If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.
—Henry David Thoreau

Grains of Sand

How does one advance confidently in the direction of his dreams? One way to do this is to check in with yourself about your actions. Are you taking actions that are supporting your dreams? Just ask yourself a few times a day, “Did I take action that is moving me in the right direction?” It may be as simple as a follow-up phone call or e-mail. It may be the one thing that you have been procrastinating about. Movement in the direction of your goals will create momentum, and as you do more and more, it becomes easier.

I ask myself each day if I have done at least one thing to move my business forward. It does not have to be a huge step, but I find that it keeps me focused on my goals. Just one grain of sand seems so small, but those little grains of effort equal beaches of rewards.

Simple Pebbles

Being confident while moving is a reflection of your belief system. Do you surround yourself with friends who support you? Do you take the time to meditate, read books, or listen to audio programs that inspire and motivate you? In this increasingly chaotic world it is so important to have resources that encourage you and keep you focused on what is working in your life.

Pay close attention to the quality of your relationships and make sure you are not in the company of complainers or those that bring you down. Sometimes it is important to do a little “housecleaning” of those you interact with. If the relationship is worth keeping, it is worth working on. This may require some heartfelt communication, but the end result is the reward. I love to ask my friends questions about how they perceive me. Sometimes we can be regarded completely differently from how we intend to come across. By doing this, you can gain confidence in your communication skills and have a much deeper understanding of yourself. If you have ever stepped on a simple pebble with a bare foot, funny how something so small can stop you in your tracks. Take a moment to clear the path ahead.

Skipping Rocks

Another way to keep advancing confidently in the direction of your dreams is to do whatever you can, from where you are, with what you have. Do not create stress by reaching so far out of your comfort zone that it causes you to stop moving at all. You always want to reach and grow, but creating goals that are too far from where you are presently can cause a sense of paralysis. Once this occurs, you start to go back to old behaviors and habits. Create a sense of ease with all you do. It is important to maintain that balance.

Part of my dream is to travel around the world speaking. That is not something that I had experience with. For me the way to move in that direction was to join Toastmasters. I am now an officer in my first club, and I have joined a second club. I remember my icebreaker and how nervous I was. Now I look for opportunities to speak whenever I can. It was working my way out of my comfort zone that made it possible to know that my dream is obtainable. To skip a rock takes practice, flow, rhythm, freedom, and enough playfulness to do something just because you want to. What is the next rock you are going to skip, just for the joy of it?

The Boulders

Keep in mind that your goals and dreams are like the horizon: They will always be in the distance. Take time daily to monitor how far you have come. Congratulate yourself. Really look at all the progress you have made. A journal is an excellent way to keep track of all the steps you have taken. When you take time to celebrate your successes, it will draw even more to you.

I keep a miracle journal. I know that as I am more and more aware of the small miracles that occur on a daily basis in my life, more and more miracles are created, and they become bigger and bigger. Find your way of keeping tangible evidence of your progress.

You are then on your way to the success unexpected in common hours. You will be amazed at how easy it is when you keep on the path and focused on your dreams, all the while enjoying every moment along the way.

Majestic Mountains

No matter what your dreams and goals are, the end result you are always seeking is happiness, in one form or another. It may be peace, contentment, love, or success. All of these elements can be condensed down into happiness on some level. If you remain true to your path and make happiness in each moment important, as you move forward toward your goal, you will know the true success in common hours. Eliminate the thoughts of being happy “when”: when you are more prosperous, successful, weigh less, or any of the other dreams you have. Take the shortcut and be happy now, in each moment, and unexpected success will be yours to savor as a bonus.

What if I told you that there was nowhere to go today, nothing to fix today, nothing to do today? What if I told you that this is it, this is what the top of your mountain looks like—today, if you do not like the view, turn around. You might be missing the entire vista.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways3.html

Author's Bio: 

Nancy Heimstra, a certified comprehensive coach, mentors women who are tired of living someone else’s version of their lives. She helps them discover their true passions and supports and encourages them to live authentic lives through a process of deep self-discovery and taking bold action. Are you ready to color your life “outside the lines”? Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.authenticlivingnow.com.