I recently stumbled across this quote from Alexa von Tobel of LearnVest:
Dream bigger because no one else is going to do it for you.
I could not put it better myself.
The first pivotal moment in my life was when I got into a great grad school and even got funding. I had applied on a bit of a whim; my best friend was applying, and I got swept up in the wake of her enthusiasm. I never seriously thought I would get in, let alone get funding to make it possible to actually attend. But I did put effort into my application because I wanted to have the best shot possible.
The second pivotal moment in my life was when I switched jobs from environmental consulting to non-profit conservation work. I had submitted my resume to the big black box online for a dream job with a nationally respected environmental non-profit, not really thinking I would ever hear anything back but knowing that someone would. A few months later, I was settling in on my first day.
What I learned from both of these experiences is that we should aim high. Why not try for a dream school or a dream job, even if it seems unattainable? Someone is going to get it, and it won’t be me if I don’t try. Who am I to close the door on myself?