5 Things to Say No to if you want to Pursue your Dream

5 Things to Say No to if you want to Pursue your Dream

Oh, the illusive, excruciating art of saying “No.” It evades us all. But it must be done, especially if we have some goals to achieve. There are a few certain things you must deny, no matter how hard it is:

  1. Multitasking

Hobbies are good, work is well, but too much will stunt your progress. If you want to achieve a specific dream, you must put your all into it, keep yourself focused on it, make it the most important thing in your mind.

2. Procrastination

It doesn’t matter if it’s just “part of your personality.” You must say no to procrastinating your dream. Ignore your age, your financial status, your level of education, your circumstances. Get going!

3. Compromising

Your dream is much too valuable to compromise for anything. If something is forcing you to, whether it be a relationship or work position or a life choice or circumstance, then that thing is not worth having in your life.

4. Comparing

Comparing to others is such a dream killer. Not to mention a self-esteem killer. Stay away from this! Forget the others, this is your story. Who cares how they did it?

5. The past

If your past is holding your dream back, it’s time to say no and let go. There’s no moving forward until you do.

Dear Starry-eyed College Me…

Dear Starry-eyed College Me…

You probably just graduated high school, and congratulations. It’s not every year a student does it in three instead of four. I admire your deadpan focus and rock solid determination. It helped you get a long way.

I ought to warn you, though, that there is danger behind that foundation.

Some would say that setting your goals into the ground, kind of like a house, is a good practice. Most of the time it keeps you in check. But, after a few years since graduation, I’ve found that there’s a more world-agreeable practice. It’s hard to see it now, but reality is a biter. It likes to ignore you when necessary. Then it coaxes you with breadcrumbs, like you’re a pigeon. Then it shifts its foot, and because we’re all skittish pigeons we flap and flutter in hysterics.

Then we do it again.

This is how things are. Don’t waste your energy denying it; you’ll only wear yourself out. I’m not telling you to be a puppet in the system, though. Here’s what I’m saying: accept what works, but don’t forget what works better. Go with the flow; discover the checkpoints. Does that make sense?

As you enter into the “college stage,” here’s a few things that you must know:

Figure out what you want-learn how to get it! It looks like you have all the time in the world to dilly dally, but please, for the love of God, do your research.

Start saving…now! I can’t stress enough how much money will soon become one of your greatest obstacles. You’re gonna hate it. Prepare yourself. You know, there’s great resources out there for you. You just have to find them…

Get over yourself and meet people. It’s time to stop being an antisocial baby and learn the art of networking. Your future, your career, and yourself will thank you.

Understand your weaknesses; operate in your strengths. There’s a great deal of importance in both. If you’re good at something, then do it. If you’re weak in something, understand why and move on.

And when the stress and the anxiety and the frustration and the depressive thoughts come (because they will come), have a plan of attack ready. Right now. Are you ready?


Here’s another thing: start community college classes now. Don’t wait half a year like I did. And then, before you finish your Associate’s, prepare for which school you will go to for your Bachelor’s, because you’ll need a Bachelor’s. I know, you’re angry with the system. You want to go outside the beaten path. You want to achieve the same thing in a different way. Well, you will, don’t let go of that. But be ready…life isn’t kind to those who travel a different road. But remember what Robert Frost said?

“And I…I took the road less traveled by,
And it has made all the difference.”

For college students like me, Earnest can make a difference in one of the greatest known hardships amongst young adults: money. Especially the kind paid towards school.

Quotes to give you a push

Quotes to give you a push

Perhaps today you can use a little shove in the direction of motivation…

“You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” -C. S. Lewis

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told.” -Alan Keightley

“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” -Tony Robbins

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure every will.” -Suzy Kassem

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” -Zig Zigler

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” -Michaelangelo

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” -John C. Maxwell

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb

“One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.” -Jack Penn

“Winners are losers who got up and gave it one more try.” -Dennis DeYoung

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

A Poem A Week #31

A Poem A Week #31

Your Story

Dear old man that I pass
On the trail
At exactly 7:45am
Every morning…
Who are you?
And what is your story?
You seem like someone
Who might have fought a war.
Vietnam, perhaps?
When we cross paths,
With a smile
And a “Good morning,”
(I can’t imagine you hear mine;
You’re always wearing headphones.
What are you listening to?)
I want to stop you
And ask you for your story.
But the two small dogs
Pulling on my arms
Would never allow that.
Perhaps you wonder
The same thoughts of me.
Who is this young fresh-face?
What did she possibly achieve
To arrive in such a place?
Truth is, I’ve achieved nothing.
My story…I’d rather hear
Your story.
Then, perhaps,
I can add something to mine.

Catherine Joy

Why Are You Afraid?

Why Are You Afraid?

Whenever I end up in that conversation with someone who’s in the same place in life as I am but don’t appear to be going anywhere or doing anything, look out. I will not shut up. If I know you personally, you will be chastised. If we are only acquainted, you will be politely chastised. If there’s one thing that ruffles my feathers, it’s a young person who has no ambition.

But there’s something I realized from recent conversational occasions: the problem isn’t always lack of ambition. In fact, I’ve actually not encountered a situation where the problem was solely lack of ambition. There was always ambition. The problem lied with fear. And each fear that was uncovered was unique: fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of exposure, fear of inexperience, fear of change, fear of independence. I’ve heard of all of these. Each one was so extreme that it kept dear friends and fellow twenty-somethings from achieving, or even just going after, their dreams.

When I discovered this, I realized that my tactic of spit firing suggestions and pushing borderline overenthusiastic optimism wasn’t the best option. It wasn’t addressing the underlying problem. I switched over to a different question: “Why are you afraid?”

I now suggest to others to dig deep and figure out why they are afraid to move forward. If they identify the fear, they can identify what caused it, and if they identify what caused it, then they can identify how to deal with it. Fear will never be gone completely. In fact, we need it to make cautious decisions and keep us aware of danger. That’s the fear we can comfortably operate through life with without it hindering our ability to get to the next step. But it’s necessary to address the bad kind of fear, the kind that keeps us in one place, the kind that holds us back. That’s done in patient steps that are hard but not impossible. The first step is…

ask yourself: why are you afraid?

Your 3 Verbs

Your 3 Verbs

I’ve talked before in a past post on how to create a personal mission statement for yourself. Part of that process includes choosing three verbs that are most meaningful and exciting to you, three verbs that you believe will help you accomplish your core value. I shared that my three verbs came out to be Encourage, Inspire, and Support. I believe that these verbs, these actions, will help me achieve spreading my core value of Influence.

What do these verbs mean, and what do they mean to me or you? Verbs are a specific form of action. By choosing three certain verbs, they represent specific actions that we choose to focus on. Focusing our actions gives way to better and faster results. It achieves more specific results. If you’re determined to accomplish a certain goal, or simply spread a certain value, it is highly effective to hone your actions.

So what are your three verbs? If you don’t know what your core value is, more than likely choosing three verbs that inspire you the most will shine some light on it. It helps to begin with a big master list of verbs to pick from (courtesy of “The Path” by Laurie Beth Jones):

accomplish acquire administer adopt advance affect
affirm alleviate amplify appreciate ascend associate believe bestow brighten build
collect combine command
compel compete complete compliment compose conceive

confirm connect consider construct contact continue counsel create
decide defend delight deliver demonstrate devise
direct discover discuss distribute draft
drive educate
elect embrace encourage endow engage engineer enhance enlighten

enlist enliven entertain enthuse envision evaluate excite explore express extend facilitate finance forgive foster franchise further gather generate give
identify ignite illuminate implement improve improvise inspire

integrate involve
master mature measure mediate model
mold motivate move negotiate nurture
open organize participate pass perform persuade play
possess practice praise prepare present produce

progress promise promote provide realize receive reclaim reduce
reflect reform regard
rely remember renew resonate respect restore return
revise sacrifice safeguard satisfy

stand summon support surrender sustain
trade translate travel understand uphold
utilize validate value venture verbalize volunteer work worship write


If it’s hard to pick three, start with nine, and then eliminate. Give it a try 🙂

Three Important P’s: Planning, Pacing, and Passion

Three Important P’s: Planning, Pacing, and Passion

Every dream we make may be different, but the process of achieving them works the same. It’s a simple process of three P’s: planning, pacing, and passion. You need all three to make it work.

Planning: What is the goal? What will be the steps to achieve it? What is the outcome and the reward? What will be the obstacles? What will you do to overcome those obstacles? What does this dream require, a degree, a connection, a specific skill, a tangible resource? Create an answer for these questions to establish a working plan for your dream.

Pacing: Schedule your dream. Spread it out across a reasonable timeframe. Break it down into smaller goals and tasks that you can conquer with less energy. Create a reward system to motivate yourself. Take breaks from the work.

Passion: You won’t strive to accomplish something if you don’t want to in the first place. Is this something you’re passionate about? If it’s not, consider letting it go. It’s more a waste of your time when your heart is not in it. Don’t do as much as you can; do as much as your heart will give. Often times, that’s just one thing.


What do you do to plan, pace, and generate passion for your dream?