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.
Sometimes we stop ourselves from doing the things that we want to do because we put others above ourselves.
We choose to consider how our actions might make someone else feel, as if that is our responsibility. It often results in not doing the things that we want to do.
In the moment, it might feel like the right choice but in the long run it often leads to regret or resentment.
It could be staying in a ‘good job’ when you actually want to pursue something that is held in a much lower regard by the people you know, maybe it pays less too. You’re worried that people will tell you you’re making a mistake, of the looks you’ll get at the family dinner when they ask how work is going, you want to please your parents and you don’t want other people to think that you’ve regressed.
So, you stick with your current job that you’re no longer interested in.
Overtime you grown to resent those people around you because even though they’re happy with where you’re at in life, you’re miserable. It feels like it’s their fault. But, deep down you know that your misery comes from you caring about other peoples opinions more than you care about making yourself happy.
The lesson here is to learn to put yourself first. How you feel about your life and the choices you make matters so much more than what other people think.
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.
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?
No matter the kind of life that you live, I think it is important to regularly switch up your routine.
Spend a day or even just a few hours doing something you wouldn’t usually do.
The first reason is just to keep things fresh. It’s good to switch things up and experiment with how you spend your time and structure your days.
But the second reason is to check in with how you’re currently living.
Sometimes it takes time away from your usual routine for you to realise that you are unsatisfied with your present life circumstances.
A lot of people regularly find themselves overwhelmed.
The possibilites in every area of life are growing more and more each day.
There was a point in time where what you ate was limited to what you could kill and what you could grow at that time of year.
On one hand having more choice gives us the possibility of a richer life with more freedom. And let’s not forget, the increase in choice is the result of innovation that has has resulted in more options than humans once thought was possible.
However, having more choice can also make things harder, having 100 options instead of 10 can end up causing unnecessary stress. This in turn can reduce your overall happiness.
I think the important thing to remember is that no matter how much or how little choice you have, there is always room for innovation.
But we can’t ignore the unhelpful side effects of increased choice and so the important thing to remember is that when you know what you want you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.
A dream life or even dream job doesn’t have to be a single fixed thing for your entire life.
The life you aspired to have at 15 years old is likely to change once you reach your mid-twenties, if not years before.
You might realise you’re no longer interested in the life you used to want. But perhaps you followed that path, had a great few years and have decided that you want to move on to another dream.
It can be challenging to move on from something you spent years working towards. If it didn’t work out you might feel like you failed and if it was going swimmingly, moving on might feel too risky.
However, sometimes when things are going well, we stick around for too long and end up unhappy. The reason behind this is, having a life of many dreams actualised is rarely encouraged. Instead we’re told to pick one thing and stick with it.
And so when we start to think about moving on to a new dream, we hesitate. We close ourselves off to the possibilities of life and settle for less.
But dreams aren’t rigid, restricted or confined. Don’t be afraid to dream a new dream.
How often do you take the time to stop and think about what makes you happy?
I don’t mean in relation to acheiveing goals, I mean just in life overall.
Most of the time we over-estimate what brings us real joy, thinking that we need something grand or something that is difficult to obtain.
In reality, it is often the smallest moments that make us feel the happiest.
Things like dancing to your favourite song, picking fruit from the garden or laughter with an old friend.
We’ve all heard the phrases like the grass is greener or the popular song Somewhere over the rainbow.
There is often a feeling of desire for the things you don’t have and the places you think you’d rather be. Sometimes, you simply desire to obtain the things you know you’ll get eventually but you don’t have the patience to wait.
That feeling of desire creates a feeling of discontent for the present moment because you’re always looking elsewhere instead of actually being in the present moment.
Often, it’s not that you’re even unhappy with where you’re at. Instead the issue is that you’re so enticed by the possibility of everything that, you don’t have that you allow it to distract you from being present.
Life is full of stuff.
Stuff we get caught up in because we think it matters.
Social media expectations of the way that things should be.
But at the end of the day all that stuff is often a distraction from what really matters.
And so you have to learn to overcome it. No matter how important it might seem to uphold these expectations, it’ll rarely make you happier.
In fact, more often than not it just makes you miserable because it leaves little room for you to be yourself.