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.

Time to jump

It’s easy to put things off and get caught up in analysing every possible outcome.

You might find yourself visualising the path you’re considering, hoping for a sign that the time to do it is now.

Or maybe you go online and do some research hoping to find a story that resonates from someone that took a chance.

There are only ever 2 choices, do nothing or do something.

Staying still, stuck and stagnant rarely feels good. Often once the moment to choose passes and you do nothing you end up regretting it.

But when you decide to take action and do something you open yourself up to the possibilities of life.

It might scare you but sometimes it’s time to jump.

Making things happen

It’s easy to make excuses for why things didn’t work out.

But often the reason is simply because you didn’t believe it was possible.

When you have self belief you approach life differently.

You walk with your head held high, you don’t second guess yourself and your actions flow.

When you don’t have self belief, you struggle to make decisions with certainty, your confidence is low and and you’re less likely to think the life you want can become a reality.

And so when it comes to making things happen self belief is essential.

Doing what helps

It’s strange how sometimes you can find yourself resisting the very thing that you know will help.

Maybe, it’s because it feels like too much effort or maybe you’ve forgotten how much it might benefit you.

It could be something as simple as going for a walk when you’re feeling down. Perhaps, the thought of putting on proper clothes, doing your hair and seeing other people when you’re not at your best is enough to make you think that staying inside is the better option.

But the longer you stay inside the more difficult it’ll be to convince yourself to go outside.

Sometimes even when you know something might help you can’t being yourselves to do it because you’re not in a hopeful mindset. You don’t feel like trying to make things better because in that moment you don’t even believe it’s possible.

But why not do the thing that might help anyway and see how you feel afterwards. It might not make things better but it definitely won’t make things worse.