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.
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.
When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.
In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.
These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.
Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.
It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.
Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.
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.
I think it could be said that one of the biggest things that holds us back is that we try to hard to be a specific type of way or create a certain kind of thing. Often our efforts go into emulating what we have already seen done and the way that we think or have been told that things should be.
When this occurs instead of just doing our work and creating, we put limits on ourselves.
Suddenly, the ideas you have end up being tweaked and altered because you haven’t seen things done that way and you’d rather go with what’s been seen to work.
I think a reason we do this is because we don’t have enough self belief to really do things the way we want plus, we want things to work out.
When you’re someone that creates, you never want to put your heart and soul into something and it not be well received. People not taking to your work feels personal because it came from you and often we end up internalising that feeling and coming up with stories like ‘I’m not good enough…’.
The way to avoid all this is to just be, just create. The more you create, the more you find your own flow and no longer feel like you need to mimic others. The work you do will become so much more gratifying.
The more you create, the more you lower the stakes. The first time you create something that comes from you might be scary but over time once it becomes more familiar, it will get easier.
It’s one thing to know it happens but to accept it is a whole other story.
You might find that you’ve become so comfortable with the way things are that the thought of them being any different is just too much to bear.
But change is part of life and no matter how much you try to hold on, things will always keep changing.
Choosing to be resistant instead of accepting change just delays the inevitable causing unnecessary levels of anxiety, stress, sadness and frustration. because
Think of change like the tide, it’s so much easier to go with it than against it.
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.
A while back I came to the realisation that unless your basic needs like food, air and shelter etc. are at risk then any mistake you make or growth point you encounter is not ‘the end of the world’.
You can bounceback and get on with life. And that’s it. Life is as life does and like someone once said ‘it doesn’t stop till you’re dead’.
If you’re going into survival mode over small things that are just part of life that have no significant impact to your basic needs, you’ll undoubtedly struggle in life.
I think a useful thing to do is acknowledge you may have fears/triggers for your survival mode/panic button to go off but to check in and ask does it make sense to have the same reaction as though your life is at risk?
Survival mode is draining, our lives aren’t at risk in the way they used to be.
I think it’s fair to say that sometimes we’d rather be comfortable and complain than push ourselves. It’s not a bad thing to be able to admit it, infact I think it’s good to be able to pick up on these habits if you have them.
A common example of where this occurs is the work place. You have an issue to deal with and instead of sorting out the issue by facing it head on, you skirt around it.
Perhaps you’ve even had times of venting to someone but when they offered you suggestions you ignored them because you weren’t ready.
And sometimes that’s the simple truth, you need more time.
So, complain and stay stagnant for a little longer, just until you can take it no more.
Then either you take a leap and do what needs to be done or someone gives you a push. If it’s the latter it might not feel so good in the moment but it will benefit you in the long run.
The familiarity of what you know might be the thing that keeps you from exploring other ideas or options.
Let’s take the example of food.
Imagine you go to a restaurant and order the duck. Now imagine the duck is incredibly delicious and so each time you go back, you order the same thing.
You find yourself sticking with what you know because you know you’ll like it. But there are many other options available to you that are worth exploring. It’s not that you’ll like them more but instead a reminder of the important of taking advantage of what is available. I think sometimes in life we take our options for granted.
As much as there are so many other options available for you to experience, you turn them down because you’d rather play it safe with wat you know than venture out into the unknown.
But what you end up forgetting is that the very thing you’re clinging to because of familiarity was also once unfamiliar, you just got used to it over time.