A lot of people are working hard to get ahead; whatever ‘get ahead’ means to the individual concerned. They have a goal, want something of better quality, bigger, more expensive, or they want time for example. All these people are as I say, working hard to eventually realize whatever it is they are striving to get. If and when they do get it, many will be content while others will want more yet again.
Wanting to get ahead isn’t a dirty thing; in fact, having goals to aspire to is a healthy enterprise to engage in. Goals keep us focused on what’s important to us and keep us from being distracted along the way to realizing our dreams. Yes, even the pursuit of more income isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all wealth provides us with the means to live life more comfortably, to see things and see people that we may have become geographically distanced from. Wealth can also be used to make the lives of those around us better too, so don’t beat down the person seeking to accumulate wealth.
One of the things successful people do is to correctly identify the barriers to success for them as individuals, and then act in ways to eliminate those same barriers. When barriers are eliminated, progress happens. If you are the kind of person who has had the same dreams or goals for what seems like forever and you are no closer today to those goals of yours, it’s likely that you haven’t yet identified your own barriers or you have failed to act in ways that will put those barriers behind you.
The odd thing I have found is that when I listen to some people talk about their barriers, they tend to deflect the responsibility they have for holding onto those same barriers. Allow me to explain via an example. I know a fellow who has wanted a certain career for decades. It’s his life-long dream he says, and the irony is that from the day I met him, he’s been wanting the same dream but he’s no closer to it.
The big barrier he always laments is the cost of the education required to obtain the certification in order to work in the field. The problem I’ve explained isn’t the actual cost of the education at all but rather his reluctance to incur the financial costs of going to school and getting the education and the certificate that comes with it.
What he sees as debt, I see as a personal investment in himself. He is in fact, his own worst barrier to achieving his goal. Intellectually he knows what it requires to eliminate the barrier however, he’s just standing in his own way and for whatever reason will not assume the cost; which is costing him the realization of his goal.
Another example? Suppose you have a criminal record. That record is prohibiting employers from giving you a chance and hiring you. Your lack of success in the job search for meaningful employment is costing you much more everyday than the actual crime itself. With that criminal record, you’re losing out on a decent job that would increase your self-esteem, self-worth and financial income.
The solution is to take the steps necessary to obtain a criminal pardon, yet because the process takes years and several hundreds of dollars, it seems insurmountable. It’s just so frustrating a process, why even bother? The consequence of this thinking however is that 5 years down the road when the pardon would have been received had you acted today, you’ll still be lamenting the criminal record hanging over your head and the lost jobs you really want.
Look, the solution isn’t overly complicated but it does take resolve. You have to get out of your own way; take responsibility for making your own dreams and goals a reality. If you are sincerely oblivious to your barriers or the possible solutions to your barriers, find out. That gives you knowledge, and knowledge is power.
Armed with the knowledge of what needs to be done to work on and eliminate your personal barriers, the next step is to put plans into action that will result in the elimination of those barriers. The process of acting is empowering. When you actually act, you act with resolve and confidence. You can speak with your head up when people question what you are doing and explain how what you are doing right now is part of a larger plan you have for yourself.
Too many good people fail to act. They have dreams of course as do we all, but those dreams torment them as they stand as reminders of what will never be but could have been – had they only acted.
If education is your barrier, go back to school. If a driver’s licence is your barrier, get over your fear of driving and get your licence because your need for the licence has to outweigh your fears. If your barrier is being fired from your last job, get another one or volunteer so this job becomes your last job. Whatever your barriers, there are solutions.
It’s far too convenient and easy to look at things and claim your lack of success is because of the actions of others, your past, your limitations etc. Take ownership for your future and responsibility for making it happen; in short, get out of your own way!