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7 Ways to Enjoy Working Toward Your Dream

7 Ways to Enjoy Working Toward Your Dream

Working toward your big dream is hard work. Some dreams take years to achieve and a huge amount of effort. Although pursuing your dream is hard work, there’s good things about the process too. It’s easy, and only natural, to get overwhelmed from time to time, but it’s important to enjoy working toward your dream. Often it’s as simple as knowing how to look at your situation. Here are seven ways to enjoy working toward your dream.

1. Allow yourself time for exploration without forcing a result

One of the best things about working toward a dream is that there’s room to explore. When your dream isn’t set in stone, there’s time to discover many wonderful possibilities. Although your to-do list might seem overwhelming sometimes, always give yourself the time to explore. You never know what exciting new things might come from it.

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2. Take time off to recharge your batteries

When you’re working toward your dream, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be active all the time. However, this is not healthy and won’t do you any favors in the long run. Always take time off to recharge your batteries. If you’re feeling strain, it’s a sign from your body that you need to slow down. Make sure you listen to it. Your body will thank you, and your mind will reward you with fresher and more innovative ideas when you do get back to work.

3. Be open to new things

When you’re working toward your dream, nothing is set in stone. That’s a great thing. Be open to new things, and always give yourself room to change course if necessary. You can’t always predict the direction things will take or what opportunities might come your way. Always be open to new possibilities, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely.

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4. Get to know the people you meet along the way

The people you meet along the way to achieving your dream are some of the most important people you’ll ever meet. Don’t rush through so quickly that you don’t get the chance to really know them. These people are your peers and mentors, so make the most of your time together. If you invest your time in getting to know the people you meet along the way, these relationships can be truly invaluable and last a lifetime.

5. Take joy in the unexpected discoveries

When you’re working toward your dream, there are so many new things happening that unexpected discoveries are bound to come your way. Take joy in these things no matter how small they are. After all, it’s the little things that count.

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6. Make the most of the spare time you have

No matter how hard you’re working toward your dream, there’s always going to be those special pockets of spare time. Make the most of them by getting out and doing something fun. Go on adventures, meet new people and let loose. You deserve it. Whether you’ve got the time and money for an amazing overseas adventure in an exotic location or simply an afternoon walk in your local park, get out there and do something.

7. Always remember why you started

You started on this path because you believed in something with all your heart, so much so that you were willing to pour everything into it. When the going gets tough, take a moment to remember why you started in the first place. By coming back to the core reason of your endeavors, you’ll re-center your motivation and find the energy to keep going.

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Are you working toward a big dream? What are some things you do everyday to enjoy working toward it?

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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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