This is a question that I see all of the time. From clients, friends, and just generally circling the interwebs and social media.
When we are small we dream, or at least most of us dream of someday BEING someone who helps others (fireman, police officer, etc), is famous (singer, musician, model, actor, etc) or maybe even changing the world.
As little ones we don’t censor ourselves, we just let our imagination run to amazing places. There are no thoughts of “I can’t” or “that’s too hard”, we don’t even understand what those things mean relatively speaking.
Now fast forward 20, 30, or 40 years and where are we? How many of us are living our dreams? Not necessarily the same ones we had way back when, but the dreams of today. How often do you cut yourself off from dreaming, believing, and allowing your true life into existence?
Just to be clear, we are not meant to live mediocre, depressed or caged (cubicle could be the same thing) lives. Do you wake your children up and tell them not to dream big? Maybe you wake them up and say “hey honey, strive to be not quite good enough”…or “go out there and don’t try at all today”. Do we?
These are the things I see and hear others saying to themselves daily, hourly and even by the minute, even if it’s not literal. People who wake up tired, and drag themselves to a cup of coffee they wish they could savor. Moving to a shower that’s never long enough or rejuvenating enough, and eventually to a job they are always wishing were better, more fulfilling, and just more meaningful.
WHY? Why do we do this to ourselves? It seems that there are more people who give up or never try, then there are dreamers left in the world. Which one are you?
Do you wake up happy? With more than enough time to savor the morning light? Do you giddily run to whatever fulfilling work you’ve chosen? Do you go to bed grateful for 99% of the moments in your day? Why not?
Your life is yours to live! Why spend it in mediocrity? Why spend it not trying?
Here are 3 steps to get you closer to a life that is YOURS!
- Dream. I don’t mean while you sleep. I mean make time EVERY DAY to dream. Get a journal, a notebook, even a napkin at lunch. Write down your dream life. Start with the most amazing morning you can dream of. Move on to a wonderful afternoon. Even the perfect vacation. The idea is don’t fit this into your NOW life, write down what your dream life would be. (TIP: I like to begin my dream writing by imagining I have $500 million in the bank, that way money can never be an excuse.)
- Practice. For 5 minutes EVERY DAY practice having your dreams. Be the person you dream of being even if it is only in your bathroom or car. Don’t skip this one, even if it seems silly to you. The idea of being the person you want to be and practicing that even for 5 minutes will allow more into your life. (TIP: If this doesn’t come easy. Just read a statement from your writing earlier in the day. You can phrase it something like: “I am…” “I will be…” “I have…” “I will do…” or “I am becoming…”)
- Gratitude. Before you go to bed EVERY NIGHT think of at least 1 thing you are grateful for that happened during that day. This could be an event, action, or even that you did 1 & 2 above. You can put a gratitude journal near your bed for this, or just think of it silently as you drift off to sleep. The important thing is….just do it. (TIP: Avoid being grateful ONLY for your spouse, children, furbabies, etc. Make sure to add in something you did, accomplished, or creatively came up with.)
With these tips you will be ever closer to the life you really want to be living. Not just one you are going through the motions and whiling away your days. Spending time sparking your imagination will send sparks into your everyday life and invigorate your creative juices. You will most likely find yourself feeling happier, have more energy, and maybe even make a new list of what you want to be when you grow up.