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7 Reasons Not To Give Up on Your Dreams

7 Reasons Not To Give Up on Your Dreams

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?  Maybe a fireman? A baker? A ballerina? Whether or not you still hold those childhood dreams of twirling about in a pink tutu or rushing off to extinguish a house fire, you probably have some sort of idea what you ultimately want to do with your life. BUT are you actually doing it? Are you working towards it? Or have you given up all hope on your dreams with the burdens of daily life pulling you down?

Pursuing your dreams comes along with many benefits!  Here are some reasons why you should not give up on your dreams:

1.  Failure.

This word seems counter-intuitive in reasons not to give up your dreams, but failure is more beneficial than you might think.  Most people don’t pursue their dreams for fear of failure.  Little do they know, this is one of the biggest ways we learn and grow!

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Many famous and successful Americans had to fail over and over again to achieve what they hoped to in life.  Abraham Lincoln failed at war, as a businessman, as a lawyer and even at politics at first.  He pushed on through and became president of the United States.  Thomas Edison’s teachers called him “stupid” and he was fired multiple times before “failing” 1000 times attempting to invent the lightbulb.  Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball team.  He later said,

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games
26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot … and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”

If we can learn anything from these successful men, it would be to never give up on our dreams simply because of fear of failure.

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2. Persistence.

With that failure comes persistence.  Persistence is something that can only be learned through hardships. If you never fall down, you can’t learn how to get back up. Each time we pick ourselves back up and forge through, we get a little bit stronger and more capable of achieving our ultimate goals.

3.  It’s better to try and fail than to wonder what might have been.

Have you ever regretted trying something in your life? Perhaps it was trying out for the school play. Or asking that special someone out on a date. That feeling of wondering what could have been might still eat at you even years down the road.

How do you avoid that feeling of regret? By trying. You don’t have to do something huge, but sitting down and making a plan with small steps on how you will achieve your dreams will start you off in the right direction.  Little by little you will forge a path towards your goals.

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4.  Successes along the way.

If your dreams are big enough, you will have stepping stones of success along the way. Small achievements that can be celebrated and reviled in. These small victories can help push you through to the next goal and soon enough, your dreams will be realized.

5.  The pursuit.

Many valuable experiences are found in the pursuit. There is a reason the pursuit of happiness is in the constitution. Memories, friendships, skills, life lessons, love. Basically, life is what happens when we make our way towards a goal. Applying for that college which seems out of reach, we might meet our soulmate. In seeking for that promotion, we might meet a best friend or mentor. Signing up for that team, we might get to travel the world. In order to value the pursuit, we need to follow our dreams!

6.  Success is often just around the corner.

If only you knew how close you were! If only you knew what an impact would be for one more phone call, one more interview, and just one more late night working on your passions. Often we give up far too soon. We can’t see what the future holds for us, but we sure can keep striving towards our dreams.

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7.  Setting an example.

Finally, if you have children (or might have them some day), you will be setting a good example. Do we want our children to tell stories about how comfortable we were sitting on our couch watching sitcoms, or do we want to be remembered for the passion we had for life? Hopefully we can show the future generations what it means to chase after our dreams. Most importantly, in the words of Winston Churchill,

“Never Never Never give up.”

 

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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