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I love dreaming. It reminds me of watching Cinderella or Snow White or some other Disney movie as a child. We can then go home, close our eyes, and imagine that we will have a life just like that. And the great thing about our dreams is that we get to make the story as wonderful as we like. It’s our story!

Dreams are important as they give us the motivation to help us move on with our life, they encourage us and inspire us to reach higher heights in our lives. Without dreams life would certainly be quite limited and bleak.

So what stops us from reaching those dreams? Honestly there is a lot!

-Negative Perspective

-Laziness

-Not putting dreams into action

-Allowing fear to stop us

-listening to people who discourage us

-Quitting when we experience too many failures

-Putting too many limitations on ourselves

That’s just a few reasons off the top of my head but there are many more. Of course there is such thing as circumstance that can stop us from achieving our dreams, for example, we simply cannot find the funding to finish our education. In any case, we should always ask ourselves ‘Did we do everything in our power possible to try and make this work?’ If yes, then It’s not God’s time for us and we should be patient, but we need to be honest with ourselves.

For example there are people out there that work two jobs just to pay off their own course at college and are willing to sacrifice other things like sleep or a social life for that season of their life. That’s what passion is after all (something you are willing to suffer for or make sacrifices for).

I’ve used this example before, but, if we are looking for a job, are we spending the average work day shift of 9 hours Monday to Friday looking for a job? Are we sending off hundreds of resumes every day, calling various companies, calling all our contacts for referrals, working on our resume to keep improving it? If not then we are likely not trying hard enough.

Humans are generally lazy by nature, and we can’t expect things to just fall into place or happen on their own.

Here’s a few ways we can help make things happen.

Reminders
If we are forgetful then put reminders on our phone or sticky notes around the house or office. I’ve have heard so many people say, I didn’t get this done because I forgot, including my own voice ringing in my mind. But I now realize it’s a terrible excuse. If we know we are forgetful then we should do something about it or we will never get anything done. The change we want to see in the world start with us.

Proverbs 13:4
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Discipline
If we need motivation then we need to discipline ourselves to be motivated by scheduling things we probably don’t want to do, but things that will help us become more motivated such as waking up early everyday without fail, scheduling exercise everyday to get those endorphins moving, scheduling study time where we can learn more subjects that will help us reach our goals. Discipline is not meant to be easy, so don’t expect it to be. If we are tired at times and experiencing many challenges, then we know we are on to a very good thing.

Hebrews 12:11
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Read and Learn
There are books out there about every topic we could think of, literally. We can learn how to make better lists, how to think better, how to be more helpful to others, how to be more motivated, how to start up our own business, and so on. Why not spend the day in a library or book shop just reading, taking notes, learning, studying. We will never ever know enough as learning is constant, so we need to keep at it as much as possible if we want a chance of falling into the small percentage of people who actually achieve their dreams.

Proverbs 18:15
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Find our Purpose
Why do we do the things that we do? If we are going to work every day waiting for our pay check, then we will be looking at our watches all the time waiting for the day to end and we will be exhausted very fast. Not to mention our job will not last long. If we find a healthier purpose such as helping the people around us whether it’s the customers, clients or Team Members, or perhaps learning as much as we can through our experiences during that time then we will have found a purpose that can sustain us and motivate us for a fruitful career. We can all find our own purpose, for me it takes some prayer and the openness to understand the bigger picture of my life.

Proverbs 16:9
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Don’t limit ourselves
We will be the first to tell ourselves we can’t do this, or I’m not smart enough, strong enough, wise enough. But all those things can be worked on. We can become all those things with a little hard work and determination. Nothing ever happened with short cuts or quick fixes, so having realistic expectations is the first step, and then making a choice to work hard and not give up when fear or failure arises. Failure should be celebrated if anything, as it proves we are trying something new and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, challenging ourselves to try new things. That’s the only way we grow. If we tell ourselves we can’t do it then we won’t even get the chance to experience those amazing failures that make us a much better version of ourselves.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Don’t wait for others to encourage us
If we are the type of person that only does well when someone is cheering us along, then we should be aware of that and make a change. Waiting for others to motivate us would mean we only function well when others help us to function. As soon as the encouragement stops, we stop. We are the only ones who can make our lives work, and that means ‘consistently’ working on our weaknesses and challenging ourselves to try new things regardless of who is around. For examples, if we pick up a board game to play it, we can only win it if we keep playing, as soon as we put the game down, it ends. If we don’t win, then we should start again and keep playing until we become expert at it. Then we can move on to a new game, and it starts all over again.

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Be Positive
Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they manage to always be joyful regardless of the situation? Being positive is a choice. Life throws things at us every single day that we can think negatively about, and if we allow it to change our mood, then our productivity changes. If we already know it’s going to rain sometimes and that in fact we need rain for our crops and plants and trees, then why get sad over the rain? If we know that hard work is in fact ‘hard’ then why complain over it when we could be excited we are using the bodies God gave us to their full potential? If we know people can be mean or even rude at times, then why not be excited to give that person more love, planting seeds that will help that person change, being a living example to others of how things ‘should’ be done. No one ever fought evil with evil and made good after all. Anything negative is not Gods plan, so giving more love, more goodness in those situations, thinking more positively and trusting God, I believe is the only way to truly be successful. That alone can give us joy, knowing we love a God who can give us way more than we ever thought possible for our own lives. Following Him and trusting Him is definitely something to be positive about.

Ephesians 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

It’s obvious that achieving our dreams is not an easy task, but understanding and accepting it will not be easy, is a good first step to remove those unrealistic expectations. That way we will be better prepared when all those scary challenges come our way. We can equip ourselves with Gods promise, and the determination to not waste the gifts/talents he has given us. Then we can work hard to make things happen, to be the difference in the world, even in a small way. Think big and start somewhere. Set small goals along the way, but keep setting them. The moment we stop setting goals, we stop the process of achieving our dreams.

We are all capable of so much, but it starts with believing in ourselves. We are important, our lives matter, tell yourself ‘I matter’ every morning when you wake up, and we better make the most of it while we are blessed with the chance.