Anytime you plant a seed into the ground, you are expecting that seed to grow and mature and take the shape and essence of the plant, fruit or vegetable you planted. You may not see the results for a couple weeks, a month or even a year, but the expectation you have is that growth will take place.
A seed is the most powerful thing in the world. And even though the analogy I just referenced applies to seeds that produce plants, fruits or vegetable, I am now referring to the seed within you and that seed represents your potential and your dream.
The title of this section is “Am I Willing to Sacrifice to Reach my Dream? and that is an appropriate title for this section, but let’s ask the question in a different way with a slight change. Ready? Here’s the question. “Am I willing to Pay the Price to Reach My Potential”?
Potential is one of my favorite words because it speaks to the possibilities. The possibilities of who I am. The possibilities of who you are. It speaks to what hasn’t happened yet. Potential asks the question “What more can I give that is inside me?”. Potential is always about how much you can give and NOT about how much you can get. In my book “The Brand of a Man”, I say that Potential is “Untapped Power”. Potential is like a stick of dynamite. Dynamite without a spark to ignite it does absolutely nothing. It’s dead. It’s dormant. But when that stick of dynamite has been ignited, it has so much power within it that it has the force to take buildings down. You my friend are like a stick of dynamite. Within you lies all this power ever needed to accomplish your dreams – to make a dent and a difference in this world. To change the environment and culture around you. You my friend are to inspire those around you by who you are and what you do – because who you are, matters.
So let’s go back for a second and address the original question. The question is “Are you willing to pay the price to accomplish your dream”? The emphasis being on “willing”.
Let’s go back to the seed analogy. When you plant a seed into the ground, in order for that seed to reach it’s full potential, the seed will undoubtedly have barriers it must break through along the way in order to reach its 100% growth capacity. First of all, without water and sunlight that seed will not grow. We know this from the fundamentals of biology. We also know that seeds must be buried into the ground, the soil, where it also receives its nutrients in order to grow, but here’s the kicker. As the seed tries to grow, it must break the barrier of the soil it actually lives in. It also needs to maneuver amongst the rocks within the soil. It must maneuver around the snails and worms already living in it’s environment and it must have enough strength and determination to rise above all other barriers around. You are like this seed. You’ve been planted, you’ve studied, you’ve prayed, you’ve invested time, effort, energy and money preparing yourself to accomplish your dream and you’ve recognized that now is the time for you to kick down the door and burst through the barriers of your own dream challenges. You’ve recognized that in order for you to grow or your business to grow, you must decide to be placed in the environment conducive for your growth and accomplishments.
Anytime you make the decision to pursue the greatness within you, you will have obstacles (seemingly intentionally) working against you preventing you from succeeding. Sometimes these obstacles are your family or those close to you. At other times, your obstacles may be co-workers. But most importantly, it’s important to understand that the obstacle may be you. Often times, it’s you getting in the way of you that is preventing you from growing. It’s how you think and how you approach accomplishing your dream that is the challenge. Remember, accomplishing your dream is a process and it requires a strategy. A strategy in execution, but also a strategy of the mind.
The dream that you have will strain you to bring out the potential within you. The growth you experience in being pushed and stretched will be insurmountable. You will grow as a leader and you will become even more aware of who you are while taking notice of your strengths and weaknesses. Like lifting weights in a gym, the pursuit of your dream will show you where you are strong and where you are weak and you have to be okay with not being skilled at everything or knowing how everything works. The price of your dream will cause you to take inventory of your own life and stretch you to live by way of self-leadership. At some point, you must make the transition from being the dreamer of the dream to being the leader and investor of your dream. Someone has to pay the price to pursue your dream and that person is you. Dreamers are a dime a dozen, but dream builders are a different breed.
As you prepare to strategize your dream and the price to accomplish it, I would encourage you to be very careful of becoming someone that you are not naturally. The pursuit of a dream can easily cause the dreamer to have a one track mind. Focus on the dream is an absolute must but dismissing and neglecting all the other aspects of your life; including your wife and kids should never happen. Family is priority #1. I would also encourage you not to compromise your values or your health. Your values are the core of your soul. They make you who you are. To change your values for the pursuit of a dream will cause an emptiness in your soul because you have forfeited the very best of you. As for your health – well, in time, your health will always catch up to you. You cannot build and realize your dream if your health won’t allow you to. Take the time to eat right and do what is necessary to ensure a healthy and prosperous life reaping the benefits of your dream.
As I close, here is a list of areas you should be aware of when paying the price for your dream.
The accomplishment of your dream may take longer than anticipated. Be okay with a flexible timeline. Stop trying to control the deadline and the results. Patience is a virtue. Getting ahead of yourself can often cause your dreams to miscarry.
Be willing to pay the price of criticism. People are brutal. We live in a society where people will disagree about what you say or what you do. Everyone has a different perspective on life based upon what they’ve been taught and their own experiences. Determine how you will react to the negative criticism. Learn how to shield yourself from others while moving forward. Have the heart of a lion, but the skin of a rhino.
Learn how to manage your fears. Fears can steal your dreams if you let them. Fears can sabotage your life’s purpose. Fear of failure, fear of discomfort, fear of not knowing, fear of sharing your message, fear of technology and fear of confrontation amongst others.
Procrastination: Don’t procrastinate. If you know you need to do something – get it done. “Procrastination are the seeds which make difficulties grow”. When you have something to do, plan ahead and get it done. Stick to your calendar and your tasks as best as you can.
Hustle: Hustling is your ability to stay on task and get things done. It’s a mindset followed up with consistent action and execution. Individuals who hustle are working hard but they are also working smart. They are making things happen for themselves and for their business. They are leaving no stone unturned and they are willing to make mistakes in the process.
What are the areas in your life that are fears or potential stumbling blocks preventing you from accomplishing your dream?