Audacity to Follow Dreams

If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.

Jen Sincero

Some people seem to get it right on the first try – career, relationships, friends, you name it. Or maybe it just seems like that to an outsider. That hasn’t always been the case for me. In fact, quite often, I felt like life was testing how much I really wanted whatever it is that I desired. Fortunately, to me, any obstacle was a sign to keep going.

One of the greatest challenges of my life was the unfolding of my academic career. Since my first year of college, I had a dream of becoming a professor. There was only one problem – I had very little faith in myself and made all kinds of excuses for not pursing my dream. Instead, I settled for a mediocre job that simply paid my bills, but lacked passion and excitement. After a long-long mental monologue, I came to a realization that if I wanted to live my dream life, I had to take risks.

And so it began. The first time I applied to graduate school I got rejected. I was sad, of course, but then I began looking for ways to improve my chances of getting into graduate school the next year. Whatever I did worked because the following year I was accepted to the master’s program. Upon completion of the master’s program, I applied, but got rejected from the doctoral program. Once again, I pulled myself up and decided to try again. The next year I was a doctoral student.

The challenges, however, did not stop there. Over the course of graduate school, there were times I second-guessed myself because I just couldn’t see the end of it all. The workload was unbearable sometimes. But I kept encouraging myself that I didn’t get this far to end it half way. Some days were more challenging than others, but at the end of the day, all that mattered was that I gave it my best shot. And most importantly, that I enjoyed the journey, which brought me to where I am today professionally – an academic.

Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I want to encourage you to follow your dreams. Have you tried and failed before? Don’t let that failure define you. Remember, if you fail, you’re that much closer to achieving your goal. If after so many tries I accomplished what I set out to accomplish, you can too.

Let this year be the year you take one step closer to realizing your dream. Whatever that is! If you want to lose weight, start an exercise plan. If it’s eating healthy, then abandon shopping in the middle of the store where all junk food can be found. Invest in your health, which means investing in the quality of water that you drink. It will make all the difference. If it’s changing careers, why are you waiting? Whatever that is, come up with a plan and stop the excuses.

Remember, “If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.” How serious are you?

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