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5 Terrible Excuses For Why People Let Their Dreams Go

5 Terrible Excuses For Why People Let Their Dreams Go

Everyone has dreams and aspirations, and yet most of us in life will never see them through. Perhaps it’s due to being afraid of failure, unprecedented circumstances, or even death. And the ones who do achieve their dreams? Most are often left unfulfilled, wandering aimlessly and confused — why?

Because dreams are meant to be dreams, they’re supposed to be unattainable. That’s why they’re dreams, right?

Wrong.

Here are 5 terrible excuses for letting your dreams go.

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1. You think you’re not good enough.

Yes, everyone has that little voice in their head screaming that they’re pathetic, a failure, and worthless. Sometimes, you believe you’ve created the best thing that’s ever been on earth, and the next day you are wondering how in the world you managed to create such a piece of dirt.

Well, there are many things that science has told us about that little voice. For one, it was originally used as a means of comfort and security. Yes, I know, that voice that calls you ugly and worthless was intended to be helpful, not harmful. And it’s not like you can tie it up, put some tape on its mouth, and throw it in the corner. But let’s face it, that voice is one of the best things we can have. It will tell us over and over when something isn’t good enough, and that’s us.

We know our limits, and so do our minds. So, the next time you hear that little old brain of yours telling you that your piece of art/literature/acting/athletics is terrible, think of it as a way of your brain saying this: I can do better, I know I can. I can succeed in my dreams.

2. You say you “don’t have enough time.”

I’m going to say this once: dreams are meant to be taken and worked on. And if you don’t have enough time for something you’re passionate about, then you truly never were that passionate about it.

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Successful people make time, and if you’re one of those people who are constantly on Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr, grab a stopwatch and start counting the minutes. When you decide that you’re going to sit down and watch TV, start counting the minutes. A recent study from The Telegraph shows us that the average person spends an hour and forty minutes on social media each day — and you still say you have no time?

If you truly have no time, no time in the world to do what you love, drop what you don’t like and start doing what you love. Yes, you might make a little less money, you might not be able to go to the gym, you might not be able to do certain things you like, but you will be able to do the thing you love and pursue your dream. You have one life, so what do you have to lose to go after a dream? Nothing.

3. Your peers think otherwise.

Hey, Jenny, heard you want to be a writer. Good luck with that — you can’t write, and becoming a successful author is, like, super hard, so come party instead.”

Everyone has that one person who will stop at nothing to put down their dreams, their aspirations. These people believe that in life, you have to be a realist. Being an artist doesn’t pay bills, neither does being a writer. What pays bills is working a 9-to-5 job that you might hate, and for what? A nice car, a nice house, a nice job, some status? But what about that dream? What about that dream to be a writer, to publish work?

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You know, I can tell you something, something that’s a fact. If you worked a 9-to-5 job and died tomorrow, what would happen? Someone would come and take your place, people would mourn, and that would be it. Your life as a blip in the earth’s existence. Forgotten. However, if you go out there in that big world and attempt to make something of your dream, you will be more successful than any other millenial who worked all day in a job they despised. Whether it’s being a dancer, being an athlete, being a writer — you have the chance of never being forgotten. The chance of your name to be written on a great piece of work, in a record book, in an amazing play. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So go for it.

To quote Alan watts: What would you do, if money was no object?

Do it.

4. You say, “I’m not quite ready yet.”

It takes a lot of courage to chase a dream. That becomes more evident when you sacrifice family time, your lifestyle, your hobbies, your finances, and even risk losing everything. Now, I’m not saying go out and quit your job, burn your bridges, destroy your foundations. What I am saying is to rediscover that passion, that eternal flame that is within all of us to chase our dreams, because you only have one life.

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With every day that passes, you are the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again. Time will run from you, and I hear a lot of, “I’m not quite ready yet” or “I’m too young, I don’t have enough experience.” That is bologna. I will say this time and time again: you don’t wait for opportunity, you create your opportunity. You build your bridges, and I’ll be damned if there is a path that leads to success that is covered in debris, fallen down and broken — you’d better get ready to clear it. Because you are ready. You will make yourself ready.

5. You lie to yourself.

Being honest to yourself is one of the hardest things to do in life. People do not like disappointments, and when you are striving to be successful, you always hear the words, “I’m doing my best,” “I work my butt off,” and “I’m always busy.”

People like to proclaim self-greatness. But it’s always good to understand you aren’t the best — yet. I’ll give you an example. My dream is to become a writer, and when I was younger, I used to claim that I didn’t read books because I thought all the stories were pointless and I didn’t like the way other writers wrote. Well, I was lying to myself, and had convinced myself of this lie. The reality was that I believed I wrote the best and had the talent to be the greatest — I still do, but in a much humbler way. I stepped back and told myself that I am nothing but dirt right now. That in order for me to grow, I must learn from the best. I picked up many novels by Stephen King. I don’t like his novels greatly — some I love, most I like. But he is argueably the most popular and well-known writer there is. I stopped seeing myself as someone who can contribute to the world of literature, and starting seeing myself in my true form: as an apprentice, learning on his own through self-education.

So, stop with the excuses and go out there and change the world.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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