Every week, my husband and I do the following: we go over our weekly budget; we pull up our spreadsheet, and make sure that certain funds are going to the proper bank accounts, investments, etc.; we plan out our meals; we schedule and plan out our daily meetings; we plan out our date nights and family time; we check the weather, as we like to have an idea of what the weather will be like, etc. But, as we all know, life is so unpredictable, hence, it’s merely impossible to really have a clear hold on what may or may not happen.
Nevertheless, we faithfully/religiously have an action plan, without truly knowing what life may throw at us. Why? Because, our dreams and/or our goals will not work unless we do. As the bible clearly states, and the old saying goes, “Faith without works is dead.” Meaning, having a dream is great—but it must also be coupled with a plan and some action items.
Growing up, I always knew what I really wanted to be in life, but as life began to unfold, I quickly realized that the desires of my heart would take more than a big dream and positive speech. It meant that I would walk and embark upon a road never traveled by anyone in my family; it meant that my dreams would require some dedication, some really hard work, and in many instances, some separation and self-isolation, if I were to ever accomplish this dream that was so deeply down within me.
Cal Newport puts it this way: “ Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.” -Newport
In essence, your level of dedication, discipline, and what you are temporarily willing to give up will ultimately determine what you’ll enjoy and/or achieve later. You see, we live in a “get it quick” society, where many have a huge misconception about success. Hard-work is being replaced with “over-night” success, which in reality, true success is not birthed overnight.
I can remember having this deep desire and passion to lead in the nonprofit world, and thankfully, I did accomplish that. However, it took years of learning the nonprofit world; how to read financial reports, annual filing and reporting to the Government, overseeing staff and volunteers, organizing and hosting events, and the like. And guess what? I'm still learning! This did not happen over-night, it took a lot of personal investment of my time—and my money (Ha! Yes, it takes resources); it took years of people coming and going (in business, you learn very quickly that some stay and some go, be it life and/or other circumstances moving them on).
Having a dream is great, but pursuing it takes hard-work, dedication, consistency, authentic passion, and “deep work.”
Is it possible? Well, yes…ABSOLUTELY!! I’m a living witness! And, I still have a lot to do! Moral of the story: “The dream doesn’t work unless you do.” And, I know it’s a crisis going on right now, but we all must still RAISE THE BAR! This won’t last forever. Thus, this is a time to PUSH yourself into your purpose/future. Take the time that you need, but do not become stagnant! Use what you’ve got, “work” your faith, and keep raising the bar!
Canena Adams, LLBSW, MA, SRAS
Wife | Mother | Writer | Author | Public Speaker | Social Worker | Business Owner | Nonprofit Founder & Director | Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist | Healthy Family & Relationship Advocate | Adjunct College Prof.