Follow Your dreams. They know the way. ~Kobi Yamada
By Marie Evensen
Everyone has one; that dream that seems too crazy, too expensive and too daunting to fulfill. Yet it’s always there in the back of your mind, driving you. As a freelance writer and self-appointed joy expert, my dream has always been to write and publish a book about finding happiness in any circumstance. After years of procrastination, self-doubt and fear, I’m finally doing it. I’ve nearly completed the manuscript of my book, Soul Happiness: How to Choose Joy in Any Circumstance. It has been such a journey, and it’s taken a healthy dose of courage. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:
1. Banish the excuses. Are you too busy, too broke, afraid of failure or even more afraid of success? I was too. I work full-time at a family law firm and give my all to my own family. I imagined myself pulling all-nighters and dozing at my desk as I tried to muster enough brain power to finish each chapter. But I knew that my excuses were not getting me any closer to doing what I truly loved. In fact, every roadblock I manufactured was making my passion seem more and more impossible. I decided to write down all of my excuses. I took a lighter, lit the page aflame and watched my challenges turn to ash. With my excuses and self-imposed limitations gone, I had the freedom to move forward.
Dr. Wayne Dyer, author, speaker and self-improvement expert, once said, “As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.” Say goodbye to all that blocks you and give yourself the freedom to answer your own personal calling.
2. Own your dream. Do you want to open your own business? Do you love baking, photography or interior design? Whatever your dream is, own it! Dismissing your dream as just a hobby, or something you do for fun minimizes who you are. That marginalization allows you to view yourself and your passions as meaningless and trivial. Author and Life Coach Emily Madill, recently wrote in a Huffington Post blog, “Do it your own way and enjoy whichever way YOU choose to live fully.” Knowing that I was an author and allowing myself to believe that was life changing for me. I discovered I couldn’t wait to jump in and become what I knew I was. My ideas for articles, blog posts and stories began to flow and before I knew it, I believed that I could write a book. I began acting like a writer and living like one. When you own your dreams, talk about them, broadcast them and make them an inseparable part of you, something incredible happens. You find the motivation, the desire and the luxury of thinking that maybe, just maybe your one crazy idea can become a reality.
3. Devise a game plan. This is the fun part. It’s the nuts and bolts of making your passion come to life. Write down every resource you’ll need. Do you need time, money, a space to work or a portfolio? Get creative. Begin by outlining every idea and possibility you can think of to becoming successful. Set reasonable goals based on your life. Author and business expert Leah Sandoval offers a warning about setting goals that ensure success. She says, “The goals you set don’t always have to be made with a “go big or go home” mentality. Start small, and gradually increase your practice. Sometimes, slow and steady wins the race!” I found this to be one of the keys to my success. For instance, I decided I needed more time so I began to brainstorm about how I would find it. Under my time category, I determined I would devote fifteen minutes a day during the week and an hour every Saturday to writing my book. Within two months, I had the first four chapters of my manuscript completed. Every challenge has a solution. Become a sleuth and find reasonable answers that work for you.
4. Stay connected. Post it. Tweet it. Pin it. Use Instagram and Snapchat. Let people know who you are and what you can do. Find people of like minds. There are so many resources out there to tap into, if you take the time to find them. Social media is a treasure trove of people, information and support. Put yourself out there. Ask for advice. Find your target audience and connect with them. Social media strategist Morgan Molitor says one of the most important things any entrepreneur can do is “to engage with your followers and support them.” Show some love. If you are loyal to your followers they will be loyal to you. Twitter is a favorite for me. It’s allowed me to connect with fellow authors, publishers, self-improvement gurus and readers. Share your talent and your unique perspective. Become fans of others talents. The more people you connect with, the more likely you will find exactly what you’ll need to make that dream a reality.
Following your passion can become a reality. Say no to fear, own your dream, set reasonable goals, connect with as many people as you can and go for it!
Marie Evensen is a freelance writer and author whose byline has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Justice, The Examiner and various local magazines. She loves life, and she has made it her mission to share her secrets for unconditional joy with as many people as she can. She lives amidst the majestic mountains of northern Utah with her best friend and husband, Lloyd and her two blue heeler puppies, Bella and Hunter.