8 Tips for Getting Off the Couch and Chasing Your Dreams

Getting trapped in a rut happens easily. Like quicksand, it can suck you in almost instantaneously and leave you little chance to escape.

At Forte Strong, we strive to get young people suffering from failure to launch back on track. We teach them valuable yet basic life skills that allow them to gain confidence, clarity, and eventually independence. While this may seem like a very specific audience, the lessons we teach can apply to people in varying stages of life.

Grab Hold of Your Future

At some point or another, we’ve all been lulled into complacency: we accept life as “good enough” even if evidence points to the contrary. We stay at the same job out of comfort; we don’t strive for something greater because it’s too hard or because of some past setback.

Settling is much easier than struggling. But sooner or later, good enough will no longer suffice, and that comfortable groove will give way to restlessness. There’s always a way out of a funk. In order to get off the couch and start following your dreams again, you just have to be willing to put in the work to do it.

A study by CPP, Inc. reports that 80 percent of respondents claim a vibrant career will bring “fulfillment and enjoyment” to their lives. The same survey notes that 53 percent believe their careers ultimately define them as people. In the end, a healthy outlook on the job can trickle down into other aspects of your life.

Something those we teach eventually learn is that the best place to find passion, energy, and motivation is through the work itself. These eight tips will make you the best version of yourself, both professionally and personally.

  1. Nobody owes you anything. A survey by the Workplace Accountability Study estimates that 91 percent of respondents believe accountability is one of their organization’s top development needs. Playing the victim is often easier than taking responsibility. But it won’t get you very far, regardless of what has happened in your life. Learn to hold yourself accountable, and you’ll already be ahead of the pack.
  1. Mistakes happen. You’re going to make mistakes, so come to terms right now with that fact that they’re part of life. The cool thing is, mistakes are usually your best teachers, and they indicate that you’re trying at life instead of resting on your laurels.
  1. Fear is a liar. Fear has its place, but you should never be beholden to it. If you let your fear control you, it will stop you from progressing and will weaken your resolve to try new things and to become a new person.
  1. You are stronger than you think. Human beings are capable of extraordinary things. They’re also capable of convincing themselves they’re not. It’s your character — not your failures — that ultimately defines and illustrates your value. Use that untapped potential to rise to the occasion.
  1. Responsibility is empowering. Make no mistake: responsibility can be terrifying at first, but the more you take on, the more capable you’ll feel and the more you’ll believe you can accomplish.
  1. Skills can be learned. Very few things in life can’t be taught: If you don’t have a skill, chances are pretty good you can learn it. The key is figuring out what you want to accomplish so you know what skills to acquire. Once you know, the path becomes much clearer.
  1. Persistence pays. By that same token, you’re not going to learn everything overnight, so don’t feel you have to. Most skills are cognitive processes that become stronger each time you use them. I was once told by successful entrepreneur Peter Voogd that only 5 percent of the world’s population actually writes down goals. Those 5 percent make more than the other 95 percent of the world combined. Which group would you rather be part of?
  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Feel free to laugh at yourself sometimes! Life is what you make it — whether it’s fun and exciting or peaceful and serene, it’s yours to enjoy. If you don’t, who else will?

It’s easy to get discouraged. It’s easy to make life easy. But if something doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Putting the aforementioned methods into place both at work and at home will make those challenges less daunting.

So don’t get caught in the trap of a downward spiral toward emptiness and pity. Get off the couch, and get on with life.

Matthew Arrington is the executive director and co-founder of Forte Strong, the world’s first failure-to-launch program for men who struggle to leave their parents’ homes or find it difficult to become independent. Forte Strong uses a proprietary coaching model to help students find purpose and direction, guide parents and families in empowering their sons, and ultimately create healthier family dynamics. Matthew resides in sunny St. George, Utah.