Which dreams are worth pursuing?

When you’re creating your dream life, you might think of things such as where you’ll live, what sort of home you’d like, how you’ll earn an income, how you’ll spend your free time and so on. But when there is equal appeal for conflicting choices, how do you decide?

Essentially it requires you to let some dreams go, perhaps not permanently but at least for a little while. But even when you know that is what needs to be done, you still have to choose what to put first. It could be the choice between living in apartment right in the heart of a the city and a cottage in the countryside.

Whatever choice you make you have to also remember that you might not get to go back and do the other thing in the way that you originally wanted. For example, if you choose the apartment in the city you may end up with a terraced house in the suburbs later on rather than the country cottage.

Most of the time when it comes to the dream life, I focus on the fantasy or romanticising the possibilities of life. I do that because it’s fun and I think it’s vital to engage with those ways of thinking. However, it’s important to be practical too. It’s not possible to do everything so you do have to choose. You have to decide which dreams are worth pursing.

Delays and daydreams

I believe that it is possible to attain the things you want in you life, the kind of things that you daydream about. I believe this because it’s happened in my own life. However, what I often find is that there’s a delay but the delay isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves time to grow and develop before our daydreams become reality.

And in that time of growth and development and it can be easy to start to beleive that what you want won’t happen or you may end up just forgetting about it altogther.

Then at some point after months or years have gone by, you suddenly realise that something currently happening in your life used to be part of your daydreams.

Accepting where you’re at

Where you are right now might not be where you wish you were.

But it’s important to accept it.

You may have a detailed dream life that feels a million miles from you’re current life. And so you focus on the future to distract yourself from your current circumstances.

Perhaps there are feelings of embarrassment, shame, low self-esteem, not feeling good enough or fear associated with where your life is at. By choosing not to accept the present you amplify all those feelings which of course makes you feel worse.

Instead of trying to distance yourself from your current life, try to accept it. It’s okay to not be where you want to be in life.

That doesn’t mean you don’t make an effort to change things and work towards where you want to be. It just means that you don’t bypass the present.

Dream moments

There are moments in life that you daydream about and hold dear even though they haven’t happened yet.

But eventually the stars align and the dream moments that you once longed for are brought to life.

Sometimes we find ourselves overjoyed when the reality matched up to our dreams. Other times we find ourselves disappointed because the reality has fallen short of our daydreams.

When you’ve built up something in your mind to be this amazing and wonderful thing, anything less just won’t do. And so even if the dream moment is actually pretty good in reality, it’ll never be good enough.

What’s the point in having a dream life?

We often end up pushing what we really want to the side in favour of something considered more realistic.

The point in having a dream life is being able to acknowledge and accept that where you are may not be where you want to be, then finding ways to bridge that gap.

It’s not about telling yourself, I’ll be happy when…

It’s not about spending all day fantasizing about the life you want as a form of escapism from your real life where you’re miserable.

It’s not about pining after a life where you’re rich and famous.

Often when we make plans for the future we come up with things like stable job, nice house, a few holidays a year and be comfortable financially.

That’s not a dream, that’s something we say because we’re scared of uncertainty. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with that life or that you wouldn’t be happy living it.

But try digging a little deeper, get lost in thought and see what comes up. Slowly, overtime your daydreams will come together to form a dream life and it’ll be full and specific.

Once you have that, the next step is bringing it to life which first requires you to believe it’s possible.

What do you want in relationships?

It’s so interesting that often in different types of relationships we hold back instead from just being ourselves and allowing things to work out the way they’re meant to be.

You make a conscious effort to be less of yourself instead of just modelling what you want from your relationships. This choice leaves you feeling unfulfilled. You may end up finding yourselves in spaces you don’t want to be in, sometimes even with people you don’t really like because you have sacrificed your true self.

I think sometimes we’re scared to be ourselves for fear of rejection and so we wait for others to go first and be open. But if you find yourself in a space where you think you’ll be rejected for simply being yourself, then deep down (or maybe even just beneath the surface), you know that you’re somewhere you don’t really want to be.

Perhaps you want people in your life that you can be vulnerable with, yet when you have the opportunity to open up you choose to resist. And if the people around you aren’t being vulnerable with you, you end up feeling frustrated. But I think it’s fair to ask yourself, if you’re not willing to open up why should anyone else?

And in the grander scheme, if you aren’t willing to show up as your truest self in your relationships, why should you expect anyone else will?

Short-term pros

When making a decision you might find yourself making a pros and cons list.

The choice you make in the end is likely to be based on whether the cons make the benefits worth it.

But sometimes we focus too much on the short-term. Making a particular decision might be great right now, great in 6 months and even great in a year. However, in 2 years or 5 years it will end up being something you regret.

Or, perhaps we allow short-term pros to outweigh long-term cons.

It could be taking a job where you earn way more money but isn’t in a field you want to progress in. Maybe the alternative was a job in the field you’re interested in but you passed it up because the salary is lower and the commute is longer.

In the short-term you’re earning more money and you’re journey to work is shorter. But in the long-term you’re progressing in a job you don’t want to be in which probably means you’re not as happy as you could be.

On the flipside, if you’d chosen the other job in the short-term you’re salary would be lower and your commute would be longer. However in the long-term, your salary will increase, you’re progressing in field you’re interested in, you may choose to move closer to work and have a shorter commute or perhaps you now work from home 2 or 3 days a week and best of all you’re happier.

Productive Sundays

Sundays tend to be one of my most productive days, if not the most productive day.

I think the reason for this is because it’s still the weekend so I’m relaxed and can spend my entire day as I please but I also know that work starts the next day so I do what I can to make my week ahead run as smooth as possible.

Instead of focusing on working hard or being productive I think about what will make my week easier and will also make me happier.

Simple things like writing todo lists, meditation, planning meals and planning outfits can make such a big difference to my week.

I spend my Sunday evenings reflecting on the past week and writing a todo list for the week ahead. I’ll write about the good things that happened, a key moment or something I learned and also my focus for the coming week. I then proceed to write a todo list which is always a mix of things I want to do, things I could do and things I need to do.

I spend my Sundays in a way that feels good but also feels useful, the fact that I tend to get a lot done is a great. However, it’s a bonus, not the main intention.

Hard to imagine

There are many things in life that are hard to imagine however, it’s worth remembering that this has no impact on the possibility of these things becoming a reality.

This time two years ago you had no idea of what 2020 would bring and almost a year since the first lockdown we’re still in the midst of it.

Of course the pandemic isn’t a particularly pleasant or positive thing that we want to think about when it comes to the things we imagine coming to life but you can apply the concept to other things.

Right now it might feel like a goal, dream or plan that you have is totally impossible. However, if you decide to be brave and choose to pursue it, six months, a year or maybe even two years from now you could completely bring that to life. All of a sudden months have gone by and you’ll find yourself living a life doing something you love but were once afraid to pursue incase it didn’t work out.

As much as it’s a cliche, you really never know unless you actually try because as much as something might seem impossible it doesn’t really determine it’s possibility.

Most things that we want to do in life are often things that have already been done (even if it was in a slightly different way) and that should be enough proof or evidence that you need.

If it’s been done, it can be done again and what’s to say that it can’t be you that does it .

Does your life align with your values?

Yesterday I wrote about the simple life and after clicking publish I realised that I still had more thoughts to share.

After giving it some thought, I started to question why instead of living the life that we want we decide to pursue other paths. In yesterdays post, I wrote of how it is often the expectations of society however I didn’t consider that actually it can often have a lot to do with being out of alignment with your own values.

If asked the question ‘what do you value in life?’ it’s very unlikely that you would say things like stress, not having free time, feeling overwhelmed, working with people or in an environment where you’re not supported or not having the energy to do things that you enjoy. Yet, those are often traits of the kinds of jobs or lives that we settle into.

There is great value in asking yourself what you value in life and then working towards creating a life that aligns with that.

You don’t need to pay attention to what everyone else is doing or what everyone else is telling you that you should do. Maybe that’s not the sort of life that you will enjoy.

It’s worth so much more to reflect and ask yourself the big questions and follow where you think you want to go. If that leads you to where everyone else is great and if it leads you to a different path that is also great.

It’s about you and what you want rather than conforming or meeting the expectations of others.