If you are reading this, chances are we are like-minded people. Kindred spirits, if you will. And I, for one, am a dreamer. I dream big and want to conquer the world. Conquering big dreams can seem daunting at times. It can often feel like a dream outweighs the possibilities. Can you relate? Big goals such as starting a multi-million dollar company, writing a book, and traveling the world first-class can seem out of reach, but what about the “mini-dreams”? Dreams like being more organized, learning a new skill or language, create a video blog, or lose 20 pounds? Even things people tackle every day can feel impossible. The saying “One day I will (fill in the blank)” is much easier than deciding today is the day you take the first step required to begin the journey toward the dream. There will always be things and people that make it easy to say that it is not the right time to take on a goal. Don’t let the excuses win. Excuses sound a lot like justification. Something like: “I don’t have any money to start” or “I already have so much to do” or “I will never be as good as_____” or “When I _____, then I can get to this dream.”.
There will always be an excuse looming over you with all the reasons it will not work and why you shouldn’t get started. These excuses are clouds hanging over your head, preventing the sky from being the limit. Raining on your parade and forcing you to run to a safe, uneventful shelter.
I’m here to tell you that you CAN dream big and accomplish what you desire. It is not far from reach. It’s right in front of you, and you can do it.
How do I know? I’ve done it.
Sue me? It happened. I’ve lost everything. I have seen my bank account (in my thirties) go from six figures to red with overdraft fees putting me into immense debt than I could handle. I was discouraged. I felt like a failure. I felt paralyzed by my disappointment. I resented people. I blamed myself and others. And then I stopped and recognized that all of the adversity I faced was an opportunity to make a comeback in the most significant way.
I had big dreams stored up in my heart, and I was ready to set them free. I knew I had the ability and desire, and now it was up to me to make it a reality. Was it easy? NOPE. Was it intimidating? YES. Was I worried I would fail, get into more debt, embarrass myself, or look foolish? Yes. But I put all my fears aside. I did it.
People told me in “this day,” I’d need more than a high school diploma.
People told me the economy was different than the ’90s.
People told me starting over would take too much time, and I should get a job like others.
So how did I do it? I’m going to share with you exactly HOW I did it and give you the formula to apply it to your own ‘big dreams.’
Put your seatbelt on, and let’s go!
Haha. I’m kidding.
Well, I’m half kidding.
You see, most people that are big dreamers, entrepreneurs, innovators, etc. are broke. Why? They are often trying to support themselves with basic things AND fund what they believe is their dream. But they lack one vital thing: Mindset.
So what is a starving entrepreneur to do?
The key here is to erase from your mind all of the things and influences telling you you aren’t good enough or you can’t do it. You must believe with all of your heart and mind and soul that you CAN do this. It isn’t just a dream. It’s a goal, and you’re tackling it NOW.
How to Brainwash yourself into a powerful mindset:
Over time, starting hour by hour, day by day, and week to week, you will be brainwashing yourself into the confidence and mindset it takes to do what you dream. You will raise your standards, and your outlook will change. Your reality will change. You might now be able to “wish” your situation away, but you can “wash” it out by keeping your brain stimulated with only the things that will help you reach the dreams you have. Where you spend your thoughts and where you give your time will ultimately impact your life that is immeasurable right now.
Soon, it will be measurable. Day by day, you will see your habits change. Day by day, you will see the person that existed before the brainwashing is gone. Brainwashing isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a way to make your reality completely different.
Think of three things you deeply desire. It can be big or small. Some things that come to mind are a successful business, a million dollars in the bank, or to lose 50 pounds. How much would you pay to have each of these things you desire? The thing is, the cost is far more than what comes out of your wallet. The price is maybe sleeping less at night and waking up an hour or two earlier every day. The cost is blocking out the naysayers. The cost is not eating your absolute favorite food for a while. The cost is eliminating all the extras in life to tighten the bootstraps to have them looser later.
Get my point? No matter what the dream, sacrifice is unavoidable. You have to be willing to change your cozy, comfortable status and jump into uncertainty for a little while. Don’t brainwash yourself into thinking you can have your cake and eat it too when working toward big dreams. Life isn’t always easy. The best way to make this a reality is:
1) acknowledge the truth: You WILL need to make sacrifices.
2) be willing to make sacrifices even if they make you a little uneasy.
Go back to Step #1 (Brainwash Yourself). Grab a highlighter and one of the books you’re reading. Highlight all the things the author said they needed to sacrifice to make their dreams a reality. No matter which book, or audio, they WILL mention it. Why? Sacrifice is unavoidable.
Take a moment to write down a few sacrifices you’re willing to make to reach your big dreams. Once you have at least three things written down, you are ready for Step 3.
The truth is, you don’t do a lot of the things you dream for yourself because it’s not a matter of life and death. Your back isn’t up against a wall. There’s no firing squad on stand by. The cure for cancer isn’t at stake. A bit dramatic? Perhaps. But you get my drift.
Making your dreams a grave affair changes the stakes. It turns, “I wish…” into “I will.” Why? Because you have no choice!
Don’t wait for your bank account to be zero, the eviction notice to be posted, the scale to say you’re morbidly obese, or your job to fire you to be the straw that breaks the camels back.
Get up and make your dream something so important, your life is at stake. Don’t get comfortable and cozy. Don’t procrastinate because tonight there’s a new container of ben and jerry’s and your daughter’s birthday cake in the kitchen. There will ALWAYS be a reason not to… unless you take it into your own hands and make it a matter of life and death. Fight for your dreams like you’d die if you don’t achieve them. Why? Because when you DO achieve them, the person you become, the person you’ll be so proud you are, the person you want to be WILL be dead if you don’t make it a grave affair.
You won’t die if you don’t achieve X, but there are ways to up the ante. (warning, you’re probably not going to like it!)
Ways to make your goals a grave affair:
When you want something bad enough, you will make it a grave affair and a non-negotiable. You will get it done.
The dream is in your heart. If you can dream it, you can do it.
You might need to brainwash yourself and make sacrifices and make it a grave affair, but you can do it. Will you be scared? Yes. Will you be uncomfortable? Yes. Will you have second thoughts when your alarm goes off two hours early? Yes. Will you be proud and a new person when you do it and accomplish it? YES.
“But Aaron, I’m not strong like you”.
That’s the thing. I wasn’t “strong” when I got started either.
Just like lifting weights, the strength comes over time. There are growing pains and muscle aches. The process might feel slow at times. You might hit a plateau or dead end. But you CAN do it. You will get strong over time. Each time you flex your ‘brainwashing’ muscle and listen to the audio. Each time you make a sacrifice, you’re doing a set of squats. Each time you show up to work out and facing the obstacles in front of you, you’re making it a grave affair.
You don’t need to be the hulk to get started. You will become the hulk. Trust me. Stop telling yourself you don’t have what it takes, and you’re weak, lazy, uncomfortable, tired, not smart enough, don’t have the connections, or are too old.
Your mini-“dream”-muscles now are about to get HUGE. Dream big and be willing to lift whatever it takes to get to it. Your body is the same as a bodybuilder. The ones in competitions have just done more reps with more discipline than you. You can do whatever you want. You can achieve any dream you have.
You might hear in the last paragraphs my inner cheerleader coming out, but I mean every word. If I can do it, so can you. We are the same.
I believe in you.