If we’re all “living the dream”, why are we so miserable? We feel more disconnected from our dream life today than we ever did. You can hear it everywhere. “I feel stuck and my life is going nowhere.” “I hate my job.” “I’m overworked and stressed out.” “I’m bored.” “I’m frustrated, angry and scared.” “I’m depressed.” “I wish I could just run away from it all.” “I need to get a life.”
Living the dream! Yeah right! We’re too darn busy working, raising families and making ends meet to have time to think about anything else, much less chasing our dreams. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results then it makes sense to change what you’re doing. Hope will only take us so far. But still, we hope that we can get away from the everyday grind for a few moments to focus on the pursuit of unfulfilled dreams. Hope is what gets us out of bed in the morning.
To make meaningful changes in your life, the first step is to make a “stop doing” list. Then ask yourself what’s most important in your life right now. And finally, ask yourself how you achieve the one goal or dream that’s most important to you now. It’s much easier to take small steps that fit your already busy schedule. You’ll also have more energy as you build momentum and start seeing the progress you’re making.
What do I want?
1. What have I accomplished so far? You’ll amaze yourself with all you’ve done.
2. What unfinished business do I still have?
3. What do I really want out of my life and why it is important?
4. What dreams can I realistically pursue, given the current priorities in my life?
How can I make it happen?
5. How can I break these dreams down into manageable goals?
6. How can I break these goals into even smaller chunks so I don’t get overwhelmed?
7. What can I do to stay focused on my goals? Ex: Give up an hour of TV? Get up earlier?
8. Who can I ask for help as I work towards my goals?
9. What can I do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to stay focused?
10. What can I do to recognize the progress I’m making and celebrate my accomplishments?
Too often we give up on our dreams because life gets in the way or doesn’t unfold as planned. Priorities change and stuff happens. The truth is that life is rarely lived in a linear fashion; it is usually lived in a spiral, with many twists and turns. But it is precisely through these twists and turns that we force ourselves to make a choice to either keep pursuing our dreams or give up. Living the dream is about having the courage to keep moving and seeing possibilities in the obstacles we face.
When we make the decision to pursue the dreams that are important, we find a renewed sense of energy. It no longer feels like we have added more on our to-do list. Rather, it recharges the old batteries and breathes new energy into our life. Sometimes we have to dig deep and find the courage to bring about the change that is needed, but we owe it to ourselves and to our loved one to create the life of our dreams.