I wish I could afford to have dinner at the swankiest restaurant in town. I wish I didn’t have to endure the hour-long commute to the office every morning. I wish my life was easier and not filled with all these stresses, concerns, and problems.
Do any of these statements sound familiar? Do you find yourself engaging in a similar kind of negative self-talk, feeling a little disdain for your current existence and yearning for the greener pastures that are surely on the other side of the seemingly unattainable fence? You’re not alone. It is a natural part of the human condition to want more, to want better, and to want it now. That’s normal.
However, wishing won’t get you anywhere. All wishing will foster is a greater sense of disdain, futility, and further inferiority. What you need to do is to stop wishing and to start doing.
Dreams with a Plan of Action
We all have our dreams in life. We dream of buying a fancy convertible, living in a giant mansion, and leading a stress-free existence, but it is virtually impossible for any of these dreams to materialize without some effort on your part. What your dream needs is a plan of action. Only then can your wish slowly become a reality.
At some point during my university career, I decided that I may be interested in being a writer for a living. I wished that I could pursue this interest and be compensated accordingly for it. Rather than sit around and continue to wish for this to happen, I took action.
Upon graduation, I applied for any position that was remotely related to writing as a career. After many applications, I eventually found myself writing and editing for a Buddhist organization. I’m not exactly a Buddhist and it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it was a start. It was from there that I slowly developed an interest in freelancing and that’s where I find myself today. Today, I write about topics that interest me and while I’m by no means rich, I am being compensated fairly for my work.
Getting Out of the Victim Syndrome
I’d be more successful if only I were born into a wealthier family. I’d be more successful if I wasn’t the youngest in the family. I’d be in better physical shape if I could afford to eat healthier foods on a more consistent basis.
What do all these statements have in common? They place the speaker in the position of the victim. It’s not their fault that they aren’t finding success in the world of the work, because they didn’t get to choose their family. It’s not their fault that they are out of shape, because the finances of the situation simply do not allow for a more health-conscious diet. It’s not their fault, right?
The longer that you assert that you are the victim of the situation, the greater sense of helplessness and lack of control that you will start to feel. If there’s nothing that you can do about it, why even try in the first place? This is not the position that you want to find yourself. Instead, take the proactive position and make your life what you want it to be.
Wishes and Dreams Are Only the Beginning
It’s good to have wishes. It’s good to have dreams. These can help to define the road map that you want to take in life and they can help to define the goals that can guide you along the way. However, these wishes and dreams, without a proper plan and course of action, will remain just that: wishes and dreams.
Complain if you must, but at some point, you have to stop wishing and start doing.