Whether you’re starting out or a season veteran, following your dreams remains an elusive yet fulfilling quest. Ask any person who has traded their career to follow an endless dream and they’ll advise you they have not worked a single moment in pursuit of their passion.

Yet for many, chasing one’s dream may be filled with fear and intrepidation. The fear of the unknown is stifling to some. For others, placing trust in a universe that rarely interacts with them can be soul-destroying.

Since early age, children are encouraged to “follow their dreams,” the advice eschewed by parents and teachers alike. Whilst the guidance is well intentioned, there is an apparent shift which takes place by middle school. High school counsellors are quick to recommend one pursue a course of study streamed in maths, science, arts or humanities. Given university entrance scores depend largely on final year high school grades, it makes sense to shift the focus from ‘dreams’ to grades.

Therefore, as teenagers approach their formidable years of educational life, the nostalgia of pursuing dreams shifts towards a fixed reality. Almost overnight the notion of following your bliss, as the American mythologist Joseph Campbell so eloquently conveyed, is extinguished.

Nevertheless whether you’re starting out or following a meticulous plan to pursue your dreams, the following points will help you chart your course. I leave you with a small caveat – do not be soothed into believing that pursuing your dreams is lined with the romanticism Hollywood films have espoused.

Henry David Thoreau, the American author and poet, wrote in his masterpiece book Walden, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” He was of course referring to the hard work required to bring your dreams to fruition.

1. Dreams Come From the Soul: Your dreams are a call from your soul to pursue that which you love, yet similarly serves others at the same time. You have been awarded unique gifts that help you paint your life’s canvas. Such gifts may be tied to your talents, skills and genius. Listen to the call of your soul by harnessing your potential – develop them; polish them until they are brilliant enough so that even the blind are aware of them.

2. Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams: Many people give up on their dreams, believing them impossible to achieve. Pursuing dreams are hard – dare I say challenging at the best of times, with little signs of success along the way. However almost overnight everything can fall into place if the timing is right. Oftentimes with persistent effort, your dreams may miraculously turn into reality when you least expect it. Be vigilant and tenacious in your pursuit of them.

3. Focus on Small Steps: At times you may feel powerless to navigate your way ahead – do not be concerned with your next steps, for they will be made known to you at the appropriate time. Each step and process unfolds in good time, to reveal the path ahead. Rush the process and you risk leapfrogging into uncharted territory. Given your intentions are well meaning through sustained daily effort, success is imminent.

4. Be Flexible: Flexibility is crucial when pursuing your dreams. Sometimes opportunities you never anticipated will land in your lap. As a successful former TV personality once advised me – “The key to my success has been the ability to take what was offered to me at the time and run with it.”

5. Let Go of Excuses: – Your excuses may be holding you back allowing you to feel safe. Those who achieve big things, dream big. They fail often and are not afraid to keep trying. Don’t compromise your dreams by keeping them at arm’s distance because it ‘feels’ safe. Safe does not yield the results you deserve.

6. Discover a Burning Desire: To achieve your dreams, one must have an undeniable burning desire. Establish deep roots for your dreams to grow and nurture them daily. Create a powerful WHY? Connect with purpose and intention. Demand the very best and invariably the universe will greet you with the same desire. Doors will begin to open in strange and mysterious ways when you are aligned with purpose.

7. Focus on the Journey: The most overused advice delivered nowadays is that one enjoy the journey rather than focus on the prize. Ask anyone who has achieved a level of success and they’ll inform you of those times of uncertainty which remain etched in their minds. Life will never be the same once you have achieved success. There is no turning back – savour the people you meet, the time to yourself, the struggles, the laughter and most importantly enjoy yourself while pursuing that which you love.

8. Embrace Failure: Fail often, fail fast and mostly importantly LEARN from your failures. If you’re not failing often, you’re not taking sufficient strides towards your dreams. Therefore it is vital that you reframe failure by viewing it as a guidepost toward success. It is an opportunity to improve, not a STOP sign.

9. Sacrifices are Inevitable: It was Oprah Winfrey who said, “You can have it all, just not all at once.” Sacrifices do not equate to deprivation. You needn’t work around the clock to succeed, and besides that will only lead to burn-out. You must be willing to give up aspects of life that will inevitably yield long-term results. Never sacrifice family life, since that is one thing you can rarely win back.

10. Be Willing to Compromise: Make adjustments along the way where required. Sometimes life will present you with unexpected detours – take them. Trust and have faith that you need to acquire an essential skill for your dream to thrive. Steve Jobs credits taking a calligraphy class at college, which later helped him create fonts for Apple computers. There are no mistakes.

Author's Bio: 

Tony is a leading health and self empowerment expert. He brings over ten years' experience at the highest level as a health professional, speaker, author and coach. His understanding and integration of mind and body concepts bridges the gap between health, well-being and human behaviour.

Tony has developed a comprehensive health and personal development program, The Power to Navigate Life which has been successfully embraced across Australia. The program teaches participants how to achieve continued mental, emotional and physical well-being using easy to follow principles. The book which bears the same name is testimony to the principles espoused in the program.

Tony has achieved the highest authorship of Platinum Author for online EzineArticles.com, with over 9,000 article views. He writes for a number of leading health and personal growth websites to include Pick Your Brain, SelfGrowth.com & StartsAtSixty.com and more.

He currently works with a number of Australia's leading CEO's and corporate executives and has a solid understanding and interest in nutrition, holistic lifestyle, personal development and mind body health.