I feel that people are under this illusion that once you figure out what you want to do in life, where you want to go and who you want to be, it's all downhill from there. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
The life of those who dream big is basically a battlefield. It may take you some time to find a reason to fight, to find a means to fight and to find the forefront of the action, but when you do, that's when the fighting actually begins.
The hardest part isn't finding the fight, it's actually fighting; finding a reason to continue moving forward no matter how difficult things get, no matter how much blood you lose along the way. All that matters is victory. If you don't win, you lose. Here's the life of those who dream big and aim to bring their dreams to fruition in a nutshell:
1. You give up relying on your friends and rely only on yourself.
Friends are great to socialize with. They are great to talk to and to bounce ideas off. But being as passionate and as driven as you are, you notice two things: 1) Most, if not all, of your friends are nowhere near as driven as you are, and 2) You realize it takes even more work and energy to motivate them to action than it does to motivate yourself.
So you quickly give up on trying to get them to rally and decide that if something needs to be done, then you are the only one who will do it.
2. You start to slowly and reluctantly cut certain activities and people out of your life.
When you first start out on your path, you think you can have your cake and eat it too. But that simply isn't the case. Your life has to follow the laws of physics and the fact is, you don't have enough time in your day to do it all. You just don't. Moreover, you come to accept the fact that everything and everyone in your life come together to make up what you view as your life.
Your perception of your life and of the world around you is made up of all you experience, who interact with and what think about. Unfortunately, certain experiences, habits, actions and people don't fuse well with certain realities. The life you dream of is not only made up of certain things; it's also lacking certain things, and there is no way around having to let go of those things that need to be let go of.
3. You delve into your work, knowing that you can only succeed if you know your industry inside and out.
People often say that work becomes life. I don't like to look at it this way because I, for one, am much more than the work I do. Sure, your person may reflect in your work, but you need to differentiate yourself from your work in order not to fail when the work you do fails — this is incredibly important.
However, what you will find is that you need to know everything there is to know about the work you do. Knowledge really is power, and if you don't know what your competition knows, you are already at a disadvantage.
4. You do your best to keep a somewhat balanced life amidst all the constant work.
When I say you do your best, I mean that. It isn't the easiest thing in the world and you are almost certainly going to lean too far in one direction from time to time. Instead of doing your best to control staying in the middle of the spectrum, I find it better to simply adjust yourself regularly as you find yourself leaning too far in one direction.
It's not about scorning yourself for wrongdoing; it's about always trying to do better. Don't hate yourself for deciding to go out for drinks and stay up late; just focus on not doing it next time or doing it less often. Leave negativity out of the equation and always stay positive.
5. You begin to feel like your office is your home and your home is your vacation getaway.
It just happens. You won't exactly know when or how, but you'll start to feel very comfortable in your workspace because you spend so much time there. Then, when you get a chance to go home, or better yet, a chance to stay home for the day, you'll gladly take it. It'll feel like a mini-vacation. This may sound awful to you now, but I'll be the first to admit that it's rather nice; you always feel right at home.
6. You realize that it isn't easy getting out of bed every morning.
This sinks in just after the honeymoon period, once the excitement from the novelty of it all dies down. You begin to realize that success isn't just around the corner like you thought it was. You come face-to-face with the realization that success isn't guaranteed and reaching it is so far ahead of you that you can't even get a glimpse of it. Your frustration with everything starts to build.
You start to get less quality sleep. Your stress levels, which are already high, get higher. And then you find yourself lying in bed one morning hitting that snooze button for a third time, debating whether or not it's even worth getting out of bed that morning.
7. You realize that quitting is the easier option.
You already are a bit overwhelmed with it all; it's mostly all the stress and worry, plus the feeling of failure since you haven't yet succeeded. You feel this enormous weight on your back and you imagine yourself simply throwing it all away, getting it all off your shoulders.
You imagine how wonderful and freeing that would feel. Then comes that moment: Will you quit now or will you continue on pushing? Most quit. Those who stay fighting the good fight only come to realize that they will need to continue on deciding not to quit, deciding to stick it through, until the very end. The first time you think of quitting won't be your last.
8. You find yourself talking to yourself, motivating yourself, egging yourself on to keep going, to keep pushing, to keep taking that one extra step.
That is the only way to stop yourself from giving it all up. You find yourself to be your best friend, your only true motivator. You will have to accept that doing it for yourself is the only person you need to do it for.
Rather, you come to accept that because you are doing this for yourself, it needs to be done. Then you remind yourself of that every day, throughout the day, almost afraid that if you don't keep on reminding yourself why it's all worth it, you'll forget it's all worth it.
9. You begin to find peace in solitude.
After some time, you will learn to love spending time with yourself. You will have become stronger, more resilient and independent. You'll believe in yourself because you and you alone were able to produce results.
You were able to produce results and succeed when others told you, you couldn't; when others refused to support you because their egos didn't allow them to support a cause they believed was doomed to fail. The more time you spend alone with yourself, the more you grow to appreciate that time.
10. You manage to succeed, only to realize that you already have your next goal lined up.
Success is a funny thing because, in reality, it doesn't exist. Success is like beauty, defined by the eyes of the beholder. This is a great thing, however. It means that all things can be seen as beautiful; it means that all those small, miniscule victories can be seen as successes.
Once everything you do from day to day is a little success, you no longer view success as a goal, but rather as a way of life. This means that success is both always and never achieved – you never stop aiming for the next success.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Subscribe to Elite Daily's official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don't want to miss.