By Toby Moore
For Capital Region Independent Media
We all have dreams, goals and aspirations, and when we decide we will try to accomplish them, we start strong; then, after some time, some of us begin to fade and get off track.
We all have exactly 24 hours in a day. It’s incredible how some people can accomplish so much and some people so little. If you aren’t happy with how you’re spending your time, the great news is that you can change! What are you doing with the time that you have? Are you spending your time being distracted?
Maybe it’s a weight loss plan; perhaps you’re writing a book or a screenplay or even starting a business. You were determined to do it, and then life got in the way. You got too busy. Time passed and you never accomplished the dream. What happened? You got distracted.
How do we get so distracted when we used to be so committed? There are many potential factors. There are obvious distractions like too much TV, social media, being unable to get off your smartphone, arguing about politics, addictions and hanging out with the wrong people. What you want and what they want are not in alignment.
Maybe you were distracted from a relationship that didn’t work out. You spent years trying to make it work and when it failed, you fell into a deep depression, and it took you years even to try to think of your dream again.
Then there are the not-so-obvious distractions — being angry about what someone said, constantly being offended, living in the past, complaining, worrying, living in regret and guilt, wasting time wishing you could go back and do it differently. All of these are keeping you from your dream. Learn to forgive yourself and others; focus on your future.
I have a lot of experience falling off track. I’ve done all of the above, and it’s important not to beat yourself up. It’s OK. Getting off track is typical for most people and expected. Almost nothing we do has a straight progression from the bottom to the top. It’s more like the jagged peaks of the mountain that continually go up and down, but hopefully, we’re still moving ever upward.
Getting back on track isn’t easy. After a certain amount of time, you can become complacent. Settling may burn for a little bit, but it becomes comfortable and familiar. Almost nothing is more challenging than breaking a comfortable, familiar way of living. Many times when we’re in this place, we decide our dreams aren’t meant to be, and we settle for less than what we wanted. We forget that we ever had a goal in the first place. I’m writing this to encourage you to remember your dream.
If you stop and listen, you’ll hear that voice in the back of your mind, and it’s telling you to get back on track. It’s telling you to start again, focus, get determined, light the fire, and do what you need to do before it’s too late.
Please don’t fail to recognize that we don’t have forever. Our time is limited. Our lives are short, and time flies. The next thing we know, we’re old, and either we accomplished what we wanted, or we didn’t.
I think it’s never too late to start again. Maybe you feel that your dream could only be accomplished in your youth, and now it’s too late. Perhaps that’s not true; maybe you’re thinking about it the wrong way. Some things may be better accomplished in our later years. Or perhaps you can help someone younger achieve a similar dream and share in their success. There’s no reason you can’t approach the same goal differently in your later years.
No matter what happens, if you want to get back on track, the time for distractions is over. You are the only one who can get yourself back on track. Nobody is going to do it for you. Your future is too important.
We only have one life to live. Ask yourself: how bad do you want it? Do you want it bad enough to put away the distractions?
Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy-nominated “A Separate Peace,” and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.