by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Peacefulmind.com

What is the path less taken?  This is often referred to as the path to our dreams!  There are more paths not taken than there are those who stumble down it.  The sheer number of people who dare not to venture down the road of their desires, is much more than those who do. But why? Is it fear, insecurity, poor self-esteem?

I have heard it over and over again. I wanted to be this, or I wanted to do this…, BUT I (fill in excuse here)…

The number of reasons for NOT perusing your dreams is staggering. But when I ask someone in my practice to list 3 reasons why they SHOULD follow their dreams, not too many people can come up with them.

I often hear “it’s easier said than done!”  Here lies the biggest problem.  The person saying this has ALREADY given up! They have already blocked themselves from any possibilities they could imagine.   The sheer enjoyment and possibility of doing something they love, is already condemned before they get started.

The Honoring of Ourselves

This is something we tend to lose sight of, especially as we grow older. “Excuse instead of action” seems to be the norm, instead of the exception. Honoring everyone else first (husband, wife, children, family, friends, colleagues) is the path we so often go down first, before we take care of our own needs. If you are not in tip top (mind, body, spirit) shape, how can you effectively care for others, let alone yourself.

The real key to success is persistence and perseverance.  I have seen so many people give up, fall by the wayside or just stop trying. The excuses I hear are often about their lack of persistence. If you already have a perceived timeline as to how and when you will achieve your goal, you have already lost.  As you can see, your expectations are already in the way and keeping you from your goal.  This is the number one means of failure.  Instead of taking your dreams a day at a time or allowing things to naturally transpire on their own timeline, you have given them an expiration date with your expectation.

What do you really want to do with your life?  What do you want to be? Where do you want to go? Here are my top tips for “following your path…”

  1. Make a list of fears: This could be a short list or a long list. The idea is, to created a list of fears you recognize. Once you know what each one of these fears are, you can then look each one of them in the eye and find the “opposite” reasoning behind it.  It is going to be your way of debunking these reasons.2. Do not use money as an excuse: Money comes and goes. You will sometimes have it and sometimes you may not. But, I bet you that whenever you really need it, it somehow comes to you. It is often your fear of not having any that stops you from doing anything.3. Let go of “what if”: You will never have the answer to this question. So let it go. Anticipation of anything is a fool’s game. Your goal is to look at the moment.  The past is behind you and the future has not happened yet. You must learn how your attention in the present moment will help you focus on the task at hand.4. Choose ways to reach your goal: Perhaps you have to go back to school or travel far to pursue your desires. Maybe you need to find a teacher or climb the corporate ladder.  Make a list ” from point A to point B. Map out ways to get you on that path to your goal.  Come up with a plan A, B or even C. Look at how these possibilities can work for you.

    5. Take the first step: Without this, you can go nowhere. You can pave that path with good intentions, but if you do not take that first step, you are no further along than sitting and dreaming about it. It is important not to get bogged down in the negative feed back from others, the family members that don’t want you to leave your day job or those who think you can’t do it.  Focus on your path. Use your energy to follow your positive thought process and take one step forward.

    6. Do something everyday that brings you closer to your dream!  If you wish to keep one foot in your current job, do so, BUT, the other foot should be reaching with each toe to inch forward on that path. Send a resume, take your class, go on an interview. Each day make a journal or just write down what you did to achieve your day’s goal.

    7.  Make Room for Change: Make it a nourishing, self respecting place for change to take place in your mind. In the same way, create a life affirming, positive path to reach your goal. Make no excuses. Procrastination is the bi-product of feeling unworthy. Self worth leads us in the right direction.

What you will realize by taking these steps, is that before you know it, you are actually looking back over your shoulder to see how far you have come, without even realizing it. Keep moving forward and I promise, your persistence and perseverance will give you your just reward!