So many people have that passion project they’ve always dreamed of, and so many haven’t taken the plunge. There’s always a reasonable explanation. Maybe it’s not fully formed yet. Maybe you don’t have the right team yet. Maybe you’ll need extra cash to pull it off. Either way, there’s always a rationale for why you haven’t made the time.
It’s time to make the time.
Your passion project is your dream, and it deserves your time and attention. A good friend of mine has this mantra that I think rings true which is, “ If not You Who? If not Now, When?” (Thank you Dolvett Quince for these words of wisdom). After all, if you don’t make your dream come true, who will? There will always be a reason to not get started. Just thinking about everything you want to accomplish can feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of your own making. But to realize your dreams, you’ll have to do more than get your feet wet. So here are five tips on how to get started and give you the tools to swim instead of sinking.
1. Chart A Path
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Colin Powell’s words have never been more true. To get your passion project started, you’ll need to stop dreaming. Break out of the abstract, and instead, break it down. Plot out realistic goals and the steps you’ll need to take before you can achieve them. This can be daunting – but ripping that band-aid off is the first step towards greatness.
2. Set (And Keep) Deadlines
It’s important to not only have realistic goals, but to set realistic deadlines for hitting them. Having a due date in place, like a school assignment, will help you manage your time in a way that “It’ll be done when it’s done” never could. Something I like to do is set up a reward system to motivate myself – a gift or a unique experience for myself when I hit my deadline gives me something to work for when the dream still seems too far away to motivate me. If you’re still having trouble, researchers at MIT suggest that you’ll work faster (and smarter) if someone else – maybe your spouse, trusted friend, or mentor – sets deadlines for you. After all…
3. You Can’t Do It Alone
To quote Michael Jordan, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” It’s not enough to be good or to be firing on all cylinders. You need a support network of people to help you and keep you accountable for what lies ahead. If you’re the only one working on it, it can only be as good as you can make it. Expand your horizons and see beyond what only you can provide.
4. Embrace Failure
A dream is a big, messy thing, and your path towards at will be fraught with challenges and surprises along the way. Things won’t work out as you think they will, and not everyone will understand what you’re going for, and you won’t do everything perfectly, whether it’s your first, second or even last attempt. Instead, embrace failure as an equal part of the process. And when looking for feedback, understand that criticism is a positive. You have a new opportunity to learn with every note, every question, every setback. So don’t let it hold you back. Instead…
5. Be Ready To Move Forward
As Jim Carrey once said, “It is better to risk starving to death then surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left?” Not every step will make you want to take another. Dreams often stay dreams because making them a reality is difficult and often painful. But that doesn’t make them impossible. If something means enough to you, you will move forward regardless of any setback you may face. Keep going, don’t give up, and believe in yourself. You can’t win if you don’t try.
Remember, “Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it.” Ray Bradbury said this a long time ago, and it holds true today. Your dream is most important to you of all people, and it’s important for you to take that time to pursue it and love it every step of the way. The time is now, so what are you waiting for? The path is there. It’s time to take the first step.
This article was written by Jennifer Cohen from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.