“I’ve seen this happen. All people having certain dreams pass through the same stages.”
You might deeply aspire to do something better. Maybe, you hide a certain wish your heart (and you know it’s there).
Or maybe, you’re an ordinary person like me who creates stuff and expects a worthy outcome.
I don’t know.
But I’ve been there.
The more I observe those who break their limitations and vanish their ordinariness, the better I understand their journey.
And then I notice a tiny, common detail.
All dreamers have different stories, but they share similar milestones
People working on their passions go through different circumstances.
Each one of them has a distinct story. Yet, there’s a set of mutual phases in their journeys. Which means, there are certain common parts in all dreamers’ lives.
Those common parts mold them and contribute to their accomplishments, making them who they are.
Knowing that you aren’t alone in your journey to face hardships relieves you, and sort of simplifies what you do. It gives you the freedom to go on with courage.
Here’s a list of different stages all dreamers go through
You may be experiencing any of these stages. It’s easy to relate yourself to these milestones, as most dreamers cross them.
“I don’t know what I want to do”
You’re lost and confused.
You know you have a purpose but somehow you’re unable to identify it. You have zero clues regarding what your passion is, let alone finding it.
A question mark clings to you.
So you shrug your shoulders whenever you’re asked: “What’s your plan for the future?” There’s no plan. You cannot see the future. Everything’s blurred.
All that you have is a handful of hope in your heart. That hope is enough. It reminds you that you’re not useless.
It pushes you to do something.
“I want to do something”
“Enough!” you utter one day.
You get fed up with what you do, and a conventional life tires you.
You admit that you’ve been fooling yourself into believing lies, making excuses, fearing, and ignoring your instincts.
You can’t take it anymore.
After all, how long is it supposed to go on? “Damn! I don’t know what, but I want to do something,” you say to yourself. Everything begins after that.
You start thinking.
You come to know … it’s time.
“I feel like I should do it”
You consider your intentions and reflect on your interests.
You aren’t sure.
Though you sense that certain activity is your passion, you haven’t realized it. Perhaps, programming, writing, cooking, chess … or even a couple of them.
You’re still unclear, but at least you have a rough idea now. The curiosity and interest captivate you, asking you keep going and see what comes on your way.
Quite soon, you get to know what you’ve been searching for. You find your passion.
“How can I do it?”
You start questioning.
You become hungry about finding a definite way to start working, instead of idly daydreaming. It’s is when your aspirations start scratching your practical side.
“So … how do I do it now?” kind of questions fill your thoughts.
You try to find a way out. To get started somehow, as you desire to move ahead.
“I will do it.”
You make a decision.
You figure out what you’re supposed to do, and gather the necessary knowledge to start.
Yet, you delay, take time to prepare emotionally, and try overcoming your inner barriers.
You’re assured that you’ll start sooner or later – but you don’t know when. This is the stage where you’re about to step out of the world of dreaming to actually doing. So overwhelm is natural.
You can either make it, or think of going back.
Don’t get too stuck.
Here’s a simple way to overcome resistance and start – take the smallest step you can and begin your journey. Rest will take care of itself after that.
“At last, I’m doing it.”
You start, finally.
You defeat your imaginary limitations by doing what occupied your attention for so long.
It feels liberating.
You take your first step – great!
Most people never make it this far.
Now, you need to prepare for the future, to develop yourself. That takes time.
Initially, celebrate the courage you had that made you start. Appreciate the freedom.
“I love doing it”
It’s a precious moment.
“Maybe I’ve found my passion,” you think.
You might be right because loving what you do is a sure sign that you’ve found your passion.
You spend hours working and learning. You drown in the details of your work and explore its undiscovered parts.
Your bond with your work strengthens, and you become honest about it.
It matters to you.
So you try harder.
“I’ll do it better”
You do your work, but it doesn’t satisfy you. You yearn to do extraordinary tasks and to be amazing.
You look upon those in your arena doing wonderful things. So you wish to be spectacular like them. You put hours and weeks in your work.
You invest your time and effort hoping to improve, and you do improve.
You realize that you lack a lot.
You realize your shortcomings.
Still, you don’t get disappointed. You accept your flaws maturely and decide to polish your abilities.
“Why am I doing it?”
You discover your flaws.
You realize that you aren’t perfect, not as good as you thought. So you drown in self-doubt, questioning your dreams.
“I’m not born for it,” you say. “Maybe, I haven’t got what it takes,” you wonder as you work.
It gets harder to go on.
You can’t stop doubting yourself.
You question your sanity and wonder whether you’re a fool. It’s a tough battle between you and yourself. If you have enough courage, you’d go on.
“I feel like quitting!”
You get tired.
Although you might achieve certain rewards or appreciation, they don’t seem to matter anymore. In your struggle with yourself, sometimes you’re knocked down.
Your insecurities snatch your sleep, keeping you awake at night.
“Should I quit?” you think.
You don’t know whether you should hold on or let go. It baffles you, forcing you to give up. But if you find a reason, even if a small one to hold on to, you know you’ll prosper.
“I’ll do it because it makes me happy”
You don’t give a damn anymore.
All that matters to you is your work.
It’s almost like going back to where you had started, but after collecting some wisdom. You move beyond flaws and doubts, towards attaining perfection.
You give yourself the freedom to be bad or good because what you do is a source of happiness itself. It makes you more human.
After this stage, you keep crushing your hurdles and cross new milestones.
Fast or slow, you don’t stop thriving. Only better things await you at every step you take after this.
The Ultimate Stage
The “… I did it,” phase doesn’t exist for dreamers.
There’s no end.
You never arrive.
You follow your dreams or choose a passion because it makes you happy – but happiness isn’t a destination.
It isn’t a thing you can own or a point you can reach, but merely a journey you can take. Like a road that never ends.
You go on, cherishing and learning from whatever comes on your way.
While you go through this journey, life seems better and blissful. Almost. You get to do what you want to, after all.