So you’re on the right path. But things are getting tough. What’s the best way to power through the hard times? This week I’m exploring some ideas on how to go after the life of your dreams. That’s what I’ve been doing. I moved to Nashville almost 18 years ago from Minneapolis to go after my dreams of doing music. I was anticipating moving here to rounds of applause and parades thrown in my honor. “Finally, he’s here,” they’d cheer. Well, no parades ever happened.
But I can see that now, after 18 years, all my dreams are finally coming true. And yes, it’s taken almost 18 years. Could I have given up 10 years ago? You betcha. But I’m sure glad I didn’t. Did people tell me I was crazy? Of course they did. Did they tell me that perhaps I was dreaming a little too big? Yep, they sure did. Did people tell me I was too average, too nice? Yes they did, and about a dozen other adjectives, as well.
But I had to decide which voices I was going to listen to. And first and foremost, I had to listen to the voice in my own heart. But even on the days when I couldn’t hear my own voice any longer, and I thought it was probably time to give up, I listened to the voice of my wise, older sister. God places the right people in my life at just the right time to encourage me with the most amazing words. And I believe God will do that for you, too.
I believe the best way to plow through the hard times is to have a very specific survival plan in place. By now, you’ve clarified your vision, you know where you want to go. Now it’s time to tell other people. Find people who can see that God has a plan for your life, and that it entails moving in the direction you are heading. These are your cheerleaders. They believe in you. Tell your cheerleaders what it is that you’re going after. Tell them about the obstacles you anticipate encountering. And ask them for specific encouragement and reminders of God’s plan for your life. Touch base with them on a regular basis, to celebrate your progress, and to ask their help when challenges arise. Set markers along the way, and reward yourself when you reach them. Allow yourself to celebrate your progress along the way.
The difficulty of the journey can be overwhelming at times. Anticipate that these hard times are going to come. What are you going to do when that happens? Tell yourself you’re not going to give up. How many no’s will you take? How much rejection are you willing to endure to get where you want to go?
Even though the road is long and it can be difficult, you are not alone. And God will carry you. Remember Jeremiah 29:11? “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” God is well aware of exactly where you’re at, and what you’re going through, and He is with you. And don’t forget that His love for you right now is exactly the same amount of love He’ll have for you when you get where you’re going. And, do me a favor—don’t let other people’s discouragement or small-mindedness discourage you from your path.
Please shoot me an email or drop me a comment below and tell me your story – I’d love to hear from you. Tomorrow I’m going to end the week with the two most powerful words that I believe can transform your life. I’ll see you again tomorrow!