Keeping it Real: How to Get a Life

April 7th, 2010

You know the old adage “you can do anything if you put your mind to it”?

It’s rubbish.

Sure many things can be accomplished through fierce determination.  But although it’s nice to believe that anyone can do anything they want, it just doesn’t happen.  And the sad thing is that a lot of people attempt the near-impossible and they when they fail, they think it is their fault—either they weren’t good enough or they were thinking too “negative”.

But had they been realistic about their chances of success, they would have known that the odds just weren’t in their favor.

It’s like the Dr. Phils out there are telling you: “get real” and “get a life”.

Well, actually Dr. Phil is sort-of right.

You need to get real in order to get the life you want.

Some things you just can’t achieve with your mind only

If you’re 4’6”, you aren’t going to be an NBA center. That’s just a cold hard fact. Maybe you are more suited as a horse jockey. Same with someone who is 7’2”. He’d be much better off playing basketball than as a horse jockey.

But being realistic doesn’t mean that your dreams are impossible. Being realistic means you must create goals that give you a fighting chance to achieve. Think about it for a second.

Lessons Learned from “Rudy”

One movie I liked was the movie “Rudy” about a kid who wanted to play football for Notre Dame.

He had NO physical gifts for the game. But he had a big heart. What was his dream? To play on the team. A big dream to be sure. But was his dream to be a starter? Nope. He knew there was no way he could do it. Was his to be a backup? Nope. Rudy’s dream was just to play. So, he tried out for the practice team. And he achieved that goal and more by playing in one play of one game, this becoming an “official” member of the team.

If he had not been realistic about his chances for making the team, he never would have made it. He would have been discouraged once he realized that he wasn’t going to make the team. The beauty of the story is that he had a big dream. But he was realistic enough to find a way to make that dream a reality.

A fictional hero, Rocky, is often used to describe the idea that you can do anything.  But if you watched the first Rocky movie, you’d know that Rocky’s dream wasn’t to win the fight.  He knew Apollo was a better fighter.  His dream was to go the distance—a hard goal in itself—and he achieved it.

Most Goals are Possible to Achieve

And in the vein of being realistic, most goals are easier to accomplish than you think. But even more important, don’t be afraid to go after them.

This goes for jobs too. You know if you’re in a dead-end job. Look around and pursue something that you can do. Don’t wait around for your life to be handed to you. Go out and do it.

Most of the time we talk ourselves out of doing something different because we set our goals so high, they look impossible. Big dreams are easier to accomplish than you think. You just have to be realistic in how you achieve it.

Set a New Goal Today

There is a ton of opportunity out there. Everyone here has a chance to achieve their dreams. So, whether it’s music, acting, writing, even being a politician, go for it before it’s too late.

I[‘m not saying you will be president if you try hard enough, but heck if politics is your goal there are LOTS of ways to get involved in politics.  It’s not all or nothing in this world.  That kind of thinking only exists in movies.

Write down your goal right now. And then ask yourself what is one step you can take to make that goal a reality. Look at it realistically. Break it down into smaller steps.

Who knows what’ll happen next…

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