In my job, I get to speak to lots of different people. A big part of my role is interviewing 16-year-old high school pupils who are making the transition to college. I couldn't tell you how many I've interviewed since the start of this year. All sorts of people from all sorts of different backgrounds. Some I might see again. Some I might not.
What I notice most of all though, is that there's a huge difference between them. You can sort of split these kids into three groups. Two of the groups are at opposite ends of the scale - you've got the ones that want to do really well and work their butts off to get there. And you've got the people that aren't doing well and have got to the point where they don't care.
Then you've got the third group. The group in the middle. Most of the kids I've interviewed probably fall into this category. They're the type that are predicted to do really well but aren't doing well at the moment. They might be predicted As and Bs, but they're coming out with Cs.
I usually say, "Well your predicted grades are a lot higher than the grades you got in your mock exams, aren't they? So what are you going to do in the run up to your exams to make sure you come out with the best grades you can?"
Their reply varies. But it's usually along the lines of them knowing they aren't doing as well as they could, and they know they need to put in extra revision and attend extra classes to make sure they come out with great results.
I know nothing about the people I interview. All they are to me is a blue form. When they leave the interview, that's it.
So how do I know they're going to follow through? How do I know they're going to take action to reach their goals? How do I know they're going to make the changes they want to make?
There's a huge difference between saying you want to change something, and actually working to make sure that change happens.
Last year, I was in a job I wasn't enjoying. Actually, make that a run of three jobs. There were many times when I used to come home and say to my family: "I can't do this anymore. I need to find a new job. This isn't good enough for me."
But how many people do you think are out there right now in a job they don't like? How many people do you think leave work unhappy? How many do you think say on a daily basis, "I'm going to find a new job"?
In my mind, there are countless people like this. Countless people that want to make a change. But there'll only be a handful of those people that are living their busy lives and putting the extra work in to make that happen. There'll only be a handful that believes they do deserve something more, something better and that it's up to them to find it. And that inspires me. Because I was one of those people. It requires dedication, motivation and pure self-belief. I won't be surprised if that handful of people find the job of their dreams.
This whole thing always brings me back to a conversation I had with my mum when I was at a very low point in one of these jobs. She said, "We can help you as much as we possibly can. But you're the one that has to make the change happen."
She's right, of course. And she taught me that saying you want something is one thing. But actually taking action to do something about it is very different. We show who we are as a true person not by our words - but by our actions.
Situations like this happen more than we realise.
We want to get in shape, but we never make permanent changes in our lifestyle to make that happen. We want to put more effort into our blogs and personal brands, but we spend most of our time doing other things. We want to start saving up for our futures, but continue to spend money and think we'll be OK. We want to change the job we're in, but we never actually start looking for a new one.
For each and every one of these situations, the reality is the same. Wanting it is very different from actually taking action to make it happen.
Say and do. Two simple words that actually show the difference in what we actually desire. Because doing something has a much stronger effect than just saying it.
So next time you're thinking what you desire most from life and what changes you want to make happen, ask yourself: Am I doing something to reach this goal? Am I putting a plan in place with the steps I need to get there? Or am I just settling for second best?
After all, a dream without a plan is just a wish...
Which brings me on very nicely to the additional part of this post. The first issue of the Blogging Breakthrough magazine will hit your inbox at 2pm today if you're a member of the community. It's ready and waiting to go in just a few hours time and I'm so excited! I think it encompasses everything you visit A Branch of Holly for and I'd love it if you signed up and shared it with your friends.
Happy Monday, friends. It's time to do something to make our dreams happen.
Do you think you're settling for something in your life right now? What steps are you putting in place to make some changes happen?