It was 18 years ago that I first had the dream of becoming a best selling author. I wanted to be a prominent figure in the personal development world. In a time before blogging, online courses and YouTube, it occurred to me that the best way to achieve this aim was to write books.
Despite my enthusiasm, though, there were many obstacles in my way. First, I had no idea what I would write about. Yes, I wanted to help people live their dreams but, beyond that, there was no angle or approach that would make the book stand out.
Second, I had very little energy or self-belief. I’d just returned from three years of self-imposed isolation at University (no, it wasn’t Coronavirus). While there, I had no friends, no girlfriend and very little contact with other people. As a result, I retreated into my mind, becoming absorbed by a litany of psychosomatic conditions that drained my energy on a daily basis. Post Uni, I wasn’t very optimistic and it was incredibly difficult for me to imagine myself being successful.
On top of these factors, my plans to become an author were met with negativity. My parents rubbished the idea, urging me to think about the tiny minority of people making a living through writing and how unlikely it was that I’d become one of them.
The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook didn’t help either. I remember visiting my local library and being thoroughly confused about who I might contact to begin my journey into the world of publishing. Apparently, most publishers didn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts and most agents were never going to read your emails. Dead ends all round.
Despite these factors, though, I still dreamed of becoming a best selling author.
Everyday, I performed the same ritual. While driving home from work, at a set of traffic lights that were always busy, I’d stare out of the window and look at the stars. As I glanced up, I tried to get a feeling for what it would be like to realize my dream of becoming a best selling author.
Sometimes, I could, and this incredible feeling of love and joy would overwhelm me. In these moments, it seemed real. However, in every other moment, the reality of living my dreams seemed as far away as the stars in the night sky.
I enter the bookstore and look for somebody who seems like they might be in charge. They point me in the direction of a narrow stair case, leading to the basement floor where everything has been set up for my book launch.
As I walk down the stairs, I’m feeling a little nervous. This is unusual. Typically, I’m comfortable speaking and, after 10 years of keeping my ideas to myself, can’t wait to share my message with anyone who will listen.
This feels different though. It’s my first official book launch. Sure, it’s not my first book – that was Screw The System in 2012, which then turned into Escape The System in 2016 – but it’s a significant moment. I’m now a published author, something I was told was virtually impossible to achieve.
How did I get here? How did I go from being a kid with a dream that seemed further away than the peaks of Everest, to a man with two books available and a growing readership?
Before I go any further, for the sake of authenticity, I have to make something clear. I’m not a best-selling author. I haven’t achieved my dream . . . yet. However, I have come a long way (a perspective shifting distance, you could say) and, in travelling this journey, I’ve learned something of value I want to share with you.
You might just be starting out with your own dream. Perhaps you can imagine it coming true yet have no clue about the practical steps needed to make this happen.
What can you do?
After I’d left my book launch, I paused for reflection while on my journey home. How had I got into this position? How did I go from incredibly abstract idea, to reality?
As I pondered these thoughts, my mind went back to my younger self staring at the stars. And then, it hit me. The one, and only, factor that separated the me back then, who felt like his dream was largely impossible, to the me now, who, on some level, was living it, was belief.
That was it! That was all I ever needed to do – believe that my vision would come true.
Perhaps you’ve heard these words a thousand times before. I understand they may appear cliched. Stick with me, though, as I attempt to explain the deeper significance of what my revelation revealed.
Back in 2002, when I first had the idea of being a best selling author, the reality of becoming one seemed so far away. It was unreachable. There were so many obstacles in my way.
What I discovered this year, is that this was never the case. In fact, there was no power outside myself that could stop me. The only obstacles to living my dreams were in my imagination.
This is why belief is so important and plays such a crucial role in success. There is literally nothing that can stop you from doing what you want with your life. However, it appears there is, and when you accept these appearances, you create blocks in your mind that stymie your progress.
My younger self just needed to believe in his idea wholeheartedly. As a result, he’d have started work straight away (instead of waiting 5 years), got something written and begun the process of reaching a wider audience.
Of course, he was still going to fail, many many times and experience numerous rejections. He might even have to adapt and change his dream. However, if he continued to believe, he would learn all the lessons necessary to come back stronger and progress.
And that’s it. The entire process laid out before you. It really is that simple. You just need to believe and be utterly unwavering in your belief.
So, where does this leave you?
From today, take action with the absolute certainty that what you want to occur, will happen. Of course, you could do what I did instead and test the water. You could semi-believe, make attempts heavily hampered by self-doubt and take almost two decades to get yourself where you want to be.
Or, you could realize there is no power, outside of yourself, to stop you and go full throttle.
I understand that the idea of doing so may still seem preposterous. Right now, you have nothing. No clue where to start, no ideas and no money to invest.
That’s OK. Keep believing in your dream. Keep believing you will be in the position you want to be. Keep believing, and something amazing will happen.
When Doctor No captures James Bond on Crab Key Island, he offers him the secret to creating something out of nothing. As they sit down to what is supposed to be Bond’s last dinner (big mistake Doctor No), the villain turns to Bond and asks,
“Do you not find that it is generally so? When one wants a thing, one gets it? That is my experience.”
Bond replies that it’s only with the small things in life. Doctor No then corrects him, stating that if you fail at the large things, it means you’re not thinking big enough. He then says,
“Concentration, focus [belief] – that is all. The aptitudes come, the tools forge themselves. ‘Give me a fulcrum and I will move the world’ – but only if the desire to move the world is there.”
And there you have it, my friend. If you can believe, and never stop believing, the aptitude and tools, to make your dreams come true, will emerge.
So, whatever it is you want to achieve, believe you can do it.
Go forth, from today, with absolute certainty that it will happen. Sure, the path ahead is unknown, and there will be ups and downs, but calm your tempestuous mind with the knowledge there is nothing outside of yourself that can stop you.
I would say ‘good luck’ but you don’t need it. Just believe instead.
(Image taken from the book signing after my book launch 13th Feb 2020)
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