7 Things Successful People Do Differently to Reach Their Dreams

It’s inspiring to envision the future and to set dreams and goals for things we hope to achieve. But then there’s the question of how to turn those dreams into reality. It’s not as easy as just wishing it to happen; our biggest dreams can take a lot of time, hard work and perseverance.

Fortunately there are plenty of people who have already made it happen. We can learn from them and study their efforts in order to understand what went right.

As Brian Tracy once said, “success leaves tracks.” And in those tracks we can discover habits and behaviors that helped make them so successful. From there we can gain insights and knowledge to guide us on our own paths.

1. They don’t make excuses why it won’t work – they find reasons it will

There are a lot of excuses to give why you can’t reach your dreams – time, money, energy, environment among others. Sometimes they can seem impossible to overcome.

But those who successfully reach their dreams don’t give in to these excuses. Rather than seeing obstacles as insurmountable, they see them as challenges – something they’ll eventually solve.

Instead of finding reasons why your dreams won’t work, start to look for reasons that they will. This will help you avoid a defeatist mindset and move you a step closer to victory.

2. They’re willing to take risks

The bigger the goal, the bigger the risk it takes to get there. As with any big endeavor, there’s always an element of chance and the possibility of failure.

Reaching your dreams means putting yourself out there and doing things you’ve never attempted. Whether that means taking a chance on an opinion, a business or a product, you have to try something new to reach your reward.

But if you believe in yourself and know that what you’re doing is the right course of action, the risk will be worthwhile. The only alternative is to sit back and wonder what might have been.

3. They know that getting anywhere takes time, patience and effort

History is full of people who gave up too early, never realizing just how close they were to realizing their goals. Whatever your dream happens to be, you’ll need strength to persevere every day towards it.

Perseverance acts like a filter to weed out those who only “kind of” want their dream from those who truly want it. Think of it like an endurance test which needs to be passed in order to get where you want.

The time and patience it takes to reach your dreams should be treated like a marathon. We’re trying to get to the finish line, but need to focus on continually making progress. In the end it doesn’t matter what your pace is as long as you keep putting enough footsteps in front of the other. With enough patience and perseverance, you’ll eventually get to the end.

4. They create time to make it happen

If you’re like most people, you lead a busy life. We all have things to do, friends to hang out with, and lives to live. But in all your busyness, enough time needs to be carved out to work on making your dreams a reality.

Take a lesson from John Grisham. While writing his first novel, he worked 60-70 hours a week as a lawyer, using any time in the morning or during courtroom recess he could find.

By most people’s measures, he had no time to write. But instead of giving up, he created time whenever possible and that eventually helped him launch his writing career.

5. They have unwavering faith in themselves

People who reach their dreams don’t know they’ll reach it. If they’ve never done it before, they have no previous experience to reference.

It’s often hard to find reasons why you think you’ll make it. There will be more doubts and fears pulling you back and little to no reassurance of success.

This is why faith is so important. When your path to success is unclear, it will keep you moving forward, knowing that somehow you’ll find your way. With enough faith, you’ll discover hidden strength and resolve to keep you moving forward.

6. They enjoy the process to get there

Realizing your dreams is a lot like mountain climbing. For most of the climb, you’re fixated on reaching the top – that’s your goal. However, most of your time will be spent on the journey to get there.

The journey to reach your dreams is just as important as the dream itself, perhaps more important since that’s where you’ll spend most of your time. You have to love the work and effort you do every day to reach your destination.

If you can’t find a way to enjoy the time it takes to reach your dream, you’ll find it harder to get there. Getting your dream isn’t solely about the target, it’s also about finding the joy in the process to get there.

7. They don’t rely on luck, they prepare for it

The relationship between working hard and being lucky is closer than most people realize. However, luck is a concept that most people misunderstand.

Being lucky isn’t solely about being in the right place at the right time. It’s also about preparation and being in the right mindset so when the right opportunity comes along, you’ll be able to capitalize on it.

The ancient Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” With that in mind, we should see luck as nothing more than preparation for the moment when all your hard work pays off.

Steve is the writer behind Do Something Cool where he blogs about travel, motivation, self improvement and adventure. He’s always looking for ways to make life more interesting. For fresh ideas on living life to the fullest, join his newsletter.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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