Everyone has many dreams or wishes for their future. However, with out focus and a lot of hard work, that is all they will remain: wishes. I wish I were rich and famous. Big deal, so does everyone else. Success only comes to people who are able to commit to one career goal. No one can be great at many things. Look at any world class person from the Barrack Obama to rock stars or olympic athletes and you will find decades of superhuman effort to one single aim.
There are 168 hours in a week. If you sleep 8 hours a day and spend another 2 hours per day on tasks like eating and personal hygiene, then you are down to about 98 hours per week. Of those 98 potential hours, the overwhelming component will be your work week. Considering that you spend 40 hours a week working, with another 5 to 10 hours for commuting to work, it is safe to say that half of your time is spent earning money.
All of your other goals for your personal relationships, spirituality, and health are important, but none require the time and effort of your career. If you love your current job, then move on to the next most important category on your list. If you don’t love your job and you want to do something to change it, then you need to create a plan to make money from alternate means.
Most people, myself included, have many dreams about how they would like to earn money. You may dream of being an artist, actor, author, musician, or entrepreneur. Maybe you even know the field you want to be in so you have many projects in the works. This might include several blogs, a book, a new business, an e-book, or a seminar. It is great to have many ideas and dreams. However, your best chance at success will come if you can narrow down the list. It is time to focus on THE ONE. What is the one thing that you can work on now that will have the greatest impact on your future success?
Writing a book doesn’t necessarily take a life time, unless you are Marcel Proust. With a constant part-time effort you can probably finish your best-seller in a year or so even while keeping your current job. Perhaps more education is needed for your goal, you could take online courses or evening classes at your local university. Whatever, you want to accomplish is quite feasible if…. and this is a big IF. IF you can decide on THE ONE. AND put all your energies towards this one thing that you want to accomplish. Try to do two or three things at a time and you are almost guaranteeing your ideas will die a slow death do to lack of progress and your inability to put in a consistent effort.
Choosing the one is not easy, there are many great ideas competing for your attention. One thing is certain, the greatest talent in any field will have undoubtedly chosen their one. Mark Spitz didn’t divide his time between swimming and playing in a rock band. He swam harder and longer than probably everyone on the planet. Eric Clapton wasn’t a guitar god AND olympic athlete. Eric Clapton has spent a lot of time playing his guitars. It is likely that he still practices more, even now after decades of playing, than many teenagers dreaming of being rock stars.
It is very easy to talk ourselves out of doing the thing we most want to do. We tell ourselves things like: It’s not practical. The odds are too small for success. Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life? Blah, Blah, Blah. So what if you fail. I assure you if you are really doing the thing you love your time will be well spent. You may sacrifice time watching TV, or time at the shopping mall, it might even be things you value like time at the gym or weekends with friends. Even if you never reach the pinnacle of your field, the very act of pursuing your sole passion with all of your energy will lead to opportunities.
You may never be world class in the one goal you choose, but I can guarantee one thing. If you do not try, you will never know if you had it in you to be great or not. That is the greatest tradgedy of mankind, fear of trying.