"Easy to dream a dream, though it's harder to live it." -- Wale
I got a Wale kick this weekend and couldn't stop listening to his song, "Ambition" with Rick Ross and Meek Mill. No matter if you love or hate rap/hip-hop you got to give credit where credit is due. There hasn't been a more appropriate line on ambition and success than the line above. It is easy to dream, but it's much harder to make it a reality.
The bridge between dreaming and reality can be defined by ambition. Dictionary.com defines ambition as follows:
ambition — an earnest desire for some type of achievement, or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment.
So the question isn't if you want to be successful or not. The question is are you ambitious enough to get there? Here are three tips to help turn your dream into reality.
Create a Road Map
No matter what you're doing right now, I want you to grab a blank piece of paper, a napkin, or anything you can find that you can write on. Next, I want you to get a pen, pencil, chalk, I don't care as long as it writes and can make markings on your paper.
Write down all of the goals you think you want to accomplish in the next five or so years. I don't care how many goals it is. It may be five, may be 10, may be 35. What's most important is to get them down on paper.
If you're having trouble of thinking of goals, don't worry, at first it's often overwhelming to people to get a more concrete idea of what they're trying to do and where they're trying to go. Maybe it's a goal of playing college sports, maybe it's an academic goal, maybe it's to build muscle or lose fat, improve your vertical—whatever your goals put them down.
Next I want you to group together all of your similar goals. Anything that is related should be grouped together (start a separate list for this). If you have basketball goals, all of those should be together. If you have fitness goals those should be together, etc.
This will become your road map. Those goals are where you want to go. The next step is to find the best path to get there.
Find the Path
Having a list of goals is great. It's the first step to becoming successful. However, it takes knowing exactly where you plan on going in order to get there.
One of the first things athletes ask me is what to do if they don't know where to go or what to do to get there? Great question. If you're lost for direction, ask yourself what single goal would have the most impact on reaching your goal. Meaning, if you could only work toward achieving one thing every day, what one thing would keep moving you closer and closer toward your goal?
Maybe you're a 5-foot-7, 150-pound point guard and your goal is to play college basketball. Great goal. In order for college coaches to show interest in you, you need to show that your size isn't a negative. This means that you must be able to do all great things a point guard does despite your size: be a leader, finish plays at the rim, see the floor, handle the basketball, control the flow of the game, etc.
Looking at all of those skills and attributes, what is your current weakness or issue? Maybe you can't defend other teams' bigger, stronger guards? Or maybe you're not quick enough to get into the lane and dish the ball. If either or both of these were the case you could automatically change both areas simply by getting on a proper training program. A program that is geared towards helping an undersized point guard improve both strength and quickness will do just that.
You need to take your list of goals from above and take a look at each of the groupings. Looking at those goals, you need to figure out what goals will lead to the other goals. This means that goals build upon each other and work to support each other. After you look at the goals I want you to rewrite them in the order of importance (just like I talked about in the paragraph above). The first goal listed is going to become your priority for your daily actions (outlined below).
If you're still unsure of what direction or path you should take, ask a knowledgeable coach or trainer who is willing to tell you exactly what you need to do to get there.
Make Daily Progress
In my ebook, UnLimited, I talk about the concept of little victories. Little victories are basically achieving small goals that will help you reach your larger ones. It's very important for your mental state to make sure that you're seeing progress on a daily basis.
Last night I sat in front of the TV chilling out and eating some grub. As I was flipping through the channels I happened to see that Tony Robbins was on QVC. If you don't know who Tony Robbins is, he's a self-help, success guru who has worked with everyone from CEOs of huge companies to the top professional athletes. Now, I don't normally watch QVC, as a matter of fact I never watch QVC, but I'm a fan of Tony Robbins. Love him or hate him, the man has reached and inspired action in a LOT of people. One key point that Robbins talked about in people being happy wasn't money, fame, or their physical appearance; it was about their ability to make progress.
There is no sure-fire way to see more success in a shorter period of time than to get closer to reaching your goals; that's why it's so important to have clearly defined goals and goals that you can break down to achieve daily success.
This means that every day you get up, you need to make progress towards your goals. If you're unsure of what your actions should be, ask yourself this question: "Will this activity help get me towards my daily goal?" If it does, it's a good action, if it doesn't you should question your choices.
So I will go back to my first statement in the article: the question isn't if you want to be successful or not. The question is, are you ambitious enough to get there?