I’d like to introduce you to “Jo.” You might know her.
Jo had a happy childhood. Her great passion was singing.
But her parents cautioned her. “Be realistic. Get a proper job,” her father said. Her mother thought that finding a nice man might be better. Because Jo loved and respected her parents, she thought they might have a point. She began to doubt her dream of singing, and thought it might be a childish whim.
When Jo was eighteen she left school and decided she should at least have a go achieving her goal of becoming a professional singer.
Three years went by, but her big break never came. One evening, at a party, she got chatting to a woman in her forties.
She told Jo that she once wanted to be a singing star too. She told her how she had tried everything to break into the big time – even once sleeping with her agent. “Get real, honey,” the woman cooed. “You won’t achieve your goal. It’s a dream. Forget about it. We all do.” Jo could feel her heart sinking.
She met more people over the coming months like the woman at the party. Soon, it seemed that everyone she met had once had a dream and had given up on it. Achieving goals, she concluded, was mostly a matter of luck that happened to a very few people. She didn’t feel lucky any more.
Jo married a dull but nice man, and within a couple of years they had children. When her daughter was ten she said to Jo, “Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a singer.” That’s when Jo cried.
How many Jo’s do you know? She’s fictitious, but there are millions like her who gave up on their dreams because they believed achieving their goals were out of reach.
What is missing from this story is the one vital fact that Jo overlooked. She forgot to notice that in every walk of life people succeed! There is a tendency to think that “being realistic” means noticing what happens to the majority and giving up just like they did.
Your focus is what matters. Look or listen to those who gave up and you’ll likely join them and the burgeoning army of those who say that life is a struggle. Those people are not happy. They are in jobs they dislike or loathe, drive cars that bore them and often they are stuck in relationships with people they no longer like, love or respect. That’s because they no longer like, love or respect themselves! How could they? And more to the point, why would you want them as role models? Join them, and your goal becomes getting others to join them too. It’s how misery spreads!
But focus on the successes and you’ll see that, by and large, they’re not only happy at the top, but they enjoyed (most of) the journey to get there. Enjoying each day is surely what life is about! That, above all else, should surely be your goal!
It’s not too late for you. If you still have a dream in your heart you can achieve it. The only thing that holds you back is your belief that you can’t.