Go Get It, Boy

So we've got a belief - or a dream - and some awareness of how true that belief/dream is. It doesn't have to be a religious belief. It primarily needs to be something about how you, yes you, can be a badass. A real badass, not just a fake propped-up badass swaggering and brandishing your blade as you talk of bold battles and gold you have made.

Sorry, I've been playing Skyrim a lot lately and have "Ragnar the Red" stuck in my brain right now.

Now, what this amounts to is a clear perception of whether you can actually do what you're dreaming and how much risk is involved. When you say "I can be the world's greatest juggler!" and you go off to figure out how to do that...

Laina juggling pins
"I'm gonna be a juggler!"

There may be some obvious detractors in your quest.

Woman with amputated arm
We gonna hop, swing, and jump...

Basically, it doesn't matter how much you believe you can do something unless you're aware of how realistic that something is. This isn't to say you can't do a "dancing bear" job - it's not that the bear dances well, but that the bear dances at all - but being the world's best one-armed juggler probably doesn't take much, since chances are good you would be the world's only one-armed juggler.

Not that this isn't badass. Fuck, I'd pay to see that.

And we have all kinds of dreams. All kinds of beliefs. If you only ever have dreams you can achieve, you are not dreaming enough. Find the dreams you can believe in, then gather the awareness of just how much you can believe in them.

This is where a lot of people get stuck, because they have so many dreams. So much to choose from, and you can only work on five or six of them at a time, max.

Bzzt. Wrong. You can work on one. Pick one. You need the third step: direction.

This is what gets you from the lizard brain to the dog brain. You have to develop not only a belief in your dream and an awareness of how realistic your dream is, but a direction to travel so you can actually get to your dream.

Fetch, boy.

You don't have to stop at one dream. Once you've become the world's best and only one-armed juggler, you can move on to developing that chain of multi-level pancake houses in every major city of the Netherlands. Or, you know, maybe not quite that ambitious just yet. But something.

You don't become a badass and then just sit there being a badass. You constantly improve your badassery. You can be a bigger and better badass at what you do already, or you can extend yourself into some new badass arena. The journey never ends. Destinations are temporary. Been there, done that.

Once you check off the #1 priority on your list, you just promote #2 and keep going.

Some people have trouble deciding what belongs in the #1 spot. All you have to do is cut that down, bit by bit, by identifying what does not belong there. For example, let's take this list:

  1. Become the world's best juggler
  2. Listen to Justin Bieber
  3. Learn to speak Mandarin Chinese
  4. Read Twilight again
  5. Buy milk, eggs, and butter
  6. Solve world hunger

As far as being a badass goes, it should be pretty obvious that listening to Justin Bieber and reading Twilight don't belong in the #1 spot, and neither does buying groceries. This isn't to say you can't be the most badass Justin Bieber fan of all time...

Laina with a Justin Bieber balloon
And still work on that juggling thing, too!

...but when you have alternatives, maybe you should consider them. So we're already down to learning Mandarin, being a juggler, and solving world hunger.

But solving world hunger is where your awareness really comes in. Seriously, what the fuck are you going to do about world hunger? It's not like you're Monsanto or something. So kick that off the list, simply because there's no point in pursuing it.

Now you've got juggling and Mandarin. And once you're down to this level, it actually becomes really simple: if you don't know what to decide, you need more information. (Do you only have one arm? Maybe go for learning Mandarin, where this is not an obstacle.) If you can't get more information, whether because it isn't available or it's too expensive or it would take too long to get, then you should choose arbitrarily.

The easy way is to flip a coin. When the coin is in the air, you will immediately know how you want it to land, and you should just choose that. If you still honestly don't, let it land and do what it tells you.

I'll sum all this up tomorrow, and put the pieces together somewhat.