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.

Hard to break

I think one of the main reasons that old habits are hard to break is because we’re used to them. When you’ve been doing something for a long time whether it’s beneficial to your life or not, it can be difficult to just let it go.

Even if you know it’s not good for you, you get sucked into the feeling of familiarity and allow the habit to continue.

But, what if you forced yourself to change, what if you made a choice to do something different and uncomfortable? Doing that allows you to open yourself to the possibility of a new life where you do thing that align with the kind of person that you want to be, rather than contradict it.

Overcoming a habit that is hard to break is joyous because you know it wasn’t easy but you did it anyway.

The excitement of new beginnings

Who doesn’t love the feeling of a fresh start?

Starting something new can bring up feelings of excitement but also a nervousness. This is normal when doing something you haven’t done before. However, the nerves can turn into anxiety if you focus on them too much and allow yourself to get carried away.

And so instead focus on the exciting possibilities of all the things that you hope will become your reality.

The old normal

Lockdown allowed us to fantasise about the possibilities of life.

The way that things were was no longer seen as the way that things had to be.

The longer we were inside the more we began to speak of the new normal. We were able to imagine changes on scales small and large. I think this gave a lot of people hope, that this pandemic would not be for nothing if once it was over there would be change for the better.

But, somewhere along the way, there was a shift. Instead of speaking of the new way of life we had once hoped for, we began to long over the old ways.

Suddenly, it was the old normal that we were dreaming of, not something new.

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.

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 .

Lowering expectations

There are good arguments to support both sides.

On one hand perhaps you should lower your expectations because they’re too high. Examples of this could be expecting to earn £50,000 as a graduate with no experience or expecting a friend to reduce their rates even though you know the quality of their work will be more than worth it.

Then on the other hand, a reason not to lower your expectations is because you don’t want to get into the habit of settling. I think there’s a fine line between knowing what you want and expecting too much. Knowing what you want is great. Believing that it is possible to have more than you have right now even though it might take time is a pretty fantastic thing.

One of the most common reasons that people lower their expectations is because they allow the thoughts and opinions of others to convince them that what they want is unrealistic.

If that is the case, it might be worth being more selective about who you get advice from and who you choose to listen to.

Daydreams and the dream life

One of the things I enjoy writing about is the dream life.

But it’s more than just words it’s about the kind of life I aspire to. Whilst daydreaming one night I realised that I’ve never really shared my dream life in great detail.

One of the main reasons is, there is not one set type of life that I want. Instead I am open to a variety of different scenarios. But another reason is, it can be scary to share your aspirations. As soon as you consider it questions like ‘what will people say if things don’t work out?’ start popping up.

However I’m learning that, it’s good to talk about what you want. It doesn’t need to be on a blog or social media, it could be with friends or family instead. I think sometimes with daydreams because it is something we create in our minds, we end up convincing ourselves that it can’t come true.

But the dream life is possible and I think simply talking about it can be one of the first steps to bringing it to life.

From one dream to the next

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.

The possibility of everything

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.