A few years ago, I watched the movie CASTAWAY starring Tom Hanks. The movie was about a man named Chuck Noland, a FedEx systems engineer whose ruled-by-the-clock existence abruptly ended when a harrowing plane crash left him isolated on a remote Island, struggling to survive. It took Chuck four years to realize no one was coming to rescue him. One day he decided to build a boat and take a risk to get off the Island. It was do or die time for him. He realized if he remained on that Island he would eventually die. He also knew if he tried to leave, he could risk dying at sea. He took a chance. He decided to risk his life before he remained stranded.
Many of us have been castaway to an Island that we do not want to remain on. Yet, we are too afraid to leave because we do not know if we will succeed. Maybe that Island is a dead end job, a toxic relationship, friendship or habit.
For me, it was becoming an author. For years I wrote books, poems, and short stories, then I would let them collect dust. It was only after I recovered from an illness that I decided, like Chuck Noland, it was time to get off my Island.
Maybe you have a dream you want to fulfil but everyone is telling you that you're not qualified. Maybe you want to submit a manuscript to a publisher, go back to school, or start a business, but fear of failure, rejection, and criticism are impeding you. Whatever it may be, you can do it!
Here are five steps to get started.
1. First, realize that no one is coming to rescue you. If you want to achieve anything, YOU, will have to put in the hard work. The daydream that something or someone will save you from the hard work, or rescue you from your current situation is just that-a dream. No one can get you off of your island, but you.
2. Sketch out your boat. Write down your dreams. Outline what you need to do to achieve your goals.The purpose of this is to have a vision of what it is you want to do and achieve.
3. Gather your supplies and start building your boat. Place your goals in short and long term categories. Doing so will help you not to become overwhelmed, and not take on things that may be unrealistic for now. Remember, rarely does things happen overnight. Sometimes, it's the thousands of tiny baby steps that will get you to the bigger goal. It is good to start small and conquer the short term goals. Short term goals are the things you can do now to begin pursuing your dream. If you feel clueless, do some research and get the facts. Do whatever you have to do in order to learn. Maybe you can read a book on something you are interested in. Maybe there is a class you can take. Maybe you can walk a half mile. Maybe you can write a chapter of a manuscript. Whatever, you decide- start small.
4. Continue to work on and perfect your boat. If you do not reach goals, don't give up and don't quit. Continue to revise your goals and move toward them.MOST IMPORTANTLY, lose the naysayers and find mentors and people who support you.
5. Use others success as motivation and inspiration, but never copy someone else. Copying someone else's brand is like taking a medicine that wasn't prescribe for you and expecting it to cure you. You have to follow your own authentic path and be who you are. You need to find your own voice. Being who you are is what brands you and makes you different.
Remember, the only failure is not trying at all. So what are you waiting on? Start building your boat today. A boat is your plans, goals, and steps you will take to get there. You have everything within you to get off of your Island and succeed!