The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Moving forward with dreams can sometimes be financially challenging. As motivational guru and Soma advisor Tim Ferriss notes in his well-known blog post on how to hack crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, some of the most common issues that can hold us back from living our hearts’ desires include money and fear:
“I don’t have the money to even get started! What if it fails?”
Happily, we can overcome these limiting questions by exploring the reasons why we are thinking them in the first place. With careful planning and a sincere vision for changing the world, Soma managed to fundraise over $145,000 with their Kickstarter initiative; $100,000 of that was raised in the first 10 days of the campaign. Even though co-founder Mike del Ponte and the Soma team didn’t initially have the funds necessary to realize their grand vision, they were able to find a way to make it happen by having faith and working hard.
We can use similar principles used to create Soma’s incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign in our own lives. By making an agenda for reaching our dreams based on thorough research and our gut instincts, we can devise a personalized strategy for moving forward. And we don’t need to have friends in high places like Tim Ferriss in order to do so; fulfilling our hearts’ desires is achievable for anyone. As this one success story of an everyday woman poignantly illustrates, we all have the power to move forward to living more freely, no matter what our financial situation is at this present moment:
“All too often, we let opportunities pass us by because we don’t feel ready, or able, or good enough. But when we take a leap of faith in ourselves, we find out we can do so much more than we ever imagined. Sometimes all we really have to do is believe in our own ability to go after what we want, no matter what our current situation is. When we believe in ourselves, we can recognize the great opportunities in life when they come our way, and trust that now is the time to seize them.”
What I want to emphasize is that this mindset is in no way limited to entrepreneurs; rather, this is a life perspective that can benefit all of us, regardless of our work life or lifestyle.
Accepting what comes and attracting our life’s desires
Having a plan of action and accepting whatever ends up happening along the way are key tools to moving forward successfully. No matter what, always be true to yourself by following through with your intentions. When I’m embarking on a new project or trying to brainstorm alternative, achievable ideas for its execution, it always helps me to remember that there are many different ways for my needs to be met. What I mean is that all of our life’s dreams revolve around meeting our emotional needs — along with our physical needs, too. If I’m planning to write a book and publish my artwork, it might mean that I’m trying to meet my needs for feeling valued, respected, and challenged.
Now, if I have a narrow-minded view that the only way I’ll be able to feel content is if I publish a book in a particular way, through a big-name publishing company, I’ll potentially find myself sorely disappointed. However, if I’m open to the different ways in which I can achieve my goal — such as, self-publishing, making my own, getting a group of friends to help, speaking with local publishers, to name but a few alternatives — then I’m far likelier to not only reach my dream, but also learn a heck of a lot along the way. Which is really what achieving dreams is all about: the life lessons learned during the journey, rather than the actual accomplishment itself.
Had Soma not worked out, I have faith that Mike and the Soma team would have found another way to meet their needs for creating a change-making, sustainable product with strong design and charitable intentions; they simply would have needed to go back to the drawing board and work on some other ideas. But thanks to the clear vision and careful planning that went into their journey toward creating our world’s first all-natural water filter, they’ve experienced a rousing success. Much like the importance of starting with a good story in order to make a good film, it is imperative to begin the process of realizing our dreams with the foundation of a good idea that we’re passionate about. With this approach, we will invariably attract other hardworking, positive people into our lives who can help us to bring our vision to life. At the end of the day, money is just another form of energy, however real a part it may play in our choices.
Exploring the real reasons holding us back
I find myself constantly drawn to role models who have overcome major financial challenges in their lives, like business expert Marie Forleo, who used her significant financial woes as a jumping off point for completely re-making her life. If I’m thinking about holding back on a personal or professional project, people like Marie inspire me to explore what the real issues behind the hold-up are. Am I scared? Do I doubt that I can pull it off? Am I using my lack of money as an excuse for not moving ahead with my dreams?
By committing to working through any psychological and emotional issues that my be attached to my ambitions, I can start to look at the many ways through which I can achieve my goals. When I’m investigating alternative funding options, I usually ask myself these questions: is there anyone in my life willing to lend me the money? Can I do a crowdsourcing campaign? Can I take on extra work? And, my favorite option — is it possible to execute a similar concept using less money or cheaper materials?
Thinking outside the box and making a plan
Sometimes, as with the Soma filter, it is simply not possible to skimp on the quality of our materials and people we work with: the beauty of the Soma water filter lies as much in its high-quality materials as it does in its good intentions. However, for art projects and other more abstract ambitions, often working-on-the-cheap actually fuels creative innovation, like in the case of Scrap Arts Music. Similar to what artist Swoon teaches us about possibilities, finding ways to live our dreams is all about exploring all of the myriad possibilities, and thinking outside the box. Start small, dream big, and keep persevering no matter what.
Planning is also essential, as we learn from almost everyone’s success stories. Like Soma’s victorious Kickstarter campaign, making a strategy for how we’re going to go about accomplishing our dreams is vital. Consider breaking down your dream into smaller, achievable weekly goals. When we see that something is actually manageable, we are far more likely to actively move forward with it. Do research in your area of passion, while starting to network with as many people as you can with shared interests and values. Devote energy to manifesting the financial and practical aspects of your vision. It’s amazing how direct an effect that positive thinking has on our life’s course.
What is your big dream in life? Are money issues holding you back? Try thinking of three alternative ways that you could begin moving forward with your vision today. And then, get to it!
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
– Anatole France