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Pursuing Dreams is Like an Iceberg. Most People Only See the Tip of it.

Pursuing Dreams is Like an Iceberg. Most People Only See the Tip of it.

When 9-year-old aspiring singer Celine Tam was asked by a judge from America’s Got Talent what her big dream was when she grew up, she instantly replied: “This is my dream.”[1]

Of course, it’s not just Celine who likes to talk about dreams. Google shows that there’s an uprising trend that people love to talk about dreams:[2]

    When people discuss their dreams, they nearly always focus on the bright side of reaching their goals. It’s as if they consciously overlook the effort needed to achieve great things. Instead, they choose to put all their faith and hope into the expected, positive results.

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    How Dreams Have Been Over Fantasised

    It’s easy to only see the positive sides of dreams — fame, fortune, attention, followers and recognition. While it’s fine to enjoy fantasy thoughts of how life could be in the future, these thoughts will always remain nothing but a fantasy until you start taking action.

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    You might dream of being in a pop band, having a hit single and album, and touring the world to adoring fans. You’ve seen other artists do it, and you’re sure that you’re as talented as them – or more so. While this may be true, there’s also a lot of time, effort and persistence the vast majority of successful musicians and singers have put in. And not a lot of people see these things.

    These artists have dedicated a huge portion of their lives to practicing, performing and learning how to market themselves. They’ve also had to overcome some big obstacles to success, such as family pressure, lack of financial support, songs getting rejected hundreds of times, and no audience at the beginning.

    It’s easy to just focus on the bright side of successful people, rather than understanding the incredibly tough journey they survived to get there; unless you read an autobiography of them (which often details their trials and tribulations).

    The Little-known Dark Times of Successful People

    Consider the story of world-famous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

    Before releasing his debut album in 2011, Sheeran was homeless for almost three years. This included two nights sleeping rough outside Buckingham Palace in London.[3] However, instead of letting his situation crash his dreams, he kept on playing gigs and recording songs. Success was a while coming… but now he’s one of the world’s most successful musicians, including being the first artist to have two songs debut in the U.S. top 10 in the same week.[4]

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      And then there is Elon Musk.

      Before scaling the heights of success with SolarCity, SpaceX and Tesla, he first had to go through some extraordinary challenges. These included: product failures, going broke, and relentless personal criticism and accusations.[5] Musk admits it was difficult, but his immense self-motivation helped him to overcome the challenges, and begin to see the fruits of his efforts.

        To realistically have a chance of reaching goals, one must be willing to suffer the hardships along the way, rather than just wanting to enjoy the final destination.

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        If you’ve set your sights on success, be prepared for disappointments, frustrations and roadblocks. These things are impossible to avoid. And the bigger your dream – the more of the negatives you can expect to encounter.

        So what dream to aim for? I’m going to answer you in the final section – the action part.

        Stick to one dream, not dreams

        Before giving you some definite pointers on choosing your ideal goal, I want you to realize this truth… Our time on this planet is limited. And while it’s impossible to escape time, you can learn to work in harmony with it. You can do this by choosing a dream that perfectly fits your age, personality and talents.

        Note that I say dream, not dreams. The reason for this, is that you’ll increase your chances of success if you choose and stick to one ideal goal – rather than flitting aimlessly between unsuitable goals.

        Now, to decide on your one dream, be sure that you are willing to suffer for it with these five criteria:

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        1. 90% of the work for this dream will be hard. I am willing to suffer and sacrifice for it.
        2. I will commit 100% of my time and energy to my dream.
        3. I will give up things such as luxury goods and leisure time in order to reach my dream.
        4. My dream will always excite me so much that I will happily overcome any hardships and obstacles.
        5. I have what it takes to reach my dream.

        Please stop for a moment, and read each statement again. Then give yourself time to really process them. You may be surprised as you process these statements… “But spare time is quite important to me”, or “my life seems to be okay right now”, or “I don’t think I can spend that much effort on it.”

        These thoughts are perfectly fine, but they indicate that your one dream should be realistic and achievable.

        However, if you have these thoughts… “I’m ready to take on the world,” “I’m willing to sacrifice my time, money and energy,” “I’m absolutely committed to achieving success,” then you’re ready to aim for the stars! Choose a BIG dream – and make it a reality!

        I don’t want to tell you specifically what dreams to choose, as this could limit your decision. Instead, I recommend you spend a few days analyzing what you do best, what you enjoy the most, and what benefits you can offer to others. Once you have two or three ideas, narrow these down by determining how much effort and resources they require to achieve. Finally, choose your goal – and commit to sticking to it.

        Choose your dream wisely, stick to it and get to work on achieving it. You will not regret doing it.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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        Last Updated on January 13, 2020

        50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

        50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

        Let’s face it – no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags. Days when – despite all the progress you’ve made in the past – it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.

        In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.

        Quotes about Goal Setting

        Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.

        Check out these quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:

        quote-Benjamin-E.-Mays-the-tragedy-in-life-doesnt-lie-in-106113

          “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”– Benjamin Mays


          “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansen


          “Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”–William J. Bennett – The Book of Virtues


          “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”–Robert L. Schwartz

          Quotes about Achieving Excellence in Work

          Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:

          “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”–Aristotle


          “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll

          Desire is the key to motivation

            “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti


            “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”–Pearl Buck


            “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi

            Quotes about Determination and Persistence

            Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive quotes give you an extra boost of encouragement:

            “Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer


            “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”–Hal Borland


            “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”–Calvin Coolidge

            quote-Thomas-Fuller-an-invincible-determination-can-accomplish-almost-anything-92190

              “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”–Thomas Fuller

              Quotes about Leadership

              Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous sayings:

              “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” –Warren G. Bennis


              “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”–John Kenneth Galbraith

              Leadership is not magnetic personality

                “Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”–Peter F. Drucker


                “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”–John Buchan


                “High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”–George Orwell

                Quotes for Success

                Think of success as a holistic process – one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivation:

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                “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”–Stephen Covey


                “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

                Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

                  “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill


                  “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”–John Maxwell


                  “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson


                  “The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.”–Robert Collier


                  “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”–Arnold Toynbee

                  Sports Quotes for Athletes

                  You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following quotes. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:

                  “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”–Michael Jordan


                  “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong

                  Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

                    “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger


                    “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”–Florence Griffith Joyner


                    “Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”–Unknown


                    “If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!”–Emily Post


                    “We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.”–Vince McConnell

                    Quotes to Motivate Learning

                    Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor – one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind if you’re learning:

                    “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”–George Washington Carver

                    quote-William-Arthur-Ward-if-you-can-imagine-it-you-can-36189

                      “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”–William Arthur Ward


                      “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle


                      “Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success.If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”–Albert Schweitzer


                      “Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.”–Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield


                      “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”–Chinese Proverb


                      “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”–William Arthur Ward


                      “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.”–Helen Exley


                      “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”–Chinese Proverb

                      All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes

                      Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes:

                      “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale


                      “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs


                      “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”–Maria Robinson


                      “Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein


                      “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”–Lyndon Johnson

                      If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

                        “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”–Thomas Edison


                        “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky


                        “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill


                        “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

                        Final Thoughts

                        To use these motivational quotes effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.

                        Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.

                        If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs or other decorative displays featuring your favorite motivational quotes – really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.

                        More Inspiring Quotes

                        Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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