Why the Chances of Living your Dreams are Better than you Think

Have you ever been inspired by the idea of doing something amazing with your life?

Pretty dumb question right?

Of course you have! And it’s not just the people who read websites like this. Everybody dreams. Granted, a lot of these dreams fade as we turn to adulthood and have to face up to the so called ‘reality’ of making a living, having a family and providing for our future. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not some small part of you that clings onto these dreams in the vague hope they might somehow come true.

To turn that hope into a reality, though, you have to actively commit to the realization of your dreams and take the steps needed to make them happen. And as much as many of us will fantasize about doing so, few will cross this threshold.

Today, I want to address WHY this is the case. In fact, I want to focus on one huge reason which, I’m sure, is the main factor in preventing you from launching yourself on the adventure of a lifetime.

And this reason is  . . . .


I’m sure this is the sticking point for you (that and a lack of clarity about what your dream actually is!). Think about it, what’s the main message you hear when it comes to the chances of you doing something extraordinary with your life?

Go for it, put your soul into it, and there’s a good chance you’ll be successful – unlikely!


Be careful, there’s only a tiny percentage of people that ever succeed.

Depending on your age at the time, this message may come from parents, teachers, careers advisers, work colleagues and even friends and partners. When it’s repeated again and again, and reinforced by the media as well, your dream of doing something significant with your life ends up looking ridiculous. “Who am I to even think I could achieve something so outrageous?’ you’ll ask yourself as you consign your hearts yearnings to the scrapheap.

And that’s how it happens. Negative messages repeated again and again, eventually accepted, turns into a limiting belief which prevents any form of action. Rational beings that we are, we’ll hedge our bets, play it safe and accept a mediocre life over something that could lead to disaster and only carries with it minuscule chance of success.

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I have a very different take. From my years of experience as both a dream chaser and achiever, I’ve looked deep into the chances for success and drawn a startling conclusion.

Rather than the 1{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} chance that society gives us, the odds are rather more favorable. In fact, I would rate your chances of success at a very encouraging 66{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c}.

The Breakdown

Here’s my analysis. People can be broken into four distinct categories when it comes living their dreams. These categories apply no matter how many people are competing for that particular dream (e.g. pro footballer, selling your oil paintings online, getting your cook book published).

In this breakdown, I’m going to say you have 1000 people who are your direct competition. Obviously, in the case of the pro footballer the competition would be much wider and, in the highly diversified niche of selling your oil paintings online, maybe smaller. However, irrespective of the number of people competing for that spot, the analysis still works (watch the video to find out why).

The great news, my dream pursuing friend, is that you can eliminate 900 of your competition immediately. This group are the;

PROCRASTINATORS – 900 Eliminated. They’re the kind of people that talk big but deliver very little. They won’t pick up a phone, they won’t sign up to a course, they won’t buy any kit and they won’t research anything. In fact, all they’ll do is talk.

Which leads to the next group;

TRIERS – 80 Eliminated. They’re a level up from the ‘procrastinators’ but they’re still not your direct competition. A trier will stick it out for a year or so. When the enormity of the task they’re facing hits them, they quit. Unfortunately, they believe in The System’s conditioning, which tells them their chances of success are little better than 1{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c}. When faced with these odds and a very real obstacle blocking their way, their dream starts to appear too far-fetched to be worth pursuing.

Which leads to the next group;

MINOR PLAYERS – 17 Eliminated. This category realize their dreams but on a low level. So in the case of the pro footballer, they manage to get signed but to a lower division team. Or, for the person with their online oil painting store, they manage to sell some pictures but not enough to sustain them financially. However, after a few years these minor players will also pull out. This is down to a lack of belief caused by a trigger incident. For the footballer, it might be an injury. For the person wanting to get their cook book published, it might be their 20th rejection.

Which means that you only have to worry about two other people;

DREAM ACHIEVERS – THE FINAL 3. But hold on, I promised you a 66{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} chance of success, not 33{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c}. Well, your chances for success doubles because of a factor most people overlook when it comes to being successful at living their dreams – YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE BEST! In football, there’s Messi and Ronaldo. In cookery, there’s Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver. In the soft drink industry there’s Coca Cola and Pepsi. There’s room for more than one person or brand at the top. So don’t ever let a fear of not being the best stop you from pursuing your dream. It’s not necessary.

An Example of the 66{54c12dad2cc2b53ae830e39915b1a3e70288dbcbbeb8bbf8395437c5dc3c512c} Theory at Work

My certainty in the theory comes from my work as a tennis coach. For over 10 years I’ve seen children develop, progress and quit on their dreams to play pro tennis. It’s a tough sport. Probably only the top 600 players in the world can support themselves from playing alone and of these; only 200 are making the money needed to support themselves beyond retirement.

As a result, virtually no parent seriously entertains the idea that their child will make it as a professional. They’ll be happy to pay for their coaching, take delight in their progress but quickly squash any talk of it leading to Wimbledon. It’s unrealistic. The odds are so heavily against them.

A strange thing happens, though, because of this belief vacuum. While there are thousands and thousands of talented kids competing, few of them actually do so with a belief that it will lead to professional glory. This means that the handful of ‘crazy‘ ones (usually with equally ‘crazy‘ parents) who do, don’t actually have much competition. Virtually all of the children will stop playing competitively at some stage between the ages of 10 and 18 and if the wannabe champion only sticks the course, then they’ve got a genuine shot at making it.

From pursing my own dream of becoming a million selling author, I can see similar parallels in the world of publishing. Everybody believes they have a great book in them but how many actually sit down to write it? The percentage is so tiny, and then even smaller for those that complete their book, that already the odds for success have risen hugely.

These observations link in to my conclusion.

Never underestimate just how powerful taking a little bit of action towards the realization of your dream truly is. It already puts you ahead of 9/10’s of the competition! 

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee success but overcome this ‘belief barrier’ and you give yourself the opportunity to learn more, grow and increase your confidence through building success. Now, all of a sudden, you have a much clearer picture of how to realize you dream and what once seemed impossible, begins to look inevitable.


Joe Barnes can be reached at Screw The System. Visit now to claim your FREE copy of his eBook on how to live an extraordinary life. He specializes in showing people how to live a more exciting, meaningful and freer life. He also works as a tennis coach, hypnotherapist and is author of the critically acclaimed book Escape the System.


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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