8 Reasons to Keep Pursuing Your Dream (Even Without Support)

8 Reasons to Keep

We’ve all heard the advice from well-meaning individuals that we should do what we love for a career and pursue our dreams. However, sometimes achieving those dreams is not exactly a linear process. Plus, there are often people who will try to talk us down from our high perches. They tell us to be reasonable, or to think of what chasing such a dream will do to our financial situation. They call us “dreamers,” as if that title is supposed to dissuade us from going after what we want most and simply settle. It won’t, or at least, it shouldn’t.

When faced with this adversity, many people will back down and concede. Were those people ever really big dreamers in the first place? Probably not! You, however, should not quit. Even when you’re lacking in support, even when you’re faced with resistance, it’s important to keep pursuing your dream of entrepreneurship and success. Here are eight reasons why you should.

1. You’ll be in control of your own destiny. There’s really no substitute for being the captain of your own ship . You won’t be dependent on anyone else, and you can let your passion for success dictate the career path that you choose to take. When you reach the top, you can look back and know that you got there yourself.

2. You’ll find resourcefulness that you never knew you had. When you follow your dream and take big chances, you’ll find that you’re the only one who’s responsible for making it happen. You’ll work long hours, pay big dues, and push through all sorts of mental blocks because you have to. Successfully achieve an entrepreneurial dream, and you’ll come out a more resilient and emotionally tougher individual.

3. You’ll quiet the naysayers. There will always be people who lack the confidence, the wherewithal, and the gumption to strike out on their own, and they’ll always be bitter and try to drag others down with them. Your success in the face of their negativity will hopefully bring them one step closer to being supportive. And maybe — just maybe — they’ll be encouraged to pursue their own dreams too. Honestly, someone has to quell all the negativity, so why not you?

4. You’ll be happy — really, truly happy. You won’t come home from the office feeling irked at how your boss runs things, you’ll never have to tamp down your passion just to put food on the table, and you certainly won’t hate the thought of getting out of bed in the morning. Instead, you’ll feel a sense of purpose and a continually renewed inspiration to do great work. The life of an individual who achieves his or her dreams is a good one, and it should be yours.

5. You’ll make your family proud. Your parents, your spouse, your kids, your cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents — they’ll all feel proud of what you’ve sacrificed and what you’ve accomplished. And while some of those same people may have at one point tried to talk you out of chasing your dream, you’ll still feel good knowing that you’ve made them proud.

6. Those who follow their dreams change the world. Imagine if the Wright brothers never followed their dreams of flight, or if Steve Jobs gave up on his dream of a user-friendly home computer. Yes, these accomplishments were hard to achieve, and yes, these individuals and many others had people telling them they should quit, but they persevered and were able to stay the course. In the end, the world was irreversibly changed, and history will remember them as the ones who had the courage to innovate and dream.

7. When you’re successful, you’ll inspire others to follow their dreams and feel the same sense of accomplishment. You might not see yourself as a role model, but when you do what you’ve set out to do, others will admire your achievement and wish to emulate it. It’s a great thing to feel inspired, but it’s perhaps the best thing to be an inspiration.

8. You’ll never feel fulfilled if you don’t. Even if you do end up in a job that pays well, challenges you, and allows you to work with talented and motivated people, you’ll always have that nagging regret that you never did things your way. It’s hard to live with the constant “what if,” and it will keep you from feeling truly happy with your career.

It’s never easy to follow a lofty dream and achieve goals, especially when there are people telling you to give up and be realistic .  However, it can be done, and if you’ve got real heart and a true entrepreneurial spirit, you’ll be very well equipped to get to where you want to be. Stay strong! So many good things can come from your perseverance, but the only thing that comes from quitting is a lifetime of quiet regret.

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The Multitasking Myth

by Mark Jenney


For years, we’ve been told that individuals who can successfully multitask will go further in life because they’re more efficient and better overall at getting things done. Now, however, we’re finding out that this old truth may not be so true after all. Researchers at the highly prestigious Stanford University have recently found that multitasking actually leads to lower productivity levels and can cause cognitive impairments. Sound crazy? It’s not. Read on.

Is it Really Multitasking?

Just like you can’t be two places at once, you really can’t do two complicated tasks at once (or more than two things, as some eager multitaskers are wont to do). You’ve got only one brain, and while it’s capable of doing simple automatic behaviors concurrently (say, walking and chewing gum at the same time), it simply can’t concurrently devote full attention to multiple jobs that require more cognitive heavy lifting.

So when you think you’re multitasking, what are you really doing? You’re task switching, which is certainly possible (many of us do it all the time), but it’s just no good for your productivity levels, since time is wasted on the switches.

The Consequences of Doing Too Many Things

You might think that the result of multitasking is that you get more done, but that’s actually the opposite of what happens. Hopping around projects rather than focusing on just one slows you down as much as 40% . Plus, your work is more likely to be sloppy and error-ridden, as you don’t give anything 100% of your focus.

Multitasking can have other negative outcomes. For example, if you try to do too much at once, you’re much less likely to remember key bits of information from anything; your brain can take only so much at once! You’re also less aware of what’s happening around you because you’re trying too hard to not be distracted. The problem with that is that you may miss a great opportunity because all of your attention is divided up among too many different things. Finally, when you’re trying to multitask, your actions tend to become robotic, which can significantly stifle your imagination and creativity, two things that are so important in today’s business world.

And then there’s the stress that accompanies multitasking. If you’re trying to do too much at once, you can start to feel overwhelmed, which brings with it a whole host of symptoms like increased heart rate and depression. Plus, there’s evidence to support the idea that multitasking can shave points off of your IQ and even reduce density in the areas of the brain that are responsible for empathy and emotional control. Is it any wonder that people are especially irritable and short tempered when they’re trying to multitask? The worst part is that these moods may become more permanent as multitasking continues.

But What if You’re Good at it?

But wait, you say — I’m really good at multitasking! Well, you may think that, but according to a recent study done by professors at the University of Utah Psychology Department, you’re probably not nearly as good at it as you think you are. In fact, you may even be sort of bad at it. The study focused on people who try to talk on their cell phone while they’re driving, and while that may not be the same as the way you multitask, the study’s researchers insist that the findings can be extrapolated to apply to other situations as well.

Plus, even if you manage to effectively make multitasking part of your life, it can still be dangerous because you’re not paying full attention to your surroundings. Again, the main research is on the dangerous consequences of trying to do things while using a mobile device, such as car crashes, walking into people or things, and so on, but it still serves as a good reminder: when we’re at work, we genuinely have a hard time taking care of multiple things at once.

Missing Flow

Have you ever been so engrossed in what you’re doing that it just all happens very quickly? The time passes, you get a lot done, and you feel great? That’s a psychological concept called flow, a complete mind and body immersion in whatever you’re doing. You might call it getting into the groove, or being in the zone, but whatever it’s called, it’s an amazing sensation because you’re making every basket, answering every question correctly, and knocking every pitch out of the park. (Feel free to add your own metaphor here — the feeling is the same!)

The problem is that when you try to multitask, you never allow yourself to get immersed deeply enough in any one activity to achieve flow. So, not only are you missing out on these great periods of productivity, but you’re missing out on the great feelings that go along with it

The Solution? One Thing At a Time

Even though it sounds like the mantra of a 12 step program than a strategy for handling your workload, your best bet is to do one thing at a time. Multitasking is one of those things that seems much better in theory than it works in practice. You can’t do everything at once, and you shouldn’t force yourself to try.

Will there be times that you need to multitask a little bit to make it through the day? Probably. However, it’s never wise to make it your modus operandi. Tackle your tasks one at a time, and you’ll likely find that you’re more productive, less stressed, and happier at work — and in life.

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7 Habits for Success: Make them Your Own!

by Mark Jenney


Success is never an accident, nor is it the result of a single brilliant move or idea. Rather, success is cultivated over many years of smart business transactions, outstanding people skills, and renewed motivation to be the best you can possibly be.

When you start to look at the successful people in this world, whether they’re professional athletes, CEOs, entrepreneurs, or committed to another profession, you realize that despite their inherent differences, they all have a few big things in common. For example, they all have a similar outlook on life, they all have similar rituals, and they all have similar reactions when life throws them a curveball. More than that, though, successful people take these positive behaviors and turn them into habits, doing them over and over as a regular part of their routine.

By recognizing these commonalities and slowly taking them on as your own, can you be successful as well? There’s no guarantee, of course, but emulating these habits is a great place to start! You’ve heard about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  — here are seven habits of highly successful people.

1. Successful people take care of themselves (https://hbr.org/2008/09/why-its-not-selfish-to-take-ca/). They eat right, they exercise, and they don’t skimp on sleep. And again, these are habits. They don’t exercise when it’s convenient or eat a salad once in a while or catch up on sleep on the weekends. These things are part of a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy personal life leads to a healthy business life. Ready to change your ways? Stay conscious of what foods and beverages you’re putting into your body, block out time at least three times a week for a workout session, and get on a consistent sleep schedule. When you feel good physically, you’re the most ready to use your mental sharpness to your advantage.

2. Successful people are positive and grateful. Negativity, anger, and other toxic emotions are just wasted energy. Not only does nothing good come of them, but they can hold you back from greatness. Successful people know that a positive, can-do attitude and honest gratitude for all of their blessings lead to confidence. They also make you a person that others want to be around and work with. To get started, spend at least a few minutes a day mentally listing the things in your life that are going well and that you are thankful for. Once you get started, you’ll realize that you’ve actually got it pretty good, and that should give you the confidence to be even better.

3. Successful people network. What’s more, they do it the old fashioned way: in person!  Yes, social networking has its benefits, but it simply can’t replace looking a colleague in the eye and shaking his or her hand. If all of your networking is currently done in the digital realm, resolve to get up from behind your desk and meet others in person. To make it a habit, join a networking group that meets regularly, attend social events and charity functions, and conduct more business in person rather than over the phone.

4. Successful people create prioritized to do lists. The key word here is create — they actually write them down or maintain a digital version on their phone, rather than keep a haphazard list in their heads. And, they update their to do lists regularly. To take this from good idea to habit, spend five or ten minutes before you go to sleep every night to write up (or peck out) your to do list for the following day. Write out specific things that need to be done, and then number them so you know what you’ll need to tackle first.

5. Successful people set goals. If you’re only interested in making a living, you can get by living from one day to the next. However, to achieve real success, you’ve got to set some goals — create some targets that you can focus in on. Don’t set goals, and you deprive yourself of direction. As Zig Ziglar so famously said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Take some time on a regular basis to think about goals, both short term and long term. And, make at least some of these goals a stretch to keep yourself challenged and working toward something bigger than you think you can accomplish.

Related by Mark Jenney:Winning Rituals: 10 Behaviors of Successful Individuals

6. Successful people understand the importance of accountability. Successful people keep their word, and people who don’t keep their word will have a very hard time earning enough money to rent a studio apartment. To help keep yourself accountable, find a mentor or colleague to work with to keep you in check; meet for coffee once a week (or on a regular schedule that works for you) to discuss achievements, setbacks, and how you plan to do good work until your next meetup.

7. Successful people never stop learning. You may have a diploma from an Ivy League University hanging on your wall, but it doesn’t mean that you’re done learning new things. On the contrary, successful people recognize that there are always new things to learn, new skills to acquire, and new insight to consider. And, learning doesn’t necessarily mean paying tuition to sit in a classroom, listen to lectures, and write exams. On the contrary, learning means reading books, listening to podcasts, attending webinars, and so on. To keep your own personal education going, commit to reading a book a month, spending your commute time listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and don’t pass up opportunities for seminars and conferences.

What do you think? Can you take these seven attributes and turn them into personal habits? It may take a little while to get these things ingrained in your life, but once they are, you’ll probably see success follow.

What habits do you have that make you successful? Share one with us in the comments!

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