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.
There is a popular saying goes something like ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results’.
But what’s worth understanding is that sometimes you need to do the same thing over and over again.
Take meditation for example, it’s very rare that you get it the first time. It could take ten times, that doesnt mean you should stop.
Or, maybe you’re an artist taking your work to galleries, or a writer pitching to publications. Just because things don’t work out the first or 15th time, doesn’t mean you should stop. But, of course if you’re doing something that costs money don’t go broke trying to make things work.
I think it’s good to have the determination to keep going even when things aren’t working out.
But it’s also important to know when to pivot. The end goal doesn’t need to change but maybe your approach should.
I’ve always held writing to a high esteem, to such a high esteem that I always considered it to be out of my reach.
It’s undeniable that in the 9+ years I’ve been sharing my writing online, I’ve improved quite a lot. Yet, I always told myself that I could never be a proper writer.
But over the past year or after reading articles online, I’ve thought to myself, I could write something like that or even that’s similar to something I’ve already written. Suddenly writing no longer feels so out of reach.
And it’s not that I now plan to quite my job and become a writer, I think it’s more than fair to say I already am one.
When you know what you want it’s easy to end up being closed off to all else. After all, you don’t want to get swept up in something that will veer you off path.
But as much as it’s important to know what you want, it’s also important to allow some room for flexibility. Often the things we want come packaged differently to how we expect.
And so if you’re too rigid, you might end up missing out on the very thing you’ve been striving for.
If there’s something that you want and something that you’re working towards, you might find that you don’t quite know what to do once you finally get it.
We spend so much time wishing and pining for the things that we want that sometimes it takes finally getting them for us to realise that we don’t even want them anymore.
Or maybe once you get the thing you want you don’t really know what to do next.
This is about things like wanting a promotion but not fully considering that once you get it you’ll have more responsibilities. Instead you could begin by trying to get more experience in what will be involved in the new role before you get it so that when you do it’s a seamless transition.
It could be moving to a particular town that’s far from everyone you know but not considering that you might feel lonely for the first . To prepare you could come up with things you’ll do to meet new people such as volunteering or attending local events.
Or perhaps it’s wanting to go viral but not knowing what to do with the attention once you get it. You could instead focus on consistently putting stuff out so that when you gain an influx of attention nobody has to wonder ‘what’s next?’.
As great as it is to want things it’s also important to have some idea of what you’ll do once you get them.
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 .
I recently came across a short story that got me thinking about the way that we live. The gist of the story was that other people will try to convince us that instead of living a simple life that we are happy with now, we should be working hard so that we can live a simple life that we are happy with later.
We’re told that we should chase money and success until we can chase no more then we should settle down and enjoy life, finally reaping the rewards of our hard work.
But what if you could enjoy life right now.
Many people want a simple life but they’re taught that it’s not enough, they’re told that they should want more. And so they they sacrifice internal happiness for external validation and then they end up on a path that they don’t truly want to be on. But they plough on and on with the hopes that one day they can break free and live life the way they always wanted to. Often that time is retirement when you’re no longer required to work.
But if all you want to do is live in a little house by the coast and grow food and flowers in your back garden, why wait until you retire. Why not do it now instead of later?
You can go from making grand plans one day to forgetting why you wanted to change your life the next.
It can be hard to shake the unhelpful habits that bind you to your past self. Even though you know they don’t benefit you and that you should change them, you can’t.
And it’s not that you haven’t tried, you just haven’t been able to make any real long term change.
Maybe somedays you find yourself questioning whether you should even bother trying to change at all.
But change takes time and if you really want it, the effort it takes will always be worth it.
Setting goal or making plans for the coming year might seem like a waste of time. We’re in a period of great uncertainty and many of us may have already experienced a long list of things we planned to do in 2020 remain undone.
However, I think a lot of people did much more than they thought they would but in different ways. There was less focus on social activities, in person events and travel but perhaps more emphasis on wellbeing and personal growth.
Maybe this year you started a business, started a project, volunteered, overcame unexpected challenges, read some interesting books, discovered new interests, learned a new skill, developed your confidence, started a new job, got a promotion, visited a new city, bought a house, made new friends, tried some new recipes or figured out what you really want to do with your life.
Some of the things you did this year might seem small or meaningless but you still did them. It’s easy to forget afternoons spent catching up with your favourite people in a cafe, solo dance parties and endless laughter with siblings when you’re focusing on all the concerts you booked that got cancelled or all the places you never got to travel to.
And so for 2021, don’t be afraid to make plans or set intentions for the kind of year you want to have.
The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to at least check-in, recalibrate and ensure that the life you’re living is leading you in the direction that you want to go in.
As someone that has never written for a publication or written a book, I have a hard time calling myself a writer.
I’ve always thought that having my words published in a newspaper, magazine, website or a book etc. would be the validation that I need to claim the label of writer, yet they are not things I actively pursue.
I think this is because when you do something for the love of it, trying to make it anything more is scary. There is also the fear of not being good enough, of my writing not being good enough for someone else to want to share it with a wider audience.
And part of having fear and being scared has resulted in me not putting myself in a position to receive feedback.
So overtime I have come to realise that the issue is not that I can’t call myself a writer, it’s that I didn’t meet the criteria of what I thought a writer should be. But further to that I am not yet the sort of writer that I aspire to be.