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10 Things Successful People Do Differently To Reach Their Dreams

10 Things Successful People Do Differently To Reach Their Dreams

Dreams do not have to be just dreams. They can be reality. There are things each person can do to reach their dreams, and successful people act differently to reach their dreams. Not everyone follows their dreams, but why is that? If you have a dream, go for it!

Here are 10 things that successful people do differently to reach their dreams.

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1. They don’t make excuses.

When most people think about their dreams, they might come up with excuses for why their dreams are not possible. Successful people who reach their dreams don’t make as many excuses. Instead, they are proactive and try to overcome any and all obstacles. Those who are not successful with reaching their dreams most likely create many excuses for why their dreams are not possible for them.

2. They work hard.

Successful people work hard to reach their dreams. They do what it takes to reach their dream, even if it takes a long while and all of their time. Working hard is important when it comes to reaching your dream. You might have to work two jobs at one time. You might even have to work three jobs. You might have to attend school at the same time, raise a family, take care of a loved one, and so on.

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3. They stay healthy.

Successful people make sure that they stay healthy. If you get sick, that will just make it take a little longer for you to reach your dreams, so staying healthy in important.

4. They hold to their principles.

Holding on to your own principles is important when you are trying to reach your dreams. You have to know who you are and why you are doing certain things. You can’t just forget who you are.

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5. They never quit.

Successful people never quit. Even when times get tough, they try to not stop what they are doing. They try to think of their end goal and what they can do to get there. If you quit, then reaching your dream will be nearly impossible.

6. They are willing to take risks.

Those who reach their dreams are willing to take risks. Many dreams require risks to be taken. You don’t know what may happen if you take the risk, but sometimes it comes down to taking the risk and reaching your dream, or not taking the risk and possibly never reaching your dream. You will never know unless you take some risks in order to reach your dream.

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7. They set realistic goals.

Setting goals is important for reaching your dreams. Successful people set goals and reach them one by one. Setting smaller goals can also help you reach your dreams because you know exactly what you have to accomplish to finally reach your dream.

8. They are positive.

Successful people who reach their dreams are positive. They do not think negatively most of the time and instead think about how their dreams are actually possible. If you are negative, it can be much  harder to reach your dream since you do not have faith in yourself. Instead, think positively about what you can do to reach your dream.

9. They know how to multitask.

Most dreams are made by someone multitasking. You may have to do many things at once in order to reach your dream. You don’t let how busy your life is stop you.

10. They make sacrifices.

Successful people make sacrifices in order to reach their dream. You might have to work for low pay in order to reach your dream; however, if you have faith in yourself and set realistic goals, then your sacrifices may pay off.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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