Believe in yourself.
Believe in what you can do
I have heard those words a million times over, in some form or another. But in these last six or seven months, they have come to mean very little to me. I am not trying to discredit the power that they have, because it has helped me in the past. Yet as I look back on the triumphs and obstacles that I have faced within this period of time, "believing" doesn't necessarily do it justice.
Rather, the better term would be "envisioning."
More specifically, my success has more or less come from the fact that I could easily see myself doing those things. I could see myself living in an apartment, despite being five or six blocks away from my classes. I could see myself moving forward and living my life without certain people in it. I could see myself growing and maturing, ultimately not being held down by pain or past mistakes.
So far, I think I've done pretty well.
To me, the notion of having a vision for your life (or anything, for that matter) is like painting a masterpiece. Not I'm not an artist per say, but I don't think it would do a whole lot of good just to try and create what you want simply based on what another person is telling you. You have to close your eyes and genuinely see it, whether the idea is being given to you or not.
Simply believing in your abilities can only do so much. When you can't picture yourself having a positive experience or achieving a particular goal, it's hard to genuinely believe in it.
In a way, they go hand in hand.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a rough side in making a dream into reality. There are times where you'll work your tail off in order to make it happen, and sometimes it just doesn't turn out the way you want it to. Or you become so focused on following through that it consumes you, and you forget to enjoy the journey.
That's why it's important to be flexible and be willing to take a different direction, if that's what the situation calls for. Becoming hooked on every little detail only leads to disappointment.
One very powerful lesson I've come to learn is that what you want isn't always what you need, and that there is a timing for everything. That can get confusing, especially when you're in a place or with someone that feels so incredibly right.
I realize that not everyone believes in God, or a higher power, for that matter. But lately I've been trying to get into the practice of staying calm, and ultimately handing the reins over when the time comes for it. As I said in an earlier post, I do what I can and then let God take care of the rest.
As for my own personal vision, I'm not going to say that I don't have one. I'm a writer after all, so my mind gets creative and likes to take me away into the future every chance it gets. And now that I'm getting older, I do have to think about my future as far as a career and how I'd like to live my life in that sense.
At the same time, I'm not one to plan it all out step by step, image by image. I'd like to think of it as doing a rough sketch and filling in the colors as I go. I don't want to be consumed with what is not one hundred percent guaranteed to happen, whether it be right now or ever. I'm slowly getting into the habit of balancing the act of enjoying the present moment, and planning for future endeavors.
Generally speaking, I am painting a brighter picture for myself. With my writing, I try not to look at making millions of dollars, but instead focus on getting my work out there and making an impact on anyone who reads it. In my personal life and relationships, I am surrounded by people where we can both accept each other and take care of each other. And for me, personally? Well, I'm trying not to be a perfectionist so much and just find joy in wherever it may be.
Don't be willing to settle for whatever life hands you, simply because it's easy or it's what is expected of you. If you have a dream, go after it with everything you've got. If you have a vision, do your best to create it until those doors close. You never know what it could teach you or where you'll end up.