It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been” is a quote from Victorian novelist George Eliot.

Did you ever dream so big that, when the dream got quashed, you were crushed for ages?  I know two men who long to retire in style.  Both of their dreams got quashed for different reasons: one due to entitlement; the other to misfortune.  I longed to gain a PhD but didn’t get accepted into the program.  Conflict with a supervisor was a critical factor.  And when I was younger, I dreamed of becoming a singer and songwriter, but it never materialized.  I believed I didn’t have the talent.

But all quashed dreams could still become reality: my dreams, their dreams—your dreams!

Here’s how:

Remind yourself that you have unlimited potential.

Nothing in this world can truly stop you from attaining an ethical dream.  That is, unless you let it defeat you.  After all, you have more potential than you’ve ever imagined.  A PhD? You have the potential! A six-figure career? You have the potential! A blissful everlasting relationship? You have the potential! Anything you can imagine is potentially yours, if not now, perhaps tomorrow.

Break your dream into steps, themes, goals, whatever.

Brainstorm as many words as you can possibly associate with your dream.  Then cluster all the best words together into themes.  Or take those words and associate them with steps to realizing your dream.  This serves as a starting road map.

Engage in activities related to your dream.

If you want to be a PhD in math, start taking math classes, read math books, buy a calculator, watch YouTube math videos, find a math coach—do anything math-related.  Even join a chess club.  You can’t swim an ocean until you’ve dipped your toe in the pool.

Visualize what your dream will look like.

Envision what success will look like.  Imagine the different routes you could take, the various things you’ll need to learn, and the obstacles you’ll overcome.  Sculpt your dream into a masterpiece of the imagination.

Research your dream.

A great way to research a dream is by going on a job search board and searching the career most aligned with your dream.  You’ll see the educational requirements, the skills needed, and the pay.

Prepare for obstacles.

The job boards you research won’t reveal some of the challenges that come with a dream.  For instance, a dream career to own an animal shelter may involve emotional drain from seeing animals abandoned.  The trick is to remember that everybody’s dreams have high points and low ones.  The goal is to manifest as many of the high points as possible by cultivating a positive mindset.

Self-talk yourself back into the passion.

A high school dropout clearly wanted to acquire a degree, and she had all the potential.  But she self-talked herself out of pursuing it.  She told herself she didn’t have the willpower.  But she had more potential than many.  She just needed to believe in her potential and boost her self-esteem with positive self talk—and action!

Let failure spur you on more.

Don’t let failure get you down.  Keep throwing stuff at the wall until something sticks.  It can take repeated efforts until something starts to rev.

Give your dream all you’ve got.

Give each task all you’ve got.  Every effort positions you for little wins.  And each little win is like a drop of water that culminates into a gorgeous waterfall.  It’s that consistent effort that leads to success.

Ensure your dreams benefit others.

A person might become a celebrity, but end up living a toxin-filled life, dying early of a drug overdose.  Or a person can become a celebrity but give their energy to living a wholesome life, staying true to their faith by helping others.  The dream that gives to others is a healthy ideal.

As Eliot said, it’s never to late to be what you might have been.  Better still, it’s never too late to become what you might’ve been—and then some more.