“Anything worth having is worth fighting for.” Ever heard that expression? When you are going after something of value, it is likely that you may face some adversity, some problems; how you react to that adversity is going to determine if you continue to move forward or stall.
You may have in your childhood wanted a toy that was all the rage at the time. You asked your parents for it, only to be told it costs too much or you didn’t need it. At that point you either slumped away feeling disappointed or you vowed to get it somehow and started setting aside your allowance. Perhaps you kept asking again and again until you got your toy or had the money to buy it.
As an older child, you may have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, but as soon as you told people, they either laughed or said, “No. Choose something else.” Did you give in? Did you hold on to that goal of yours and fight for it, pursue it even though others said it would never happen?
You see struggling for something you really want happens to all of us. Those struggles can be slight ones of inconvenience or they can be monumental ones. Every so often you’ll come up against barriers to your desired goals that take some real ingenuity to get around. If you aren’t entirely committed to your goal, the struggle to keep moving forward doesn’t seem worth it, and so the dream fizzles, movement stops.
Now on the other hand, there are examples around us on a daily basis of people who face multiple barriers to obtaining their goals, and yet somehow, the desire they have sustains and strengthens them. You might find yourself admiring these people, wondering aloud where they get their perseverance from when logic says they should just give up. They just want it tremendously – whatever, ‘it’ is.
But what of you? Have you settled far too often? Have you found yourself in situations where you have changed your career goal because the effort to keep moving toward your goal just seemed way too much bother and inconvenience?
Perhaps the career you really want would involve returning to school, taking on added debt, and the thought of 3 years in school and $20,000.00 of accumulated debt is so stressful you opt not to do it. You justify your decision as best you can, but when you are really honest with yourself, you know you are falling short of what you really want to be doing.
Well, that’s one example of avoiding the struggle. I would argue that barring a major disaster, you’ll still be alive and thinking 3 years from now, and at that time, your decision to give up on your goal because returning to school wasn’t something you wanted to do will be one you regret. You’ll lament more than once or twice, “If I had gone to school three years ago, I’d be graduating now and qualified to be a ______.”
Sometimes it’s our family that stops us in our tracks. “No son or daughter of mine is going to be a ______________ and that’s the end of it. Forget it. End of discussion and just get that idea out of your head.” Yikes! Now you may feel conflicted between wanting a career or job so bad on the one hand and pleasing those you revere on the other.
If you want something bad enough you’ll find a way to push past the obstacles and keep reducing the distance between yourself and your desired goal. If you don’t want it bad enough, you’ll give in, you’ll bow to the pressure, you’ll stop generating possible solutions and then working hard on removing the obstacle. Now your obstacle could be numerous things: a prison record, insufficient education, relocating, suddenly becoming a single parent, drug dependency, not speaking a required language. There are way too many others to mention here.
Identifying barriers is the easy thing to do. Identifying solutions takes some more work, but the biggest and most difficult thing of all is committing to actually taking the action required in removing those goals. This is where most people fail. The physical and mental struggle required just seems too exhausting and so most take the easiest way out and stop. These are often the people who will tell you, “My dream job is actually ______ but….”
There are a lot of people mind you who don’t have the gift of a dream job. They never long for a specific career. They fall into jobs that they feel okay or happy doing. What is lamentable and sad are those who do have a dream or longing for a certain career but decide that it is less stressful to not even try to obtain that goal and so they never begin.
You do need to own up to one basic truth if you have a goal but aren’t doing anything to push past your barriers; the one person who is stopping you from eventually realizing that dream occupation is yourself. Oh it would be lovely if it weren’t you I know. Yes, so much more convenient to blame your mom or dad, where you live, your upbringing and such, but now you’re an adult.
Want it bad enough? Embrace the struggles required to get it.