a young adult trying to make his way in the world. My goal is simply to move out of my parent’s house and take care of a few plants.

The writing is a relief. For the first time, I feel committed to a platform. But, I’m tired. I’m working way more than I’m accustomed to, while also trying to build a business. I know you can relate too.

When I heard the chapstick fall beside my seat, something clicked in my brain. I realized I needed to suck it up and that my frustrations were meaningless.

We must do everything we can to move a step forward everyday

I took a mental step back and realized how stupid I was being. This adversity is natural. Comfort is the enemy of progress.

For me, working full-time is my adversity. I have dreams that go beyond the 9–5. You might be starting a new job. You might have recently adopted a puppy and now you have to spend your free time taking care of it.

You might have kids, or maybe you’re planning a wedding. Things, besides work, will take up our time.

We will never overcome adversity. We will just adapt to it.

How do you find the time to make progress?

The best way to work toward your goals is to prevent yourself from notworking toward them. Let me explain.

When dieting, an effective way to lose weight is to only keep healthy food in the house. If you stock up on Oreos and Doritos, you’re more likely to eat it.

If your goal is to make $100,000 in passive income, there are plenty of things to distract you from putting the work in.

For me, I know that I would have much less time to write if I moved out of my parent’s house. If I was completely independent, I’d have to spend my free time grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Though I help out around the house, I have a whole family to support me.

What is PAO?

PAO is an acronym I’ve been thinking about lately. It stands for persevere, adapt, and overcome. I played sports in high school, and my coaches raved about these qualities every year. These words translate past sports.


Some days, you just have to put your nose in the dirt. Late nights and early mornings are a reality for many of us. You have to play the cards that are dealt to you.

Life is a constant wave of handling days we perceive as simple or difficult.

We can be happy one moment, but frustrated the next. There is always something to be upset about, while there is always something to be happy about.

Everyone is mad. I catch myself doomscrolling from time to time. We tend to see that which makes us angry. This causes a domino effect that ripples through our heart and to our mouths. We let the negative energy affect those around us.

To persevere through times of hardship, we need to find happiness in life’s little moments. Squint your eyes, and you’ll see it. Search for the positive energy that surrounds you.

I lean hard on my friends because they are my most valuable currency. They’ve been there for me and will continue to support me through tough times. The game of life is harder to play alone. Thankfully there’s a co-op mode.


During my “bad day,” I let my coworker know about it. I messaged her through our work chat, asking why my schedule was the way it was. It slightly inconvenienced me, and I let her know this in a passive-aggressive way.

Why did I do this? Though I was a little upset by the scheduling, I’d let everything else build up inside of me. All these other moments came rushing up, and I sent messages I probably shouldn’t have. They weren’t that bad, but they weren’t necessary.

I felt sorry for behaving this way, so I needed to adapt. Besides, I ended up making more money because I stayed at work longer.

I believe that everything in life happens for a reason. You just have to look at it the right way.

My biggest failure led to my biggest success

I tried to transfer to UCLA after my sophomore year of college, but wasn’t accepted. As it would turn out, I spent the next two years at my university growing immensely as a writer.

I probably wouldn’t be on Medium now if it wasn’t for my failure.

The point is, we should adapt to the situation at hand. We can’t control our environment, but we can control ourselves.

How we decide to act is up to us. We can have a negative outlook on life, or we can find the positives. Choose to look at life’s mishaps in a positive light and the doors will open for you.


First, you must overcome your fear. There isn’t any need to fear that which has not crossed your path. Why worry about the next day before it has happened? It’s today. Live in the present and just hang out.

Once you’ve overcome your fear, you can live. I know I can bust out an entire blog post in a day. I used to doubt my ability. I didn’t think I could write more than two stories a week, but I’ve found ways to motivate myself to write everyday.

Persevering through hardship is the first step. Once you get a handle on your adversities, you can take steps to overcome it.

There’s always another mountain to climb

I’m basically working full time again, and it’s hard. The job itself isn’t hard, but I have other things in my life to take care of. I workout most days and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about blogging.

I see where it’s taken other authors. I can see where it can take me. You should see where it can take you.

Once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is a deeper meaning to life. You feel the fire in your soul.

This is why it’s so difficult to live in today’s society. We can almost grasp our dreams in our hands, but we have bills to pay and families to take care of. We still need to work to provide for ourselves and those we love.

We wish we could drop everything and go after the dream. Overcoming is about handling everything, together. If the dream is meant to be, then it isn’t supposed to be easy to accomplish.

How do I know this?

Nothing good ever came easy.

Wrap up

In the moment, whatever it is that you are dealing with seems hard. But, after all’s said and done, and you’re in bed for the night watching Netflix, do you reflect on a day well done?

Does it feel good to finish a productive day? Even if you just worked at your job-job and didn’t have time to pursue the dream, you still made money right? You still made progress. You’re X dollars richer than you were before.

Though jobs can feel stagnant, you get to reflect on your day. Look at how you handled your schedule. Can you fit in 20 minutes to work toward your dream?

When I worked on my startup, I went through the same problems. I exercised, made deliveries, or had meetings early in the morning. Then I went to my job from the afternoon to the late evening.

I was exhausted by the end of each day. I didn’t feel like either my job or my business were going anywhere. Yet, at the end of the day, the hour of relaxation I got was sweeter than anything.

Accomplishing the dream took everything you had in you. It was worth it because of your struggles.

The common denominator between us is our willingness to persevere, adapt, and overcome. There will always be bumps in the road, but you don’t stop chasing the dream because of them.

Don’t retreat from it, but face adversity in all its glory.

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I write about startup culture, productivity, and life's moments. My goal is to serve as a teacher for the next generation of content creators.

Los Angeles, CA

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