What can you do today that will move you closer to your dreams?

When your alarm goes off each morning, you wipe the sleep out of your eyes, roll out of bed, and have a choice to make. Either you can choose to use your time and effort that day to move closer to your dreams, or you can choose to stay right where you are – coasting along, watching other people move forward and achieve their dreams. Often, when people first hear of someone’s success, they automatically term them an “overnight success.” The problem is that aside from winning the lottery, there is no such thing as an overnight success. Successful people only attain notoriety once they reach a level of success that is widely recognized by others. People see the glorious triumph but they never see the years of hard work, determination, and overcoming obstacles that ultimately led to that person’s success. Everyone knows that Starbucks is the world-leading coffee shop. There is one on just about every corner in every major US city. People often marvel at the enormous worldwide success of Starbucks, but few know how hard its founder, Charles Schultz, worked to start the company and ultimately bring it where it is. Charles Schultz faced great obstacles that he had to overcome, including finding funding for his idea of a coffee shop that just serves coffee. Two hundred forty-two times, Charles Schultz went to a bank seeking a loan to start his company and two hundred forty-two times he was denied. If he had stopped there, there would be no grande caramel macchiatos.

So what can you do today that will help you move towards your goal and have everybody thinking that you are an overnight success?

1. Set goals for the day.
Every morning after I wake up, and before I even get out of bed, I think to myself, “what do I want to accomplish today that will help me get closer to what I want?” Then after I make a mental list of two or three things, I focus on where I will fit them in my day. As I go along, I make sure I check off my completed tasks until they are all finished.

2. Show gratitude. Showing gratitude for the things that you already have is the fastest way to move closer to the things that you want. Too often people take their blessings for granted, ignoring all the great things they already have and only focusing on the things they want and that continue to elude them. These things will continue to elude you until you put yourself on the right frequency to receive them. The best way to do that is by being thankful for what you have already. Remember, there are many people out that that would love to trade places with you and have your problems. Someone’s situation is always worse than yours, so be grateful for all that you do have.

3. Visualization. A common practice among very successful people is visualization. Visualization helps people get clear about their goals and enables you to focus on what you want. Visualize yourself doing the thing that you dream about, or living in the home you want. This also serves as great motivation to carry you through the day and ensure that you are constantly moving towards your goal. A great time to visualize is right before you go to sleep. It will help put you in the right mind frame for when you wake up the next morning and get ready to set your new goals for the day.

Credit // Author: David Otunga

David Otunga is inspiring students to let nothing stop them from reaching their dreams. Learn about David’s motivating keynotes at campuspeak.com/otunga and follow him on Twitter at @DavidOtunga.