It is tempting to give up on a dream when things get hard. I posted on here yesterday about my struggles as a freelance writer – I’ve felt like given up hundreds of times. Here are 7 reasons why I’m not going to give up on my dream and why you shouldn’t either:
1. Failing is the Best Self-Improvement Training in the World
I’ve really struggled at times on this path to achieving my dreams – it is much tougher than I ever expected it to be. This suffering doesn’t discourage me because I can clearly see how it benefits my life. Each failure teaches me an important lesson, and it means I’m stronger going forward. I’ve read a ton of self-improvement books but the lessons that have really changed my life have all come from dealing with failure.
2. You Could Play it Safe and Still End Up with Nothing
Giving up on a dream career to choose a safer option doesn’t come with any guarantees – it doesn’t mean that everything is going to be okay now. Plenty of people have stuck with a job they disliked, out of the desire for financial security, yet they still ended unemployed and broke. I’d much rather fail while trying to achieve my dreams than fail while doing something that doesn’t satisfy me.
3. Giving Up on a Dream Might Be as Painful as Continuing
I do get times when I’m full of doubt and feel depressed, but I also know that giving up isn’t going to mean a life free of this type of suffering. I’ll likely feel even worse because I’ll always wonder about what could have been – I’ll see myself as a quitter. Trying to achieve anything significant in life involves discomfort but given up on my dreams may involve even more pain.
I delayed turning full-time as a writer for about a year. I felt scared because it did involve such huge risks. In the end it was pain that forced me to make the leap – it just became harder and harder to turn up to my regular job. Giving up on my dream would likely mean returning to this same level of dissatisfaction – I’d do it to protect my family but only as a last resort.
4. Giving Up Can Easily Become a Habit
I’ve noticed how easy it is for quitting to become a habit. If I allow myself to quit on a major goal like this one, what’s to stop me quitting every time something becomes hard? The ability to persist when things become difficult is so important – developing the quitting habit would mean my level of suffering would go up a gear.
I try to imagine what I’d say to a stranger who was in my position. If this person told me they were going to quit on their dream, I’d have to tell them I thought they were making a mistake. I would expect this decision to be a turning point in the person’s life – something they might never be able to fully recover from.
5. The Journey is the Real Prize
I like to moan about how hard this journey has been, but I’ve also had some of the happiest moments of my life over the last few years. It’s an amazing adventure and looking back I don’t regret one step of it. It’s going to be nice to achieve my goal, but it’s the journey that is the real prize.
6. Giving Up on Dreams Sets a Bad Example for Other People
One of the best gifts I can give my son is to provide him with an example of how it is going to be possible for him to achieve his dreams by working hard. I don’t want him to be plagued by the self-doubt and fear of success that I grew up with. If I give up on my dream, I’m setting my son a very bad example.
I used to be a drunk. I want people who are struggling with addiction to see how it is going to be possible for them to escape that life and begin living their dreams. I want my success to give them hope. If I fail to achieve my dream, I’d feel like I was letting these people down – it would mean that I’ve been promoting ideas that I can’t apply to my own life.
7. Success Could be Right Around the Next Corner
Today might be a struggle, but it ends at midnight – who knows what tomorrow is going to bring. Persistence does pay off so. So long as I keep learning from my mistakes and trying different things, my success is guaranteed.