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.

Don’t try, just be

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.

Fear and change

When it comes to change, big change in particular you might not ever feel ready.

However, that doesn’t mean you should simply stick with what you know.

The reason you don’t feel ready is because change means unfamiliar territory, something we often shy away from.

We scare ourselves with 101 ‘what ifs’ instead of believing that things might actually turn out alright. We become so consumed by the fear that we convince ourselves it’s better to stick with what we know than to try something new.

But once you teach yourself that it’s okay to be a little afraid and that you don’t need to wait until you feel ‘ready’, changing your life might become much easier.

Taking your own advice

It’s funny how you can dish it out but you can’t seem to take it.

When pondering on a situation occurring in your own life, you are likely to find that you have previously given advice on the very same topic. Furthermore, you were able to give that advice with ease.

And so you are likely to find yourself wondering why acting on something you’ve advised someone else to do is so difficult when it comes to your own life.

Maybe the difficult part isn’t the advice it’s actually taking the responsibility and be choosing to solve a problem instead of merely talking (or complaining) about it.

Putting pressure on the outcome

In periods of uncertainty we often put an excessive amount of pressure on a particular outcome.

You tell yourself you’ll be be happy if things turn out one way and that the other outcome will be a disaster.

And of course, in life often one option is much better than the other. However, too much attachment to something you have no control over can have unhelpful impacts.

What happens when things don’t turn out the way you wanted?

I’ve learnt that it is much more helpful to focus on yourself and your own well being and not be so dictated by external influences. That way even when things don’t turn out the way you’d have liked, you’ll still be totally fine.

Making the best of challenging circumstances

One of the best lessons to have learnt this year is how to make the best of challenging circumstances.

I’d be highly surprised to find that there is anyone who reads this blog that has not been affected by the pandemic.

People have lost their jobs, had family and friends pass, experienced financial difficulties, had holidays postponed, struggled to cope because they’re living alone, missed moments with the people they care about, had plans cancelled and so much more.

It’s easy to end up feeling as though life can be nothing more than bleak but it’s important to remember the joys of life.

No matter what is going on if you only focus on the ‘bad bits’ it will consume your whole outlook until you can’t see past it.

Of course you can’t ignore what is going on in the world but you can make time for things that bring you joy and make you feel good.

How to stop feeling so overwhelmed?

The answer is in the question.

Stop.

The feeling of being overwhelmed often comes when we don’t allow ourselves to feel something and instead adopt a go, go, go mindset.

Instead taking care of yourself and working through your feelings, you fill your mind and time with 101 distractions that will eventually catch up to you.

Or maybe you’ve taken on too much, you have a lot going on and haven’t had enough time to rest to keep you going in a way that is healthy.

What ever the case may be, you can’t keep going.

When told to stop or even just slow down we often use the excuse that we can’t. Perhaps it is that people are relying on you or you think there’s too much to be done.

But as it is those things that are causing the overwhelm, it’s exactly what you need a break from.

So stop, even just for a few minutes, it will make more of a difference than you think.

Ahead of their time

Often the key indicators of someone being ahead of their time is that years later other people are doing what they did with less pushback and other people are gaining more success.

Another indicator is if the person were to do what they did 5 years ago today, how would it be received.

A few years ago I started listening to a podcast that began a few years prior so I had hundreds of episodes to catch up on.

From the very first episode I listened to, I was hooked. I went back to the very beginning and worked my way through.

The podcast ended around a year after I started listening and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve gone back to the beginning and re-listened.

When I think about that podcast I honestly believe it was ahead of it’s time.

I’ve come across other people that are doing similar podcasts and I’ve come across people who started later and have had more ‘success’. Lastly, if the podcast I enjoyed started 5 years later than it did or even if it started today I’m certain I’d have liked it just as much if not more.

And so, I think it’s fair to say that the podcast was ahead of it’s time.

Procrastination and relying on stress

Anyone who regularly procrastinates will tell you that they want to do the thing but they just keep putting it off. Often when we procrastinate we justify it to ourselves by prioriting things with low urgency that still give us that good feeling of that comes from getting things done.

We tell ourselves we’ll start later or tomorrow and we convince ourselves that that we still have enough time to get it done.

But what tends to happen is we just continue to put things off more and more. We do this until our stress levels start to increase and we reach the point where if we don’t start now we’ll miss the deadline.

And so you finally begin.

I had a recent experience with procrastination and once the work was complete I ended up reflecting on my behaviour.

When you get into the habit of choosing to procrastinate until the last possible moment, you train yourself to rely on stress to get things done. And so the next time you have a deadline you’re unable to find the motivation because you’re waiting for the adrenaline to kick in.

I think there are 2 main ways to stop procrastinating.

The first way is to experience things going wrong as a result of your procrastination. When our habits have negative implications this encourages a change in behaviour. It might start with you giving yourself 5 days for something instead of two and slowly build up until you become someone who always makes sure they have enough time.

The second is to just start straight away next time. We tell ourselves it’s difficult to start and just decide that it’s true when it’s not at all. Starting takes a little effort and commitment but it’s not as challenging as you tell yourself.

It’ll probably help to remind yourself of the benefits of starting straight away like being able to work at a steady pace instead of having to cram everything into a short period of time.

If you’re someone with a habit of procrastinating, it might not seem easy to change but it’s definitely possible.

Caught in the act

Noticing your unhelpful habits as soon as they start to emerge is a skill worth learning. Instead of getting carried away and indulging in behaviour you’re likely to regret, stop.

Realise what you’re doing, realise why and make the conscious choice not too continue.

Before you get to that point you might find that you regularly have situations where you don’t show up as your best self, you don’t put in much effort or you’re not treating people how you want to be treated.

But those things aren’t helpful. It doesn’t benefit you to be half-hearted with your efforts or unkind to other people.

As soon you realise that, the more likely you are to catch yourself in the act the next time it happens until eventually you’re no longer giving in to your unhelpful habit.