With the incredible ease of access to information in today's age and ability to google search anyone - it has become quite easy to dream big. You look around any corner and there's a story for you to read about, a website to subscribe to, a video to inspire you, a podcast to get you going, or a webinar/event from a professional to learn from.
I mean seriously, for anything. All it takes is a simple search on the internet and you can go from beginner to intermediate in pretty much any skill, maybe even advanced depending on how much you commit yourself especially in fields such as programming, cooking, music, SEO, negotiating, cosmetology...the list is too big to continue.
I can't really think of anything you can't be or can't learn from the internet.
If you find the right podcasts, it's like hitting a gold mine. If you're unsure of where you're at in life or how to get to where you want to go - there's so many great people to listen to and stories that can really help out.
1. Seek out inspiration and let it guide you.
My cousin and his managing partner host a podcast to showcase the success stories of Entrepreneurs in the Southern California area but also host an event where they teach individuals how to purchase real estate in unconventionally creative ways.
As Real Estate Brokers, they're using their proven success and expertise to simply help people in and out of their field.
Whether it's a free event for those seeking their real estate knowledge and expertise or inspiring people to follow their passions based on the proven success of the wide array of Entrepreneurs they host on their Podcast - they're putting their hand out and helping people up the ladder of success.
Personally the podcast has helped me tremendously. Just hearing the struggles and successes of people who are out their grinding everyday has opened my eyes.
I mean big names from people in the Orange County area telling you their secrets for free is invaluable information and so inspirational.
One can make the argument that these outlets of golden information are more valuable than the thousands of dollars in tuition that we pour out for a piece of paper that "validates" us for the real world.
Yes my Business Degree was a huge accomplishment and taught me things I probably don't really recognize, probably more so on a subconscious level but I sometimes think what if the money and time spent studying for 4 years was instead spent chasing my future learning from people in outlets such as the ones I mentioned?
2. Challenge yourself, creativity, and ideas.
In the past 5 years I've probably applied to hundreds of jobs, wouldn't be surprised if it was thousands and I can only think of 1 or 2 offered to me. And the highest level of education required for that one job offer I accepted was a High School Degree. Ouch.
Now if you ask me if my college degree was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars as an investment I would probably be very tempted to say no.
However, I'm not saying I regret ever pursuing my college degree nor am I ungrateful for it.
I'm sure some of you have lost someone very close to your heart from a disease. You probably know the exact words you had with him or her if you were fortunate enough to have that "one last talk" before his or her departure.
The conversation may have gone something along the lines of all the things they wish for you in life that they won't be there to witness and make you promise to them to take care of the family and graduate college.
One of my proudest moments was receiving that diploma because I fulfilled a promise to one of closest people to my heart who passed on.
My mom sacrificed so much to see it through and there's no words that can ever express my gratitude towards her and the help of my step dad, sisters, and loved ones.
Despite it being a dream come true at the end of day, I'm just saying I'm a little disappointed in the system and that in this day in age the conventional way of doing things seem a little flawed. Just from my personal experience.
A lot of people are doing great with their degrees.
But from what I see, It's really hard to get into something without knowing someone or having a connection. We live in a different world now which forces us up and coming generations to be more creative.
One of my best friends shares a similar experience. He spent a lot of money on Law School only to come out in debt and struggling to score an interview, let alone a job at a law firm. This kid is a genius. It made me think how can someone not hire him? If he can't get a job we're all screwed.
But instead of looking to someone to report to and tell him if he gets to work or not and dictate the future of his success - he took it upon himself to be in charge of his own destiny and started his own law firm.
With the technology and resources easily accessible in 2016 his company was up and running within a month and has only been going up. It's difficult and he struggles but he's getting there. Day by day.
3. No one knows your vision. Hold onto it. Don't tell anyone about it if need be.
My biggest setback in life was the lack of confidence and the uncertainty in myself. I full heartedly believe that my biggest enemy is myself.
I don't know if you share this feeling but you know when you come up with an idea and it just feels so right. It resonates within you and gives that out of body experience. You start imagining how far you can take that feeling and it just starts making your dreams run wild. You become so consumed by this vision you start envisioning yourself living it out almost to a point where it's real - you can see it, taste it, feel it, smell it, and it makes you come alive.
I've had those moments one too many times in life but my lack of confidence and uncertainty in myself brought these visions to an end time after time.
You might ask how lack of confidence and uncertainty can affect ones dreams so drastically.
For one, you start listening to people who don't share your vision. You become so affected by the smallest words and even reactions from others who didn't dream as vividly as you. You absorb to a fault and read into things too much. Then, you start reconsidering your own abilities. Ultimately you start comparing yourself to people "who you should be like".
You go out with your friends and the pressure of meeting "societies criteria" of attracting the opposite sex or impressing people with your currently grounded status starts to consume you.
It makes you wonder what the hell you're even doing trying to chase this vision of yours. Those doubts, if dwelled upon, start pushing you farther away from your vision and more towards something that isn't you.
You may act on your doubts and get caught up in the safe route. You get the security and it gives you all the things you want like money, validation from others and some of the nice pleasantries that society ultimately pressured you into - for the short term scheme of things - but something still isn't right.
It never goes away. The biggest lesson I've come to learn is that when you work towards a vision, it's for long term happiness and fulfillment which does not happen over night. The universe is supposed to throw everything at you and test your soul before giving you what you so eagerly desire which when achieved eventually shits all over the short term luxuries.
Yes, you may look like an idiot now, people may tell you to get a "real job" now, you'll sacrifice things now and grind your ass off trying to build a reputation now but the journey is so much more fulfilling and each accomplishment small and large, not only tastes better but makes your purpose bigger.
If you do battle and get exactly where you dreamed of getting - people will soon only see the success you created and forget about all the suffering and agonizing it took for you to actually get there. The 16 hour days, the rejection, the drives back and fourth from one county to another.
All the times you doubted yourself and beat yourself up. All the money wasted and spent towards things that ultimately never worked out.
All the classes you took, times spent researching, and time dedicated to making yourself better.
I haven't gotten there but I think it's necessary to tune out the noise. You may not be making as much money as your more established friends who are doing really well, things may never be a sure thing, clients come and go but put your head in your work and keep moving forward like your life depends on it.
You have to remind yourself that in ten years you'll be where you are because of all the hard work and obstacles you conquered today.
Everyone has their own story. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise or steer you away from your own storyline - it's yours because it aligns with who you are as a person, not because it aligns with him or her.
I can truly say that will all these failures and times I've been steered elsewhere, which ultimately stemmed from my own problems within, I've acquired tools.
Tools that give me the confidence that I know I need and the maturity I've developed in order to go after what I want without falling into the same mistakes I made in the past.
- Anthony Awadalla