Updated February 4, 2021 . AmFam Team
Pursuing a dream? It’s important to remember that no matter what your goal, nothing great can happen overnight. Take it from Marc Miles, a life-long dreamer who knows a thing or two about pursuing a passion.
At age 60, Marc began the journey of starting his now successful zip lining business, Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tours (Opens in a new tab) in Union County, Illinois. Although this wasn’t his first rodeo, he recognizes this dream came with its unique challenges and that it was really by taking small steps and remaining persistent that it all became possible. With every roadblock he faced, he maintained the same mentality.
“There are all kinds of hoops to jump through, but you just keep persisting and you work through it, and then you move on to the next one,” says Marc. “Setbacks and temporary roadblocks are not failures to your dream. Use them to better define your dream and take different paths in its pursuit.”
From being afraid to take the leap, to worrying about what others might say or not having the resources or know-how to fully achieve your dream, there are a thousand excuses not to go for it. But you’ve got what it takes! And here’s some advice to help you overcome these oh-so-common roadblocks.
Give yourself permission. The very first step is completely in your hands — just tell yourself it’s time to go for it! “You’re never going to accomplish your dreams if you just sit on the sidelines and stay with the herd,” says Marc. “And if you don’t have the knowledge to do every single phase, surround yourself with knowledgeable people to help along the way.” You don’t have to have all the answers, but you do have to dive in!
Look past the skeptics. Starting his zip lining company in his second season of life, Marc had a lot of skeptics – why now? Why this? – but he’s always had the best attitude when it comes to overcoming the naysayers. “Too often we get hung up on what others may think of our dreams or our pursuits in life. I always had this thought, until they start paying my salary and guaranteeing my future or my family's future, what they think does not drive me,” shares Marc. It’s with this mindset he’s accomplished so much. What if you allowed yourself to think this way?
Build on momentum. The worst thing you can do in a dream pursuit is slow down after each milestone. Persist through the good times and build off of that momentum! After all, a dream is a living, breathing, ever-changing thing and it’s important to embrace and act on yours. “Living your dream is an incredible feeling, but I am continually planning and building on those dreams. If you get complacent and sit down, someone is going to pass you.”
All-in-all, it takes grit and persistence to really succeed in any life endeavor, and it’s up to you to take the necessary steps. But, by following advice like this, you can get there. Now, take those dreams off paper and zip line into your new reality!