I’ve always been a dreamer. You know when you are a child and you cook up the most titillating scenarios in your head just before sleeping, hoping it will translate into a wonderful dream? I still do that. I didn’t let adulthood convince me that I’m not the pink power ranger with the additional ability to fly.
Dreaming, whether awake or asleep, is a wonderful state of being. It is your mind putting away all of it’s doubts, insecurities and giving itself over completely to it’s desires. It’s potent, it feels good but enough dreaming! It’s time to get moving!
I tend to get stuck at the dreaming/planning phase, and I guess many of us do. As a child, I dreamt of being one of the youngest published authors ever, but I didn’t muster up the courage and diligence needed to complete a manuscript and publish anything until I was almost done with Med-school.
This state of dreaming is fun, comfortable, cosy. It’s absolutely risk-free. It gives you the glowing happiness of achievement without you actually doing anything and that is exactly why it is so dangerous. Ten years went by and I had only published a book in my imagination.
So if you’re here, telling yourself that you’re just standing at the peak, admiring the view before you leap, I’m here to remind you (and myself) to jump already!
“The world is not a wish granting factory.” I’m not asking you to jump because it’s easy or because everything is going to go perfectly according to plan, and your dreams will self-realise themselves. Not at all. The opposite is true. Things are going to fly into your face. On your dream trajectory to success, the parachute is going to have a faulty deploy mechanism and crash and burn, but you’ll get back up from the rubble and the dust (Avengers theme music in the background), look back up and know exactly what you need to do to make it through the next time.
Mistakes are the best teachers and you can’t make any if you’re stuck in the dreaming phase. Start moving, start doing; it’s the only path to progress.
If I could give you one tip to get started, it would be this:
WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL
You’ve probably heard this one a million times but, not surprisingly, a “Publish a book!” reminder in my diary didn’t get me to do anything for so many years.
SO WHEN YOU WRITE DOWN YOUR GOAL, BREAK IT DOWN INTO 10-12 MAIN STEPS YOU WOULD NEED TO DO TO REACH THAT GOAL, WITH REALISTIC DEADLINES FOR EACH.
For example, in my case it was:
- Complete writing the manuscript (By December 2018)
- Get illustrations done (By February 2019)
- Create an ebook
- Choose a self-publishing company
- Print my book
- Sell my book
Reading back on this makes me smile at my naiveté. In reality, there are about a half a dozen steps that I missed or hadn’t thought off. Each obstacle and roadblock needed additional steps to work through, but that’s okay; this was a good place to start.
NOW TAKE EACH STEP AND BREAK IT DOWN INTO DAILY TASKS THAT YOU CAN KEEP YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE FOR.
Keep doing this until you can tick off the first step and move to the second. For example,
- Complete my manuscript becomes “Write at least twenty minutes everyday.” The simpler your daily tasks are the better.
COME BACK TO THIS PAGE OFTEN
You will need to keep coming back and adjusting this page every day depending on the obstacles you face and the things you learn when you actually start to do instead of dream.
It’s not going to be easy, but it sure is fun!