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What happens when you sleep? If you ask someone in the scientific community they’ll probably give you some long winded explanation about the different types of brain waves that occur during each stage of sleep. And they’ll definitely tell you about REM sleep and how it’s the longest stage of the sleep cycle and that during REM sleep you are more likely to experience dreaming. They’ll tell you this, but for those of us who don’t want to be bogged down with all of that sleep trivia, we’ll probably just listen and wonder when we’ll be able to go home and experience sleep for ourselves. And that’s because, for most of us, sleep (at its simplest form) is a chance for us to unwind. We don’t have to think about our daily stresses while we sleep; we just get to rest and get refreshed for the next day. And for those of us who do dream, we may actually get excited about the prospect of sleep because sleep means that we get to enter into another world where the rules and regulations of our waking world no longer apply. In dreams, we can jump off of a skyscraper, open up our arms, and soar through the sky like a bird. We get to marry our celebrity crush at a wedding that is so far-fetched and elaborate that it could only occur in a dream. Or we can eat and eat and eat some more and not have to worry about all of those pesky health issues. Each night we enjoy the world that our dreams transport us to because we get to indulge in our deepest desires with zero repercussions. There’s freedom and power in dreaming and that’s why so many people like to do it.

But alas, when the buzzer on our alarm jolts awake in the morning or when the sun peaking through our blinds forces us to awake from our slumber we must get out of our beds, leave our dreams behind, and start on with our days. We can’t sleep forever. We cannot dream forever. We have to get up and live our lives. This is what we have to do, and as much fun as sleeping dreams are, we have to wake up so that we can engage in the dreams that we seek out to pursue while we are awake.

And sometimes are waking dreams are just as exciting and invigorating as the dreams that we have while we are sleeping. We dream of being doctors, lawyers, fashion designers, artists, mothers, fathers, writers, actors, teachers, scientists, mathematicians, CEO’s, motivational speakers, presidents, and senators. When we dream we dream big, but sometimes when we dream in real life we forget to enjoy the new world that our dreams transport us to.

When you decide that you want to be a lawyer instead of an actor, your world is going to be a lot different than somebody who decided that they wanted to be an actor. You’ll meet different people, you’ll work different hours, and you’ll have completely different journeys just because your dreams are different. And sometimes your journey is more difficult than you expected, and when this happens you might even think about giving up on your dream altogether. You want so desperately to have your end goal, but the journey that you’re on may not be what you expected so you make the decision to bail out.

But you shouldn’t bail out positive thinker because your dream is worth fighting for. When you try and achieve a dream you should give it all you got, but while you’re giving it all you got remember that enjoying the process of reaching your dream is just as important as obtaining the dream itself. Do you really want to achieve your dream one day and start to wonder about how you even got there in the first place? When you dream while you’re sleeping you just end up on the top of that skyscraper, but you can never remember how you got up there in the first place. When you marry Brad Pitt in your dream, you don’t remember dating him and you don’t remember how you first met. And the reason that you don’t remember these things is because when you’re dreaming while you’re sleeping you don’t get the privilege of experiencing the journey to your end goal. You don’t get the satisfaction that you feel from working hard by climbing up to the top of the skyscraper. You don’t get to experience the joys and pain that comes from dealing with a relationship everyday. You don’t get to experience that because you’re sleeping and because those dreams that you have while you slumber (no matter how amazing they may be) aren’t real. And it’s true that you may not get to experience a journey during your sleeping dreams, but in real life you do get the opportunity to experience one. It may be a hard and long journey at times, but that’s how you know that you’re living. And putting hard work and dedication into achieving your dream makes that dream even better when you actually do achieve it. Because on that fateful day, when your dream comes true, you’ll know that it wasn’t handed to you and that you gave everything you had to reach it.

Positive thinker, achieving your dream is great, but don’t forget to live in the moment while you’re experiencing the journey to your dream.

And never forget, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” –Dumbledore, The Sorcerer’s Stone

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acronym

Acronyms get used all of the time. I’m sure you know quite a few of them yourself. For instance, you probably used them in school to try and remember things that didn’t come as easy to you as you would have liked them to. For those of us who weren’t the best in math, we used Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally or PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponent, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) in order to figure out what we were supposed to do first whenever we tried to remember our order of operations. And for those of us who weren’t musically inclined we used Every Good Boy Does Fine so that we could fill out our music sheets the right way.

Acronyms almost seemed like a necessity as we went through school. We might not need them anymore to help us get through math class or music class, but we can still use them to get through difficult times in our adult lives.

I recently came across a few acronyms (I wish I could take credit for coming up with them on my own), and I thought that it would be nice to share them with you positive thinkers. These three acronyms spell out words that are typically thought to have a negative connotation wrapped around them. And when we hear words that are dripping with negativity, it becomes difficult for us to move from a place of feeling down and out to a place of feeling good about ourselves (and that’s what we really need whenever we’re confronted with negativity). Merriam Webster may have a negative definition listed for these words, but when they are transformed into the following acronyms, the message speaks to one of positivity and resilience in the face of trying times instead of negativity and hopelessness…

F.A.I.L, or First Attempt In Learning, is what you should think of whenever you don’t succeed at something. This is a particularly good weapon to have in hand whenever you experience failure. Many times when we fail, we feel like giving up. We see our failure as a sign for us to move on, but it doesn’t have to be that. When you fail at something that just means that you haven’t learned everything that you need to know in order for you to succeed at whatever you’re attempting to do. Now when you fail, you can think of this acronym and use it to go back to the drawing board and come up with a way to succeed for the next time.

The next acronym is E.N.D. Now, E.N.D no longer means the end. I want you to remember that it means Effort Never Dies. Just because somebody has told you that you can’t go any further doesn’t mean that you have to stop going. There will always be bigger, better, and higher goals for you to reach, which means that you can keep on pushing forward and achieving. And even if you hit a road block or something that may appear to be an end, it doesn’t mean that all of your effort dies with this barricade. All it means is that the effort that you have put in thus far can lead you to a new path that works even better.

The last word is N.O. And whenever you hear the word N.O, I want you to realize that this is just your Next Opportunity. Just because this person doesn’t want you, doesn’t mean that somebody else won’t. If you didn’t get that job that you wanted, that just means that you can have another opportunity to find a job that might end up being even better than the one that turned you down. If that guy or that girl that you like doesn’t like you back then now you can have a new opportunity to meet somebody that does like you. I know that it totally sounds cliché, but it’s true what they say, “When one door closes, another door opens.” And all that means is that when somebody says no to you it sets you up to have a different opportunity to have another person that will say yes. So the next time a door closes in your face, look for another door that will let you in.

If you ever come across any of these words in your life, I encourage you to not turn to Webster’s definition to define your experience. Instead, try and recall these acronyms. If you do that positive thinker, you will find yourself dealing with your situation in a much more positive and brighter light.

Remember…

“If you fail never give up because F.A.I.L means, ‘first attempt in learning.’

End is not the end. In fact E.N.D means ‘effort never dies.’

If you get no as answer, remember N.O means ‘next opportunity.’”

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There seems to be a point in a lot of our lives when we simply give up on trying to do something with our lives that will make us feel truly alive. “Reality” catches up with you somewhere down the road. You realize that you need to make a living and that pursuing that thing that makes life worth living for you won’t bring you enough money to survive, so then you start to think that because you haven’t started to live the life that you want to live yet that you won’t ever be able to live that life, and then next thing you know, you give up on that life that you once dreamed of having. And because you have given up on trying to live the life that you want to live, you end up reaching a point where you feel like you need to settle for a life that isn’t really going to make you happy. Years go by and you find yourself stuck in this life that you’re living, and you may even start to figure that you’re never going to be able to live that life that you once thought that you could live.

You may have resigned yourself to live a life of complacency, but if you want more for your life than that then it’s not too late. If you constantly find yourself doing things that make you unhappy then it’s time to throw those things out of your life in a hurry. It doesn’t make sense to participate in activities that will weigh you down because when you do that you aren’t being true to yourself. And when you aren’t being true to yourself then you aren’t being your best self, and you deserve to be your best self positive thinker. Just because up until this point you’ve felt like you needed to engage in these spirit crushing activities doesn’t mean that you have to keep on doing it. Your path isn’t written in stone, so just because you’ve been doing things that haven’t been making you happy doesn’t mean that there isn’t time left in your life to start doing things that do make you happy.

In TV and in movies, and sometimes even in real life, people decide to start living the lives that they want to live after they receive some life altering news. Their doctor tells them that they only have a few months left to live, and so they drop everything that they were doing before that was making them unhappy and they start to pursue the things that they know are going to make them happy. A lot of TV shows and movies today don’t have the best lessons in them, but when these kinds of stories about people pursuing their dreams do come across our screens, a very clear message is presented to us— you shouldn’t have to wait until the end of your life to start living the life that you want to live. You deserve to be happy for all of your life, not just at the end of it, so don’t wait until the end of your life to start living with purpose. Go out and do things now that are in line with who you are as a person so that you can start to be happy now instead of waiting to be happy later.

And I know I’ve mentioned this before, but let me remind you again. You don’t have to just give up and leave your responsibilities behind you in order to live a life that allows you to do the things that bring you happiness. If you haven’t found a way to eliminate all of the things from your life that bring you down then you should at least make some time in your life to do the things that are going to bring you up. For instance, if you find yourself scrolling down your Facebook newsfeed for hours on end then try cutting back on that so that you can use your new found extra time to start doing things that are going to fill you up with new life. If you can spend time doing things that you don’t like to do then you should definitely find time to do the things that you do actually like to do because you’re only going to end up being a better and happier version of yourself because of it.

You shouldn’t give up on living a life that brings you happiness. We weren’t put here just to survive. We were put here so that we could live. Yes you have responsibilities now, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start being who you wanted to be before life threw all of these new challenges your way, so go out there and find that thing or things that will give you life. Life’s to short to go around not living the life that you want to live, so if you find yourself living a half life, then go out there and find something that will make your life whole again!

Remember positive thinkers, “Strive to do things that define you. Say no to the things that don’t inspire you. Say yes to everything that fuels you. It’s the only life we live. Live it to your standards.”

 

Positive thinker, have you ever experienced a time when you wanted to give up? I’m sure you have because it’s a perfectly natural response to want to give up on something when it becomes too difficult to complete. There seems to be something inside of us that causes us to want to give up on something after we start to think that that task is too hard to finish. For you, this feeling probably started during childhood. You might have had a subject that you struggled with in school or you might have taken up an activity that was too hard for you to participate in, and then because you didn’t excel at these things, you started to become frustrated, and then after the feeling of frustration started, you started feeling like you wanted to give up. But just because we felt like giving up doesn’t mean that giving up was an option that we always had. For some of us, there was some adult in our life (whether it was a parent, guardian, teacher or relative) that told us not to give up. We may have wanted to give up on trying to figure out that difficult math problem or on figuring out how to play the piano, but that person in our life saw the potential that we had and encouraged us to keep going even though things were tough. They were our cheerleaders and they were there telling us to keep going. We may have been down by a lot and it may have seemed like we would never win the game, but our cheerleaders were still there for us on the side lines yelling for us to keep going and to not give up.

Now that we’re adults, we don’t always have people in our corner telling us not to give up. We don’t have people there who are constantly reminding us of our potential. Yes, we still have friends and family who love us, but because we’re adults we have to learn to take responsibility for ourselves. You aren’t constantly there to remind your friends and family members of their potential 24/7, so they’re not expected to be your personal cheerleaders all the time anymore either. They were there when we were younger because we had not yet learned to cheerlead ourselves, but as we got older we were shown how to do just that and we were taught how important cheerleading for ourselves would be in our lives. So, now that we know how to do it, our friends and families don’t have to be the ones to cheer us on anymore. If we think something is difficult then we need to figure out a way to solve the problem; we can’t rely on someone else to tell us that we can’t give up whenever we hit a stumbling block. We have to find the strength to believe for ourselves that we are capable of completing the tasks that we set out to achieve.

And this is particularly important when it comes to sticking with a dream that you have. It’s one thing to give up on something that you don’t care about, but you should never give up on something as big as a dream. The more you care about something the more you should fight for it to happen. One setback is just that—a set back. Just because you didn’t achieve you dream the first time around doesn’t mean that you can’t ever achieve it. You just have to hit the drawing board again and figure out a new way to make your dream a reality. And getting back up after a failure can be difficult, but it’s something that you need to do if you ever want to make your dream happen. When you’re struggling with making a dream come true, it may seem like you’re losing the game, but there’s plenty of time left for you to go out there and win. Just because you fumbled the ball or missed the shot doesn’t mean the game is over. You just have to compose yourself, gather up the ball again and cheer yourself on to victory.

You may not have your friends or your parents constantly there next to you cheering you on, but you do have something better. Positive thinker, you have yourself! And no matter how hard you try, you can’t get rid of yourself, so you might as well be there to give yourself support. You remember how your parents never gave up on you? Well, now it’s time to be that person who never gives up on you. Go out there and be your own cheerleader positive thinker!

And remember, “Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath, and try again.”

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Sometimes we get so wrapped up in making our own dreams a reality that we don’t stop and realize that other people out there are trying to do the same thing as well. Other people in the world are working hard and striving every day to make their dreams a reality the same way that you are. And as we know, chasing after your dreams is no easy task. Sometimes you run into hiccups or snags, and going for your dream may actually end up causing you some stress. And when stress occurs, sometimes we end up doing things or saying things that we would usually not do or say if we weren’t stressed out. We may even end up saying some hurtful things to one of these other people who are also out there chasing after their own dreams. And instead of helping them out on their path towards achieving their dreams, we may end up deterring them from following them.

Words can hurt. It doesn’t matter if it’s coming from someone you know or a complete stranger because when words that are intended to hurt you are thrown your direction, those words tend to stick with you. Those hurtful words also tend to hurt more the more invested you are into something. If someone tells you that you’re not a good dancer, but you don’t really care about dancing then those words are less likely to hurt you. On the other hand, if someone tells you that your life-long dream of becoming an actor is stupid then those words are going to hurt a million times worse.

If someone has ever told you that your dream wasn’t valid then you know how much damage a few words can do. Even if you didn’t give up and decided to continue chasing after your dream, I wouldn’t be surprised if that negative comment still had the power to make you feel not so great about yourself, even if it was only for a little while. Mocking or tearing down somebody’s dream can end up doing a lot of damage to the person whose dreams you’re tearing down, especially if this person isn’t one to bounce back quickly from hearing something negative.

Positive thinker, if you are ever put in a situation where you may feel the need to say something to somebody about their life-long dream then it is an important thing to remember that not everyone responds to negative comments in the same way. Some people might get upset by a negative comment initially, but they might also choose to use those words to add fuel to the fire that they’re using to make their dreams come true. Instead of becoming discouraged by the words, they use the words to help them prove everybody wrong that told them that they couldn’t achieve the dream that they wanted to achieve. Other people might not have a reaction that includes them continuing to pursue their dreams. Instead of taking the words of the naysayers and using them to give them the extra push that they may need to finally achieve their dreams, some people may shut down because of these hurtful words. If you choose to spread negativity, these words may end up being the reason that this person decided to give up on their dreams. Perhaps your negative comment was the final straw in a string of negative comments that finally caused that person that you hurt to stop fulfilling their dreams. And maybe if you had decided not to tell them that their dream wasn’t any good then that person would still have chosen to pursue their dreams.

Positive thinker wouldn’t you rather be someone who helped another person reach their dreams instead of being that person who led someone to stop chasing after their dreams? Wouldn’t you rather be responsible for spreading positivity instead of negativity? And if you don’t want to make the decision to spread positivity, you should at least make the choice to stop spreading negativity. If you could have the chance to save somebody’s dream just by making the decision to not say hurtful things about their dreams then wouldn’t you want to do that? I know I would.

And I’m not saying to go out and tell someone a lie. If someone’s not on the right track to achieving a goal that they have told you about, then telling them that they’re doing a good job could end up hurting them just as much as telling them that their dream will never happen could. You can, however, give someone constructive criticism that could end up helping them to achieve their goals. Telling somebody that they should just go ahead and give up on their dreams of being an artist because they aren’t good enough can be hurtful, but telling someone that they can improve upon their craft by taking some extra art lessons may give that aspiring artist the extra help that he or she needs to be great. Constructive criticism and hurtful words are not the same things. One can be very helpful and the other can end up being detrimental.

So if you ever find yourself in a position where you could knock down someone’s dream or support it, ask yourself this question…

Will my next words help this individual to achieve their goals or am I just saying these unconstructive words for the sake of spreading negativity?

If you can truly say that your words may actually help someone to achieve their goals then go for it. Tell them positive thinker! However, if your words won’t help them then perhaps it’s best to keep those words to yourself because, “It only takes one negative comment to kill a dream.”

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