Dreams v.s Goals
My grandmother and mother always had talks with me about the importance of knowing the difference between goals and dreams. My grandmother would say, “It’s ok to dream, but make sure you got some goals to fall back on.” At the time I didn’t really understand the significance of dreams and goals, I just knew that I had them and was ready to live them out. One summer evening, on the back porch of my grandmother’s apartment, her and I were sitting and she asked me, “Name two goals and one dream.” I said to her; “I want to be a model”. Before I could go deeper into my list, she stops me abruptly and says, “No that’s not a goal, that’s a dream, name a goal that you want to accomplish one day.” I thought to myself , I am going to accomplish that one day, but i dared not to say that to her. instead I said ” I want to be a teacher, a therapist and my dream is to model.” She smiled at me and said “Goals are are real, in order for you to reach a goal you have to put in hard work, it requires a system, and structure, it’s a process. Dreams are already in your mind, you don’t have to do much because it’s imaginary. Anybody can dream sweetheart but if you spend your whole life dreaming you’ll wake up to a rotten reality.”
I took in my grandmothers wise words, even the part about my imaginary dream of being a model. I understand the message my grandmother was trying to get to me but even still I had other plans. I made it a goal to reach my dream of becoming a model. It didn’t happen fast or even in the order I thought it would.
Become a visionary
It all started with visualization . As a young girl I’d walk down the street as if it was a runway. I wanted it so bad that I started living out my dream in reality. Visualization is everything, even if loved ones don’t see the vision, not everyone is going to see what you see when you close your eyes. You have to understand that only you hold the key to success in your own mind. Not everyone is aware that success is within them. Most people think that success is supposed to miraculously come to them. That’s a common misconception. Success is already in you from birth, that’s why out of millions of sperms you made it. You have to activate your inner success and work towards what you desires. One way to activate it is to not only visualize it, but you have to proclaim it, you have to speak it into existence because you’re responsible for manifesting your success, your reality, and all that you desire in life.
Know that everything you want is attainable, it’s out there in the world, you just don’t have it yet. I was watching Oprah interviewing Jim Carey, she asked him how did he get to where he’s at in life now. Jim explained that he began to proclaim the things he wanted and worked towards them. He also said that he wrote a 10 million dollar check to himself and put it in his wallet and gave himself 5 years to cash it. In under 5 years Jim Carey made 10 million dollars from the movie “Dumb and Dumber”. Don’t ever doubt the power in you and in what you speak. Plan what you want, don’t focus on what you don’t want. Focusing on the positive brings more positivity, and vise versa. The law of attraction is real, but faith without action is also real. If you research some of your favorite celebrities or successful people, they would basically tell you; in order to see change you have to first take responsibility for your life and commit to making a positive change. Commitment. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the more you work at becoming a better you, the more change you’ll begin to see.
It’s okay to fail
I remember when I was younger my mom was always in full support of my modeling “dream”. But she’d always remind me of my shyness. she’d say, “how are you going to model Iman, if you’re shy. Those girls on t.v are bold.” I knew then I had to make some changes because in order for you to get the things you’ve never had, you had to do things you’ve never done. Sometimes we stand in our own way without even realizing it. As i started to get older my dream faded a bit. My mom and I went to an agency in Chicago and I ended up getting signed. I thought that my career would instantly take off from there. I had been discovered! Is what I thought but now as I look back at the situation, it came to test my faith. The agency did not send us on casting calls, they just represented me. It was my job to go on the website and look up casting calls, and I did but most of the jobs you had to be 5’8. Talk about having your dreams crushed right in front of you. I was 13 and 5’3. Even still I had a little hope that puberty would treat me well and by the time I hit 16 I’d be 6’0 tall. Of course that was just wishful thinking, I eventually left the agency hopeless and believing that in order to be a successful model you must be a certain height. I eventually stopped perusing that dream.
In life we’re going to face many failures and it is ok to fail. Embrace yourself and your failures. Acknowledge them in a way that’ll better you the next time you take a leap of faith. After you’ve acknowledged them let them go, don’t dwell on them and don’t be afraid to fail again. Don’t beat yourself up over failures, forgive yourself. I had to learn true forgiveness this year. I had to forgive myself for allowing people use me for my good heart and for being gullible and vulnerable to so many situations.
Embracing your failures prepare you for success
When I was 18 my best friend and I were hanging out downtown and this guy stops me. He says “You are beautiful. Do you model?” I was pretty much used to people telling me that. It was a bittersweet feeling when I heard that because they see what I see, but for some reason I couldn’t catch my big break. ” Thank you! But I’m not a model but I want to be one.” I told the strange man. He then began to tell me that he was the owner of a small agency in New York and he’d come to Chicago for work. My best friend started questioning him. He told us that he’d worked with some famous people, and from there I was completely interested in everything he’d said. The guy asked if he could take some shots of me on a rooftop. Without a second guess I was ready. I looked at my best friend and she agreed even though her eyes said something else. But I didn’t pay attention to that part. In my mind I had just gotten discovered by an agent. This was my big break. My dream was to be randomly walking down the street and to get discovered by a well known agent or photographer, and it was happening right before my eyes. Even though I didn’t know this guy, I put my dream in his hands based off of a 15 min conversation. We fallowed him into a tall fancy high-rise and took the elevator all the way to the roof-top. He introduced me to a male model and the photographer. We took a couple of shoots and they were amazed that this was my first shoot. I was a natural. Then the guy began to ask if I were comfortable doing a topless shoot. My initial thought was, “I don’t know about this.” I kept those thoughts to myself because I didn’t want to ruin my big chance. I looked over at my best friend and smiled, and she smiled encouragingly but her eyes said something else. We did the shoot and afterwards I felt so accomplished, this man was going to make me a star. I called my mom and told her the good news, leaving out the topless part of course. The guy ended up being a fraud in a way. Out of all the pictures we took, I only received two of the topless ones with my arm across my chest. I loved the pictures but I haven’t heard from the guy in days. He never got back to me, I immediately felt used, embarrassed and stupid, I regretted ever meeting him. From that day on I became skeptical of the modeling game and took a break to pursue other things.
I am proud to say that five years later I got those pictures published myself. I loved the pictures but hated the incident, so I decided to send them to a fashion magazine company and to my surprise they published them. Ironically the very reason I stopped, became the reason I began again. I took that situation and turned it into a blessing. That was my first time getting any public exposure, and it was on my own terms. I embrace that situation because it was supposed to happen. I forgave myself for being a naive teen ready to spread out her wings and live out my dreams
Embracing your failures and setbacks are important. Believe in yourself at hard times will make all the difference in your journey. You have to learn to deal with hard times appropriately because life will never be consistently candy and roses. Life is life, moments will come and moments will go, if you let them. Trust life’s plan because if it happened, it happened for a reason, learn your lesson and grow from it. Sometimes when life happens to us, we take that same attitude to another situation. That is a natural way your brain is responding and it’s trying to protect from unwanted or unknown results. Fear. Don’t let fear make decisions for your life because you are greater than fear, you’ve overcome fear, leave it where it’s at and move along. Know that you’re in charge of your life and the circumstances you’re in, you can let it destroy you or empower you.
Keep moving forward no matter what
Whatever you do, stay busy! Whatever your goal or dream is indulge yourself in it and try to incorporate it in your day in some way. Another thing is, connect yourself to a higher force. Pray or meditate, whatever your preference is, getting involved with your spirit and intuition is important. Appreciate everything you have, you can’t accept what life gives you if you don’t appreciate what you have already. Everyday that you wake up is a blessing, so be grateful for everything life teaches you and always believe in you and your instincts. I love my grandmother dearly but I didn’t let an opinion change what I wanted for myself in the future. If I would have stopped there, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Written By Asia Graves
Model and freelance writer