If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.
― Walt Disney
Every time I read this Walt Disney’s quote, I get my small daily dose of motivation. My goals and long-term plans are the first things that come to my mind, and I feel enthusiastic.
But things haven’t always been like that for me. In fact, I’ve felt stuck for a long time, not too long ago. Back then I felt nothing motivated me. The thing is I just hadn’t found my purpose yet.
Later, things changed. And I learned that if you want to feel good about yourself, you need a realistic yet ambitious purpose and you have to believe you have all you need to get there. You need to see yourself continuously moving towards your goals. This gives you that energy that makes you unstoppable.
When you don’t have a dream to pursue, you lack that drive. You live your life on autopilot.
It might sound trivial, but dreams are powerful, and pursuing them makes the difference between an extraordinary and an ordinary life.
See, when you want something badly, you always have two options. You can transform that energy into frustration. You can decide you “can’t have it,” and settle for just dreaming about it, watching and envying those who achieve things you want.
Or you can use that energy to go after what you want, take massive action towards it and work to reach your fullest potential. It’s always up to you.
Are you living or surviving?
Motivation is something that can potentially pull you every day closer to your short-term goals and eventually to massive success. However, if you don’t have a clear purpose, and you don’t do what you love, you just don’t have that strong long-term drive.
For example, If you are stuck with a job that doesn’t excite you and want to escape the 9–5 rat race — but don’t know how to do that — you should ask yourself if you are living the life you want.
Are you living or just surviving? Are you living your life to the fullest?
I started to ask myself these questions not long ago when I realized I was working to pay my rent and bills and didn’t have time to do what I loved. The answer was a brutally honest one: I was living the life I was supposed to live, not the life I wanted. I realized I graduated in something I loved, but to work for someone else’s goals.
During the week, I worked my daily eight hours, went back home, washed my Tupper, and prepared my lunch for the following day. I had dinner and went to bed. All I had to do was to rinse and repeat until Friday. And I was lucky, because I didn’t work on weekends and could have a life at least two days a week.
But was that even life?
If nothing stimulates you, you might be working towards someone else’s goals, not yours. The problem is you don’t even realize it because you convinced yourself those are your goals too — while they clearly aren’t. So you don’t have that positive energy that pulls you towards your real dreams.
See, if you want to achieve big things in life and unleash your full potential, the first step you have to take is this:
Have the courage to think big, because no one else is going to do it for you.
“Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
— Amazon leadership principles
Thinking big doesn’t mean setting unrealistic goals. It means listening to your dreams, becoming aware of your true potential and leveraging it. It means pushing yourself to — and beyond — your limits.
When you think big enough, have a clear purpose in mind and take massive action towards it, you attract the life you want. Things start falling into place.
After I understood I was surviving instead of living and was not thinking big enough, I took action. I decided I wanted to escape the 9–5 rat race and achieve financial freedom.
I wrote down a list of some services I could provide as a freelancer, and that I would be particularly good at. Also, I made sure to write down only the activities I truly enjoy, like writing, translating and coaching others. Then I did some research on some platforms, to see how much other professionals charged for those same services.
I created a profile on three freelance platforms and started working as a freelancer during my free time. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, but now it’s slowly starting to work.
I still have my full-time job, but I know that one day I will be able to rely on what now are my side hustles, and I will achieve financial independence through them.
I set some ambitious goals for myself that I wasn’t even thinking of before. I started to dream big. And when I did, something interesting happened: I became happier. Because now I have a plan and a strong purpose that motivate me.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
— Jim Rohn
The combination of thinking big and doing what you love creates an invisible force that gives you the self-discipline and patience to always be consistent, also when you feel like giving up.
We are like cars, and dreams are our fuel: without them we would keep staying in the same place, trying to start a car that will never move. Similarly, when we are passionate about something and dare to think big, we do move.
We become unstoppable.